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  1. #1
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    Olson Aims to Help Rekindle Offense

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Although Greg Olson’s role as the Rams’ new offensive coordinator doesn’t include the usual play calling duties, there is no doubt that he will be an important piece of what the team is trying to do offensively.

    “It’s going to be a big role,” head coach Scott Linehan said. “Calling the plays is one thing, but on a day to day basis, implementing the plan during the season and evaluating the personnel that fit the characteristics that we require of our offensive players as a group…he will have big input in all of those things. I think his strength as an evaluator and a position coach will serve him well.”

    While Linehan will handle the majority of the play calling duties, Olson’s role will include working with quarterback Marc Bulger, putting the offense in during the week and serving as Linehan’s right-hand man.

    Olson and Linehan have never worked together, but both come from similar backgrounds. Olson spent the past two years as the quarterbacks coach for the Lions. Previously, he held the same position with the Bears and ***** in the NFL and Purdue and Idaho in college.

    He has worked with such quarterbacks as Jon Kitna, Drew Brees, Rex Grossman and Jeff Garcia in that time.

    While Linehan and Olson haven’t been on the same staff, they do have a history where their paths have crossed on a few occasions and clinics and camps. The two are from the same area in Washington and were raised in Dennis Erickson’s system.

    At the end of last season, Linehan and Olson discussed possibilities for the future and agreed that if something came up, they would keep each other in mind.

    “Throughout the 15 years that I coached college football we would often talk,” Olson said. “We’d both thought it would be interesting to see if we were ever able to get to the NFL and maybe share some of that philosophy and be able to work on a common staff together, maybe try some of the things that we had talked around as college coaches.”

    Now, that duo is charged with the task of getting the Rams back to the top of the league in total offense. After the glory days of the “Greatest Show on Turf,” the Rams fell off on offense last year. Although there is still plenty of talent in place, the offense sputtered in the red zone.

    Olson and Linehan clearly have a plan to give the offense a fresh look this season. That doesn’t mean that this offense will be completely different in how it attacks defenses, though.

    “It is going to be an aggressive style,” Olson said. “We’re going to be aggressive in our approach to game planning.”

    In other words, the Rams don’t plan on throttling down what they do. Rather, the offense will be an attacking yet balanced group predicated on a list of a few priorities.

    At the top of that list is protecting Bulger, who has missed chunks of the past two seasons with shoulder injuries.

    “How are we going to protect our quarterback?” Olson said. “Obviously, that will be a priority.

    “Obviously, we have to keep him healthy, number one. But I think he’s a tremendous player. I have all the respect in the world for Marc Bulger, and if we can keep him healthy, I think we’re going to have a heck of an offense next year.”

    The offensive line stabilized last season with the addition of right tackle Alex Barron, which should keep Bulger upright more often this year. As part of that plan, the Rams revamped the tight end position during the offseason by trading incumbent Brandon Manumaleuna and drafting Joe Klopfenstein and Dominique Byrd.

    With those changes in place, Linehan has hinted at the Rams using more two tight end sets to help protect Bulger. But the use of multiple tight ends will also help open up the field more and could help in put an end to the red zone woes of last year, according to Olson.

    Tight ends in the St. Louis offense combined for just 22 catches and two touchdowns last year.

    “It was an area we felt like we needed to address,” Olson said. “But we're not going to force-feed these tight ends. They're young, and we'll slowly bring them along. I would probably be disappointed if they didn't - between the two of them - have more than 22 catches.”

    Klopfenstein has been impressed so far by the commitment that Olson and the Rams have made to getting the tight end more involved.

    “They are saying they that need somebody to step up," Klopfenstein said. “It's an open job. It's a battle out there. It's going to help with us pushing each other.”

    One other area that could get the Rams back near the top of the league offensively is finding a balance between the run and pass that has been missing in the past two seasons.

    Running back Steven Jackson has said he is ready for a breakout year and is hoping to get more involved in the offense this year. That is one area Olson and Linehan hope to improve on in 2006.

    “If you can get the ball to him 20 times or more, he seems to get better,” Olson said. “We think that's a good number to shoot for. He's one of our primary weapons that needs to get touches.”

    Together, Olson and Linehan will get their chance to rekindle the “Greatest Show on Turf.”


  2. #2
    coy bacon is offline Registered User
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    Re: Olson Aims to Help Rekindle Offense

    Shrug.

    An unproven HC.

    An unproven OC.

    Two unproven TEs. Maybe both turn out to be duds? Then what? Would anyone be surprized if some experienced LBs eat their lunch, and then eat the QB?

    An aged O line with a lot of ? marks.

    A QB who as of late does not react well with moderate pounding.

    Not a good recipe for rekindling an offense.



    "You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make an honest effort to confer that pleasure on others? Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy."

  3. #3
    Rip32's Avatar
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    Re: Olson Aims to Help Rekindle Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by coy bacon
    Shrug.

    An unproven HC.

    An unproven OC.

    Two unproven TEs. Maybe both turn out to be duds? Then what? Would anyone be surprized if some experienced LBs eat their lunch, and then eat the QB?

    An aged O line with a lot of ? marks.

    A QB who as of late does not react well with moderate pounding.

    Not a good recipe for rekindling an offense.



    "You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make an honest effort to confer that pleasure on others? Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy."
    Pessimist much!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. #4
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    Re: Olson Aims to Help Rekindle Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by coy bacon
    Shrug.

    An unproven HC.

    An unproven OC.

    Two unproven TEs. Maybe both turn out to be duds? Then what? Would anyone be surprized if some experienced LBs eat their lunch, and then eat the QB?

    An aged O line with a lot of ? marks.

    A QB who as of late does not react well with moderate pounding.

    Not a good recipe for rekindling an offense.



    "You find yourself refreshed by the presence of cheerful people. Why not make an honest effort to confer that pleasure on others? Half the battle is gained if you never allow yourself to say anything gloomy."
    Jesus, coy. Hang on a minute.

    Unproven HC, but proven as an OC.

    Totally disagree about the O-line. Left guard is the only ?

    Bulger has survived a LOT of pounding, and don't forget, was injured getting blindsided trying to make a tackle.

    Didn't follow Byrd, but mark my words, I watched a lot of Colorado football, and Klopf's for real.

    ...and stop sugar-coating everything.
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

  5. #5
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    Re: Olson Aims to Help Rekindle Offense

    Olson spent the past two years as the quarterbacks coach for the Lions. Previously, he held the same position with the Bears and ***** in the NFL and Purdue and Idaho in college.

    He has worked with such quarterbacks as Jon Kitna, Drew Brees, Rex Grossman and Jeff Garcia in that time.
    Hmm. Joey Harrington's name seems to be conspicuously absent from this list.

  6. #6
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    Re: Olson Aims to Help Rekindle Offense

    Well he might of just worked with Garcia just like it says in the article that he is only working with Bulger, not fitz, frerotte, smoker.

  7. #7
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    Re: Olson Aims to Help Rekindle Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan4ever
    Well he might of just worked with Garcia just like it says in the article that he is only working with Bulger, not fitz, frerotte, smoker.
    Very doubtful. He was the quarterbacks coach for the Lions and Harrington was a quarterback. At least I think Harrington was a quarterback.

  8. #8
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    Re: Olson Aims to Help Rekindle Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by Rip32
    Pessimist much!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Was that a sentence?
    Quote Originally Posted by VegasRam
    Unproven HC, but proven as an OC.

    Totally disagree about the O-line. Left guard is the only ?
    Linehan is proven as an OC, but still is an unproven head coach - I believe Coy was referring to Olson as the unproven OC. I agree there and really have a bad feeling about this guy. The best anyone could come up with to sugarcoat Olson's track record/coaching history - Kitna, Brees, Grossman, and Garcia. Yikes. I'm hoping Bulger just sticks with whatever Martz tricks he's learned. As long as Olson stays away from the playcalling, though, I won't be too concerned about him having a significant [negative] impact on the offense.

    Not to be a nitpicker, but I think you missed Coy's point about this being an aged O-Line - a legitimate concern with Timmerman losing a step [by all accounts] last season, and McCollum soon to follow. The left guard spot mentioned, youngster Claude Terrell, doesn't really fit in that category, but with his reported problems + the good ol' donut brothers getting stale, you've got an interior line full of question marks. If it weren't for my confidence in Incognito and my belief that the 'overweight Terrell' story is overblown, I'd be worried.
    Last edited by evil disco man; -05-17-2006 at 11:12 PM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Olson Aims to Help Rekindle Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Disco Man
    As long as Olson stays away from the playcalling, though, I won't be too concerned about him having a significant [negative] impact on the offense.
    Agreed. Let's face it, Olsen is Linehan's Fairchild.

  10. #10
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    Re: Olson Aims to Help Rekindle Offense

    I am willing to give the guy a chance. I really don't beieve he was the issue in Detroit. (I HOPE)!

  11. #11
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    Re: Olson Aims to Help Rekindle Offense

    Coy pretty much nailed it. There are more question marks coming into this season than we had in 1999, but that year turned out to be a pretty good one didn't it?

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    Re: Olson Aims to Help Rekindle Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    Coy pretty much nailed it. There are more question marks coming into this season than we had in 1999, but that year turned out to be a pretty good one didn't it?

    Now that scares me. I am not, nor shall I ever be, as Ram knowledgeable as many on this board. So, when one of our top guys says I nailed something, it gives me a real bad feeling.

    And Evil Disco, please cease and desist from questioning other people's spelling or grammer. That is a task reserved only for moi`, and of course, our premier Batsman.

  13. #13
    evil disco man's Avatar
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    Re: Olson Aims to Help Rekindle Offense

    And Evil Disco, please cease and desist from questioning other people's spelling or grammer. That is a task reserved only for moi`, and of course, our premier Batsman.
    You mean 'grammar'?

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    coy bacon is offline Registered User
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    Re: Olson Aims to Help Rekindle Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Disco Man
    You mean 'grammar'?

    Arrgh! The curse of the Pharaoh upon me!

    :bow:

    -----------------------------------------------------

    Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, and members of the Supreme Court, ... How sharper than a serpent's tooth....
    It has come to my attention, that one said, "Evil Disco Man" is actually, a spell-checking ringer, and that he lingers in chat rooms and message boards, egging on and then challenging unknowing victims, such as myself, to a game of spell checking. He starts them off placing small bets on the desk, he has even been known to throw a couple of games, only to increase the stakes. Then, once he's got them in for all they're worth, he pounces! These poor victims are then undone by their own arrogance. A hustler by any other name should still know the color of money.
    Last edited by coy bacon; -05-18-2006 at 01:01 PM.

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