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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Linehan's Rams get set to train for real

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Jul. 23 2006

    The turmoil that roiled throughout Rams Park during much of the 2005 NFL season
    gave way over the past few months to a noticeable calm.

    With little fanfare and few noticeable snags, new head coach Scott Linehan put
    together a staff of assistants, dipped heavily into the pool of veteran free
    agents, conducted three minicamps, and guided the organization through the
    college draft.

    All of which provided the ramp-up for what Linehan considers the de facto start
    of the season: training camp, which gets under way this week in Earth City.
    Players are to report Wednesday, with the first practices scheduled for
    Thursday.

    "This is where we all wave good-bye to our families and say, 'We'll see you in
    '07,'" Linehan said, laughing. "It's certainly the most exciting part of our
    jobs right now, hitting training camp and getting ready to put your team out
    there."

    Linehan's team will bear some resemblance to the one that Mike Martz left
    behind. That's particularly true on offense, where 10 of 11 starters return
    from the unit that ranked 11th in the 32-team league - fourth in the NFC - in
    total offense.

    On the other side of the ball, though, substantial change has taken place in
    the wake of the Rams' 6-10 pratfall in 2005. Gone are safeties Adam Archuleta
    and Mike Furrey, along with tackles Ryan Pickett and Damione Lewis. Several
    other former starters will be fighting for their jobs.

    "The great thing about a new staff, a new team a new roster is, there are a lot
    of clean slates out there," Linehan said. "A lot of things can be done on the
    field now. Put the pads on and see who's willing to tackle, who's secure with
    the ball, see how competitive and how tough a football team you are. ...

    "The environment is new, and everybody's got to take their game to another
    level."

    Heading into camp, the only returning starters on defense seemingly still
    secure as first-teamers are end Leonard Little and linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa.
    Many of the nine other spots figure to be filled by newcomers, including safety
    Corey Chavous, tackle La'Roi Glover and linebacker Will Witherspoon.

    Cornerback Fakhir Brown and linebacker Raonall Smith also could figure into the
    mix, along with cornerback Tye Hill, the team's first-round draft choice.

    A defensive overhaul was an offseason no-brainer, after the Rams wound up 31st
    last year in total defense and gave up more points than all but two other teams.

    Linehan's background is offense; he was the offensive coordinator in Minnesota
    for three years and in Miami for one season before being hired here. So, he has
    leaned heavily on defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and his position coaches in
    attempting to rebuild the defense.

    "That's why you hire good people, so you don't feel the burden of all the jobs
    that you've got to get done," Linehan said. "Our coaches have worked their
    tails off."

    No one, however, has spent more time on the second floor of Rams Park over the
    past seven months than Linehan, whose SUV seems to be a permanent fixture on
    the parking lot. Still, he said the time has "flown by. There's no offseason in
    the NFL anymore. You've got so many important dates that come up."

    As a first-time head coach, Linehan has strived to make the transition as
    smooth as possible while also assuring that he's fully prepared to run his
    first training camp.

    "It certainly has been different, being in this new position. But it's also
    been very enjoyable," Linehan said. "Nothing's perfect, but we've certainly
    worked through every part of the whole calendar that you've got to set, the
    deadlines that you've got to meet.

    "We're as ready as we could be and have done as good a job as we could do to
    get to where we are now. We've got a lot of work to do yet, but I'm certainly
    happy with how it's gone."


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
    laram0 is offline Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Linehan's Rams get set to train for real

    I actually like to hear that Linehan is relying on Haslett. I really like Haslett and his approach to Football. He definitely has a nasty side to him and that's ok with me. As long as he can motivate while giving a butt kicking this "D" will be a very nice surprise for us Rams Fans.

    :ramlogo:

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