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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Offseason moves offer promise

    Bill Coats


    Things are settling down a bit at Rams Park in the midst of an offseason that has been busy and, it would appear, productive. Coach Scott Linehan revamped his staff, and the front office delved into free agency with a plan. And perhaps most important, an experienced personnel man Ė Billy Devaney Ė was brought in. Letís look at these three areas:

    >>Linehan, clearly on the ropes after the clubís inelegant 3-13 pratfall in í07, made a bold stroke in hiring Al Saunders as offensive coordinator. Saunders not only brings a wealth of experience, but the move also signals that former OC Linehan truly is committed to immersing himself in his HC role and finally leaving the offense to others. Now, both of Linehanís coordinators are former NFL head coaches, an indication that heís not afraid to surround himself with key aides who tote long and impressive resumes. Thatís an important asset for any leader.

    According to several sources, Steve Loney should be a significant upgrade over Paul Boudreau as offensive line coach, an area of vital importance heading into the coming season. QBs coach Terry Shea has a solid reputation and should be able to help fine-tune Marc Bulgerís game, something his predecessor, Doug Nussmeier, was unable to do.

    Art Valero (running backs/assistant head coach) gives Linehan another veteran NFL mind to tap into, and Ron Milus (secondary) was ready for a promotion.

    >>The addition of Jacob Bell, the presumptive starter at left guard, provides Loney with several options. Mark Setterstrom figures to get a long look at center. If that doesnít work, Richie Incognito could move back to center, with Setterstrom sliding over to his spot at right guard. And incumbent Brett Romberg certainly is in the picture at center, too.

    Kicker Josh Brown is a more-than-suitable successor for the retired Jeff Wilkins, and Ben Becht could be the hard-blocking tight end that Linehan has been seeking since arriving here.

    The Trent Green signing also makes sense, particularly since Linehan has given up on the two-quarterback strategy that backfired last season and figures to bring in a young QB for grooming.

    >>The team took a bit of a gamble a couple of years ago on Tony Softli, whose personnel experience was mainly limited to college players, and it didnít work out well. Devaney has plenty of pro and college experience, and he will be the clear leader in personnel matters, something that had been lacking.

    Of course, as promising as the offseason moves appear, their true value wonít be determined for some time. Plus, the Rams still have plenty of work ahead of them in shoring up several obvious areas of need (e.g., defensive end, cornerback, wide receiver) on the field.

    Can all be addressed in the draft? Probably not. So, the shopping bag might still be open.

    ***

    Watching Brett Favreís retirement news conference brought the release of Isaac Bruce even more into focus. Itís a shame that Bruce couldnít have finished his career with the Rams, but loyalty and emotion donít have a place in the big business of pro football these days.

    The Rams simply couldnít afford to keep Bruce at the salary he was due. With so many areas to address, they badly needed the cap space. It was the right decision, however wrenching it might have been to Bruceís fans.

    How strange will it be to see Bruce in the Ninersí red and gold . . . with Mike Martz perched on the SF sideline?

    All for now. . .


  2. #2
    Ram Dragoon's Avatar
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    Re: Offseason moves offer promise

    Oh now that will indeed be a sad state off affairs to see Bruce dressed in anything Blue and Gold...but to have him in Frisco!! I want to throw up.
    :x

    Okkieeeeee....So Scotty corrected his 07 boo-boos in terms coaching personal. Only took a thumping 3-13 season to bring reality home to roost there. Not sure yet if the new faces on the general staff will jell to provide the team leadership that is desperately needed.

    Yet free agency is open and I don't see much on the Ram front. More so Bruce finds himself in FRISCO of all places....on the same sideline as Madman Martz--THAT DOES ABODE WELL FOR THE RAMS--having one of them there is bad enough--BUT both!!

    Grrrrr, I hate having to wait--been hoping the football Gods would bless Linehan with a spark of genious and he would pull something great off...yet nothing yet


    Yet till a better picture paints itself, I don't think it will be untill August 1st before I either can cheer or weep

  3. #3
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    Re: Offseason moves offer promise

    Well I must agree that was a pretty good post. We signed Becht so we can have McMichael catch a few touchdowns instead of saving our QB's butt. I laughed about it, sure, "great Linehan signed another TE". But to think about it, we have yet opened another area we can throw to, and the target is McMichael. Becht can now do some blocking.

    Jacob Bell, where do I start. What a great signing. Sure, itll put either Romberg, Incognito or Setterstrom on the bench, but if someone goes down, we have a good back up out of them. Bell is a player who can play many positions on the line. And if someone goes out, shift him and move one of the back ups at LG. Itll work great.

    Josh Brown, we have a new kicker. Wilkins gave us a great number of years, and all we can do is thank him for his amazing work in the horns. Now, Brown and his deal will keep the position locked for many years.

    Trent Green. I love the fact that we now have a QB who is better than Frerotte...but the pay check this guy is earning probably isn't worth it.

    I'm glad we made staff upgrades. If Daveney wasn't here, we'd have three more tight ends and will be drafting one in the first round. Daveney knows whats best, we've made nothing but good moves, nothing to cry about.

    Daveney will definately affect the draft, he knows our needs and will address them properly.

    Saunders will be a great addition too. He's got a 30 pound play book. If we get a great receiver, maybe fullback, we'll have a great offensive year.

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    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Offseason moves offer promise

    Scotty corrected his 07 boo-boos in terms coaching personal
    Sounds a lot like '98 when Vermeil "corrected" some of his staff at well. Brought in Martz, the rest is history. Shaw was active in that decision.......makes me wonder if Shaw wasn't standing over Linehan's shoulder on these decisions as well.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    mpire's Avatar
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    Re: Offseason moves offer promise

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    pratfall
    That covers pretty much everything.

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    Re: Offseason moves offer promise

    I think this offseason only offers the promise of another bad regular season. There were so many holes and we filled so few of them. In fact, I'd say more holes opened up then were closed. Unless we have the greatest draft in the history of the National Football League, we should ready ourselves for another disappointing 17 weeks and then another fresh start with a new head coach.

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    Re: Offseason moves offer promise

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Bill Coats

    The Trent Green signing also makes sense, particularly since Linehan has given up on the two-quarterback strategy that backfired last season and figures to bring in a young QB for grooming.
    We had a two-quarterback strategy last year? With Gus? For reals? That is not believable.

    Mr. Coats sees a young QB in out future. Hmmmm.

  8. #8
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    Re: Offseason moves offer promise

    Quote Originally Posted by BM_Face View Post
    We had a two-quarterback strategy last year? With Gus? For reals? That is not believable.

    Mr. Coats sees a young QB in out future. Hmmmm.
    I think what is meant there is that the Rams only carried two (instead of three) QBs on the roster.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Tony Banks's Avatar
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    Re: Offseason moves offer promise

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Sounds a lot like '98 when Vermeil "corrected" some of his staff at well. Brought in Martz, the rest is history. Shaw was active in that decision.......makes me wonder if Shaw wasn't standing over Linehan's shoulder on these decisions as well.
    That's a great point. I love the correlation and optimism.
    :1:

  10. #10
    RANDYRAM Guest

    Re: Offseason moves offer promise

    I'm GLAD there doing some thing !

    IMO:Linhan has done allot of damage to this team!
    (1) He gets rid of the only TE we have. then drafts Bird and Klop! A double FLOP!
    (2) He gets rid of the only FB we have. Then drafts Lenard a 2 broken shoulder FB= FLOP!
    (3) He gets rid of the only young QB we have. With 0 to back up 5 int's in 1 game
    Ferrott= FLOP!
    (4) He brings Back Trent 1 hit and your out Green for 9 mill OMG????
    (5) He brings Fisker can't stay off drugs Brown!
    (6) They sign HUGE CONTRACTS to M. Bulger & T. Isamooa two guys that can't
    stay HEALTHY for a hole year! With little or no future back up's!
    I not saying they aren't good! They just can't seem to stay on the Field!
    (7) They let I.Bruce go because they signed Mark & Tino for to much$$

    IMO: THE FUTURE LOOKS BLEAK!!

    I'm still HOPING SOMEHOW we can turn this around!!
    I've been a rams fan for 38 yrs and I'm not stopping now!

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