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    eldfan's Avatar
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    Linehan's answers make him look bad

    Linehan's answers make him look bad

    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
    [More columns] (P-D)By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/16/2008

    It was another gloomy Monday afternoon at Rams Park for Scott Linehan, another chance to fight the good fight that he just can't win anymore. With television cameras rolling in the back of the room and a gaggle of inquisitors sitting up front, the besieged head coach of the Rams marched in front of the auditorium trying to fan away the fetid scent of another festering disaster by his winless football team.

    This was another one of those unsettling moments of futility that seem to typify the sagging fortunes of this tradition-rich franchise. The longer he talked, the more it felt like Linehan was trying to ventilate a toxic landfill with a paper fan.

    The coach was rehashing the unsightly turning point in Sunday's 41-13 loss to the New York Giants, trying to pinpoint how and why things have gone from bad to worse for the 0-2 Rams. "... it's a one-score game and you're playing at home, and the place is going nuts," he said as he relived the point when Torry Holt's incredible touchdown catch cut the Giants' lead to 20-13. "We were in a position there where we could have just taken that game over right then and there and instead we weren't able to finish it off."

    If you were waiting for some major shakeup in this troubled organization, keep waiting. If you were holding your breath waiting for some stern, unwavering message that the problem has been identified and will soon be rectified, I would suggest reaching quickly for an oxygen tank.


    The Rams are apparently staying the course, even if that course is careening this franchise into another jagged edge that is more cataclysmic than last season's 3-13 disaster.

    How long they stay the course is up to a large debate. Chip Rosenbloom, the neophyte owner, is saying all the things he needs to say publicly about supporting Linehan, because it serves no good to cut his knees out from under him with angry threats. Here's how this works. When you are in the throes of an early-season nightmare, a coach's job security should be sudden death. It's not exactly like he doesn't have any warning. Linehan already knows his leash is shorter than a nose hair. But publicly, Rosenbloom has to support the coach, because anything less destroys what little credibility and authority he still has in that fractured locker room.

    But privately, the clock is ticking, and here's exactly why. The longer Linehan talked on Monday, the more he laid out a personal indictment against himself. He is the captain of a leaking ship and he seemingly has no idea how to stop the leak.

    "You just have to understand that ... if we can figure out ... that defining moment of a game where we could win the game or lose the game and (win), then we'll be in much better shape," Linehan said. "But until we do that, we're going to be talking here and having disappointing conversations and press conferences with you guys where you're asking what the hell's wrong with us. That's not going to change until we do that and it's my job to find out what it is."

    All he kept doing was remind us why his way isn't working. It was like he was literally throwing up his hands when the questions kept coming about the who, what, when, how and why of this endless losing, and all he could come up with was a baffled "I dunno"?

    Everything about Linehan screams of a defeatist attitude. It's in his words and in his body language. It's in the way he has taken his position as a lame duck coach and reinforced why he is in this awkward predicament in the first place.

    It's probably already too late, but damn, he has to do something, doesn't he?

    You're 0-2 with a guillotine hanging over your head, so shake things up. Bench some of these players who aren't getting the job done and see what happens. My gawd, if that doesn't work, what's the worst thing they can do, fire you?

    As he stood there biting down on his lower lip and absorbing the barrage of questions, Linehan was asked if he was concerned about his job security. "I've been concerned about my job security since I started coaching," he said. "I'm scared to death to lose. Losing is a bad thing as a coach."

    And that, boys and girls, is the wrong answer.

    Even if you are scared, you're supposed to be in charge. For all you old-school Rocky and Bullwinkle fans, what was it Boris used to call his boss?

    :ramlogo:

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    Re: Linehan's answers make him look bad

    This article sums it up exactly. But I just don't understand the waiting. Especially after seeing this press conference, why isn't anything being done about it. I also think this might be one of the first times I've seen a coach on such a hot seat but yet getting no press from the NFL itself (NFL.com...casters...). I've only seen one video on it and nothing else and even that was only a half video. For me this is weird especially considering we are definitely better then the faiders and Kiffin is getting tons of press.

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    Re: Linehan's answers make him look bad

    Quote Originally Posted by eldfan View Post
    Linehan's answers make him look bad

    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
    [More columns] (P-D)By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/16/2008
    Everything about Linehan screams of a defeatist attitude. It's in his words and in his body language. It's in the way he has taken his position as a lame duck coach and reinforced why he is in this awkward predicament in the first place.
    My big problem with this article is that Burwell doesn't acknowledge the source of the "defeatist" attitude he cites. Does it not occur to him that perhaps Linehan is not a defeatist, but perhaps, he has been defeated by the plethora of media men and women calling for his head? When you're one man, the only way you can fight a superpower like that is with the almighty W. Win. When you don't, there's little else you can do but sucumb; if he were optimistic they'd call him crazy. or a Hypocrite.

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