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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Magic can't save Rams season, but problems shouldn't linger

    By Jeff Gordon
    ONLINE SPORTS COLUMNIST
    Sunday, Oct. 14 2007

    It’s been a tough Sunday here in cyberspace. Duty forced your correspondent to
    watch the entire Rams game, which was an uncommonly painful experience.

    Then duty required a lengthy chat session with disgruntled and disgusted fans.
    About 100 replies later, I’d like to make two overriding points.

    The local NFL souvenir shops don’t sell magic wands. The Rams are 0-6 and
    riddled with injuries. Coach Scott Linehan hasn’t found many answers, but
    hiring an ex-coach from the broadcast booth isn’t feasible in October.
    Improvement during this season will have to come within the current group, one
    way or another. The current coaches must coach better and the surviving players
    must play better.

    Turning around the Rams after this season shouldn’t be a long-term project.
    Dramatic reversals of form are the norm in the Not For Long league. Green Bay
    is 5-1 this season and Tampa Bay is 4-2. Conversely, the Saints went to Seattle
    winless and the explosive Bengals lost four of their first five games. Things
    change in a hurry in the NFL.

    Believe it or not, the Rams do have some young players to build around. Clifton
    Ryan and Adam Carriker were forceful in the middle of the defensive line the
    last two weeks. Tye Hill, Jonathan Wade, O.J. Atogwe, Victor Adeyanju, Mark
    Setterstrom, Richie Incognito, Brian Leonard -– these kids all have some value.

    This is a different offense when Steven Jackson, Orlando Pace, Marc Bulger,
    Isaac Bruce, Drew Bennett and Dante Hall are all healthy. We never saw that
    scenario this season and we never will.

    Defensive veterans Leonard Little, James Hall, Fakhir Brown and Will
    Witherspoon are worthy players, although Witherspoon would be more forceful
    playing outside linebacker.

    Before players began to fall, I believed the Rams would start this season by
    winning four of their first six games. Instead, they lost all six as their
    casualties mounted.

    The difference between 4-2 and 0-6 isn’t as great as you would think. Better
    health, better coaching, better effort and better luck could have kept these
    same players in contention.

    But this season, Linehan reminds us, “is what it is.” The Rams failure is, as
    Linehan says, “humbling.”

    (“Embarrassing” is another word for it, but Linehan objected to that adjective
    at his news conference last Monday.)

    In the near term, Linehan and his assistants must coach every day as if it is
    their last. They must try new strategies and different motivational tactics.

    They must turn Rams Park upside down. Business as usual won’t cut it anymore.
    This is an emergency. Players should feel the sense of urgency when they walk
    in the door Monday -– and they should feel it every day through the end of the
    season.

    If urgency brings a few volcanic eruptions along the way, then so be it.
    Composure is an overrated quality on 0-6 teams. Just ask the Vikings, who
    knocked off the Bears after an, um, exciting week of preparations.

    In the longer term, the Rams should heed Bernie Miklasz’s advice. The current
    way of running this football operation does not work. John Shaw and Jay Zygmunt
    really want to win -– and that’s great -– but their operating method has failed.

    This franchise must hire the most capable football man it can woo to chart its
    future course. That could come in the form of a team president, general
    manager, head coach -– or some combination of all those jobs. The Rams need
    stronger leadership at the top.

    We all know there is a fine line between winning and losing in the NFL. The
    talent is evenly spread. Over the long haul, teams with better management and
    better coaching prevail.

    Injuries and luck are unhappy X-factors, but well-run teams have a much better
    chance to plow through those variables. The Rams are NOT a well-run team.

    The Rams are NOT giving themselves their best chance to win with the players
    left standing.

    In the near term, the current coaches and players need to try everything to
    salvage some good things from this season. They owe that to themselves, their
    employer and the fans. In many cases, their careers are on the line.

    For the long term, Georgia Frontiere, Stan Kroenke, Shaw and Zygmunt must come
    up with new and better ways of doing things. Hiring Dick Vermeil turned out to
    be a masterstroke -– and now this far-flung leadership team needs another one.


  2. #2
    jkramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Magic can't save Rams season, but problems shouldn't linger

    in giving Linehan some credit for continuing to show up for work everyday, I have a bit of a problem with the quote "it is what it is" to me is not acceptable words coming from a coach since it sounds to me he is accepting the lousy play and everything that is controllable by him of course minus the large numbers of injuries, which he can't control.

  3. #3
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    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
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    Re: Magic can't save Rams season, but problems shouldn't linger

    Jeff Gordon is stealing my themes again! Do your own work, Jeff!

  4. #4
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Magic can't save Rams season, but problems shouldn't linger

    "Hiring dick vermeil was a masterstroke" Crapola in my view. Everyone forgets how terrible the rams were during the first portion of the vermeil era. Keep in mind he was on the verge of being fired and the rams were 4-12 in 1998.

    Trading a 2 and a 5 for the greatest ram ever, marshall faulk, was the masterstroke. Martz created the greatest offense the nfl has ever seen.

    Was vermeil a good coach? Of course he was. But the key was the talent, not so much vermeil. Faulk changed the franchise, with warner of course, but without faulk, we never win it all.

    Linehan isnt as bad as he looks. Talent is the critical component and with us looking like a MASH unit, we just dont have it. You can fire linehan and resurrect both vince lombardi and knute rockne, or hire cowher if you want, but with this group, we arent going to win squat. We need to get healthy first.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel

    ps In the "masterstroke" category, who drafted lawrence phillips?


  5. #5
    jkramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Magic can't save Rams season, but problems shouldn't linger

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    "Hiring dick vermeil was a masterstroke" Crapola in my view. Everyone forgets how terrible the rams were during the first portion of the vermeil era. Keep in mind he was on the verge of being fired and the rams were 4-12 in 1998.

    Trading a 2 and a 5 for the greatest ram ever, marshall faulk, was the masterstroke. Martz created the greatest offense the nfl has ever seen.

    Was vermeil a good coach? Of course he was. But the key was the talent, not so much vermeil. Faulk changed the franchise, with warner of course, but without faulk, we never win it all.

    Linehan isnt as bad as he looks. Talent is the critical component and with us looking like a MASH unit, we just dont have it. You can fire linehan and resurrect both vince lombardi and knute rockne, or hire cowher if you want, but with this group, we arent going to win squat. We need to get healthy first.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel

    ps In the "masterstroke" category, who drafted lawrence phillips?
    good points,but isn't the mark of a good coach what he can do with the talent he has,I agree it's not his fault for the injuries,but he has to do something with these guys,I see nothing from him that indicates he can make something out of the season,I hope he does and I will be the first in line to say I was wrong if he can,he needs to take good players and make them very good players and even some of them great players.I wish him luck.

  6. #6
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    Re: Magic can't save Rams season, but problems shouldn't linger

    Linehan will NOT turn the Rams around this year. I don't think it will happen, we will win a few games at some point every team gets lucky, we will catch a break sooner or later.

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    Ramazing is offline Registered User
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    Re: Magic can't save Rams season, but problems shouldn't linger

    Even the best coach in the history of coaching can only do so much with players with limited abilities. We have a ton of second and third stringers starting now, as well as cast offs from other teams. No matter how good the coach is, you can't teach talent. After all, there is a REASON these guys are not starters. We tend to forget that.

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