By Jeff Gordon
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Don: Ron Bartell dosen't even TRY to tackle. He is an embarassment. He dances around our runs in parallel, very sad.
Jeff Gordon: Yeah, but he got an interception, forced a fumble and nearly had another pick in the end zone. The kid has come a long way. Until the final drive of this, the Rams were OK on run defense. Remember, too, that the defense was on the field a lot today -- 66 plays from scrimmage.
tim: Congrats to Scot Linehan on getting his 3rd year guaranteed. His excellant play calling is a joy to watch. I love how he mixes up incomplete 1st down passes on 1st down with the draw plays up the middle on 2nd and ten. That leads to 3rd and 12 which is one of the most exciting plays in football. And with our o-line blocking its even more exciting. But I especially liked his gutsy call on 3rd and 20 when Berlin hit Holt for a 4 yd gain.Im sure Shaw will see how exciting this is for fans and do the right thing in giving Scotty a 3 year contract extension.
Jeff Gordon: Ah, sarcasm. Gotta love it on a rainy day.
morris Puma: Why doesn't Linehan change his stradegy. Every game is the same, no offense in the secord half or no offense in the whole game. Did he notice the TE on Dallas caught 15 balls today, that is a whole season for the Ram's TES. All the games the Rams receiver's are well covered, but Linehan continues to not throw to the TE. His play calling makes it to easy for the other teams. Why is he so stubborn? Why doesn't he figure it out? If you can't score you're not going to win any games. They have good offensive weapons, but refuses to use all of his talent. The TE from Usc caught 4 passes in one game, so I guess Linehan put him on the inactive list for the rest of the season as his reward. He has been used so infrequently I can't even remember his name.
Jeff Gordon: The playcalling in this game can't be compared to playcalling in another other game. Berlin had almost no work with the offense before this game. So he got the pared down, emergency game plan.
Mike: Gordo, I can't imagine the situation next year if Rams management doesn't do something BIG in the off-season (like a new coach). I for one am not impressed with 10$ gift certificates for food, or bands in the concourse. I won't continue to pay for a season ticket to watch yawners, and that's all Linehan is capable of producing. The Ed Dome will be completely filled with other teams' fans if they don't convince me and others like me that it's worth paying the freight.
I would like to remind all and sundry that during Game 1 and 2, we had our entire offensive line (less Steussie) and still couldn't score any points.
Baloney! We didn't have Pace either. Losing your left tackle during the first game is a big deal.
Jeff Gordon: No question, those two games and the Frerotte Fumble game should have been Ws. A better coach seals those deals. No question, Rams fans will bail. Expect many blackouts next season.
Next year will be quite a test for this franchise. If Shaw does still with Linehan, a LOT will have to be done to help him get to the high side of .500 for a change.
Bill: Hey Gordo.....
while I would rather see the Rams win than lose....DUH!!! I just get the feeling that some people are fair weather fans that complain when they lose and cheer when they win!!! Sure there is a lot of work the Rams need to do, but I think if St. Louis fans should know anything it's not going to happen in one year...it took 5 years before the Warner miracle and that only happened after the starting QB (Trent Green) was injured. Lighten up people!!!!
Jeff Gordon: A team can turn in one year, as the Rams did in '99 by trading for Faulk, drafting Holt, adding Timmerman as a free agent, hiring Martz as offensive coordinator, so on and so forth. They had FA money to spend, since a lot of guys played out their contracts in '98. They made a tactical shift and overhauled the coaching staff.
The challenge will be tougher this time, though, because there is far less cap flexibility with the Little, Bulger and Pace deals on the books.
Ethan Shepley: Jeff,
The simple fact that Berlin had 0 interceptions today shows that Linehan was playing not to lose too bad, not playing to win. When will this guy put some trust in his players and just let them play. If they fail, fine, but give them the chance to either flourish or fail. How will we ever know how good our players can be if we don't continuously give them opportunities to succeed? I'm sure Scott Linehan is a nice man, but his cajones would need to be inspected with a microscope. He coaches scared, and he's depleting an already shaky fan base with boring football. Need I say more?
Jeff Gordon: I agree that Linehan puts too much emphasis on avoiding mistakes and not enough on making plays. Jackson, Holt, McMichael and Bruce give this team the weapons to make plays.
But with Berlin playing QB, playing it safe isn't the worst idea in the world. Airing it out with Brock could have led to a huge fiasco.
Sean: WHATEVER! GO STEELERS BEAT THE PATS! HERE'S TO DRAFT DAY! Who's looking like the best pick for the Rams in the draft? Thanks Jeff, arguably the best writer in St. Louis.
Jeff Gordon: Either of the Longs, the DE or the OT, would help. At both positions, the Rams have a Pro Bowl player past their physical prime.
Dan Lum: I know the Rams front office doesn't have the franchise on assinine decisions, but BOY, they have made a big time run at being named the league's major shareholders in theat department. I just cannot fathom keeping Linehan another year. The injuries will never end, and Linehan's presence will be rationalized once again. He simply cannot lead an NFL team. What this all boils down to is that the front office wants an obedient yes-man who doesn't talk back. In that respect, they have the perfect guy, and THAT is really pathetic.
Jeff Gordon: Can't deny that the Rams wanted an easy-to-work-with coach after the Martz meltdown. And I can't deny that Linehan still has to prove himself as a NFL leader.
Bill: Again with the injury excuses from Shaw and the rest of the clowns. Good coaches overcome or at least provide respectable showings. If Shaw can't see that, then we as fans should do the only thing that gets their attention and not show up, buy merchandise, etc.
Jeff Gordon: If anybody has an example of team overcoming such injuries -- starting left tackle, top pass rusher, starting linebacker, both starting guards, No. 3 and No. 4 tackles, starting cornerback, No. 1 quarterback, Pro Bowl running back, so on and so forth -- I'd like to see it.
I have obvious doubts about the leadership of this football operation, but injuries are far more an excuse this year. They defined the Rams season.
Craig: I can almost accept Linehan coming back. But it seems to be a trend where we think management is going to do what seems obvious and then slips in the old "ah nevermind, maybe next year" deal. And I guess that's fine, but what I think absolutely cannot be put off is a new front office. Why do I get the feeling that that too will be put off until there's no more semblance of a good team and no more fans to even care?
Jeff Gordon: Fans are going to bail on the Rams after this season. The franchise will have to win them back. Changes have to be made to give the team a chance to do that. It'll be interesting to watch the off-season unfold.
jjg: I watched the Rams since 1978...the defense has been a nice suprise since Haslett took over(rip Marmie) but the offense looks more like a first year expansion team...yes Linehan has injuries but the second halfs have been horrific(and thats when coaches make their adjustments)Linehan is no Pete Carroll!!...Your feeling after watching this game?
Jeff Gordon: There isn't a whole lot he could do offensively with Berlin. If he guns away with the guy, then a bunch of INTs turn this game into a route. There aren't a lot of great No. 3 QBs out there. We've seens a number of obscure QBs play across the league this year and the results havent' been great.
Chris Merkle: Jeff:
This team and franchise is a total joke. Nothing left to be said. Talk is cheap.
I am no longer a fan.
Jeff Gordon: Did you really think this team would win at Cincinnati with a totally untested quarterback, playing under emergency circumstances? They did well to beat the spread.
Bob: Hi Jeff,
It looks like this pathetic excuse of an NFL team will finish 3-13. NO WAY do they win the next three-PERIOD!!
Shaw wants Lenihan back? I think it's dog track time for Shaw, Georgia, and the rest of "management."
What a joke! Lenihan is making Tommy Prothro look like Vince Lombardi!
Jeff Gordon: Again we get the Tommy Prothro references. This is not good.
Picklefork: If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound?
If the Rams lose again and nobody is around to see it, does it still really matter?
Welcome to obscurity St.Louis Rams.
Jeff Gordon: Yeah, if the Rams played their home games outside, we're hear the crickets. Nothing to see here folks. Move along.
kevin: Did I read correctly that John Shaw said the Rams have been competitive this year??? They have NO offense. I thought this was supposed to be Linehan's area of expertise?
Jeff Gordon: Yeah, the Rams have been competitive. Three of their losses cam by narrow margins. This wasn't a terrible game, under the circumstances. What can the team do on the road with an inexperience and untested offense.
Joe Stafford: Jeff, Chalk up another weekend with nothing to cheer about. I have been a Rams fan since 1975, and I wish you could explain to me what John Shaw sees in Scott Linehan as the head coach for next year? I constantly have to hear how bad the front office is at Rams park and yet I try to defend them. If they keep Linehan, they have lost me as a fan! We fired Mike Martz for this Clown? I am REALLY Pissed off at Shaw and his cronies! Why won't Ms. Georgia do all the Rams fans a HUGE favor and sell the team to someone who actually cares about the team. I guess I'm headed off to the sporting goods store to try on other jerseys, either Packers, Steelers, Cowboys or Patriots! I have had enough of this sorry @#$ franchise!!
Jeff Gordon: Shaw hasn't seen greatness from Linehan. But he seems to believe that this team suffered so many injuries taht evaluating the coach is impossible.
Mark Williams: You know, Jeff, the key question about Shaw and Linehan is: Can they effectively evaluate talent? So far we can have doubts about Linehan's preparation and Linehan's game management. In the end though, do you think these two can find the best talent and create a winning football team?
Jeff Gordon: Shaw isn't a football guy and doesn't pretend to be. So the Rams need stronger leadership in the president/football operations role. Jay Zygmunt ought to focus on managing the cap, which he does well.
As for Linehan, no, he hasn't proven to be a viable NFL leader. This team didn't collapse amid all the injuries, which is a credit to the coach. But Scott hasn't been able to elevate this team either. He is 11-18 with three games to go in Year 2.
anonymous: I can't think of any reason to continue supporting this franchise. Ownership has milked St. Louis for everything it could without making any commitment to field a competitive team. The Kurt Warner era was a total fluke and was not a reflection of any acumen on the part of the ownership. I am one charter PSL owner that has had enough of this inept ownership.
Jeff Gordon: The ownership has sunk big money into guys not playing right now -- Bulger, Little and Pace. Financial commitment is not the issue. Now, overall management of the football operation is another matter.
I just read the article about Linehan returning next year... YIPEEEEEEE!!!!!!!
Please tell me John Shaw is playing some practical joke on us fans?!?!?!?
Do you think Bulger should sit out the remainder of the year?
What's up with Jackson running for some major yardage in the first half in the past few games and then minimal yardage in the second half?
Jeff Gordon: Opposing teams are sitting on Jackson. He still had a nice second-half run in this game that got erased by a holding penalty.
Bulger shouldn't play unless he feels great for about two weeks running.
Eric: Gordo, given the fact that Shaw has guaranteed that Linehan is all but insured to return for 2008 what would the 3 top things be the Rams must absolutely do/accomplish in the off-season to get this team back on track and get the fans excited about next season. Also, do you see the Rams being active this off-season in free agency?
Jeff Gordon: Yes, the Rams will be active.
Areas of need:
Strong third tackle, given Pace's age/injury history.
Another edge rusher, unless DE Eric Moore is viewed as legit.
Hard-hitting safety to play next to Atogwe.
Hard-hitting inside linebacker.
Speedy third receiver.
Young QB to groom.
Young C to groom.
Kick returner to replace Hall, due to age/injuries.
Eldrick Faversham, Jr.: Hi Gordo:
The Scott Linehan buffoonery continues.
I am most angry that Bulger even practiced this week. Berlin should have gotten EVERY snap in practice. Then maybe he would have had a fighting chance this Sunday. Instead, the desire to play Bulger shows that Linehan is not interested in the long-term well being of the Rams. Maybe he figures he needs to win 6 games to save his job, so he’s willing to risk player’s health. The signs were there that Bulger couldn’t play and Berlin could have used the practice as he was totally ineffective today. Shame on Linehan. If Shaw brings him back it will be a travesty.
Jeff Gordon: Yeah, under the circumstances, Berlin should have taken more snaps with the first-team offense, starting Wednesday. Bulger sounded skeptical of his status -- while Linehan seemed sure that Marc would play.
shane gray: I realize we have a guy in at QB who has never played before so I am already prepared for any of a myriad of build it, cliche excuses from the Rams (and others) regarding our ultra conservative game plan. Zero offensive points well into 4th quarter. No aggression. I realize we have to play smart, but we don't have to play scared and we still must have a little aggression to have a chance at a W.
With that said, WHY NOT START STEVEN JACKSON AT QB?!!! Seriously, why not? At least there is the option of the QB run or the option. Surely he could throw for 11, 12 yards on the day or whatever pitiful numbers we have today. Seriously, I am maybe 1% sarcastic here, tops. And it is sad and ridicoulous that is has come to this.
IF WE'RE GOING TO LOSE LOSE FIGHTING AND COACHING LIKE A MAN!!!!!!!!!!!! STEP UP AND COACH TO TRY AND MAKE A PLAY. GET A COACH WITH SOME TYPE OF FIGHT IN HIM!
Jeff Gordon: The team was conservative because Berlin spent precious little time working with the first unit. With a full week of practice, Brock could probably do a bit more.
But Ram fans need to wish Bulger a full and speedy recovery.
As for Jackson, the Rams got him 22 touches. Not bad, given the circumstances. The Bengals sat on the guy and he still racked up some yardage.
Billy D: How is Georgia's health these days? With her owning these team and her cronies running the show, we have no chance to turn this around. Haslett for President 08!
Jeff Gordon: In fairness to Georgia, he had nothing to do with letting Fletcher, Bly, Curtis, Pickett, Furrey, McDonald et all leave for other teams.
Will not watch Rams if Linehan comes back fan.: We need to get rid of this coach. The teams record last year was Mike Martz team. The fool gave away Fitzpatrick to Cincinnati and picked up two dingleberries that played for him before. Both of them stink royaly. Just "can him" now and let him take all of his Ex-Dolphins players with him. Just look how well the team he left behind is doing. We picked up a losing coach with losing ways that can't even score on the one yard line on first and ten.
Jeff Gordon: The body of Linehan's work suggests he is not a loser -- and it's not like he was the GM that put that Dolphins team together. Having said that, Scott hasn't proven he is a legit head coach. It appears he will get one more chance to do that.
Billy D: We need to hope the Rams do not win another game. They have no chance of doing anything with this season. MAYBE it gets Linehan kicked to the curb. We do not need to screw up a draft pick for next year. Everyone will talk about momentum into the next season, I would rather have Jake Long than 1 or 2 wins from an otherwise horrendous year
Jeff Gordon: Given the injuries, it seems Shaw is willing to give Linehan his third year. The Rams competed pretty well today, under the circumstances, so that helped Scott's case. The team hasn't quit on him.
jjg: Its just my opinion but to me and to the near future of the RAMS, Bulger should take as long as possible to make sure his head is right and Not come back too soon as he might risk futher injury for a lost season...if he's hurt or missed next season that would be the real tragedy of this season....nice article on Bulger Jeff...also I have been on J. Thomas on why (especially given recent history)that we do not have a young QB to groom using this valuable game time(yes Bulger just got 65mil)but Linehan is a former O.C...another rookie HC mistake? Your thoughts? Thanks for the time.
Jeff Gordon: Linehan didn't belive Fitzpatrick was that young QB worth grooming in this system. He didn't see signing him as a free agent after this season. So he moved the kid and left the franchise without a young QB.
But with that large commitment to Bulger -- the signing bonus that creates cap trouble -- the Rams weren't going to change No. 1 QBs any time soon. Drafting a mid-round QB next spring could make sense, realizing that it may take the kid a couple years to get ready.
The kid could spend Year One as the No. 3, then replace Gus as the back-up in 2009.
Jeff_H: I can't take anymore of Shaw and the Rams. I lived through the first 4 years of inept football and I'm not doing it again. Why can't they just hire a GM?
Jeff Gordon: I would expect to see some change. If we don't, this regime will get pounded every day until the team starts winning again -- if that ever happens.
Patrick: Wilkens has proven he has lost the ability to hit field goals outdoors and away, not to mention in bad weather and hostile environments. Will he be back next year?
Jeff Gordon: He hit a 50-yarder under tough circumstnces, so, no, his departure is not a sure thing for next year. Might the Rams save some money at this position to hit other needs? Anything is possible.
Chris: Hello Jeff,
In the big scheme of life, I'm grateful St. Louis has an NFL team, and I support the Rams win or lose. Inasmuch as winning is a lot more fun, I can't imagine another season with Scott Linehan at the reins. I realize this has been an injury plagued season, however, Linehan's coaching abilities leave alot to be desired, as he is the most predictable, unimaginative, colorless, and dowright boring play caller I've ever seen. Do you really beleive John Shaw will leave him in place as head coach?
Jeff Gordon: Despite your assessment of Linehan, yes, I do think Shaw will stick with him. The Bulger injury sealed the deal. This season is officially lost, with injuries as Factor One. In essence, the injuries provide this staff the cover it needed to survive.
BobjMc: Thanks again for this. My rant has little to do with the game, but...
1. If Scott L returns, he should play the pre-season like it means something (i.e. get the 1st team ready). I do believe if you don't play hard in pre-season, you are not ready mentally, and physically more prone to injuries. I say, keep the first team in the game until they score a touchdown.
2. Tell Scott L that he has to attack the middle of the field, and teach Bulger how to throw long (more than 30 yards).
3. Use the tight end on pass plays IN THE MIDDLE of the field.
4. Get a real offensive coordinator. Perhaps a bright QB coach somewhere, or a bright (see the word bright) college offensive coordinator...who can bring some life into the offense.
5. Players-we all know to draft a few offinsvie linemen (one with a 2-3 pick and one in late rounds).
6. Buy a tough middle LB
Any of these make sense to you, Jeff?
Jeff Gordon: Can't argue with it -- except that Linehan really IS the offensive coordinator, so asking him to change himself will be tough. Any coordinator working under him has little sway.
Ramgal1: Open Letter to John Shaw:
Since you've already decided to stick with your boy Linny,
be aware of the fact that Rams fans hold you fully accountable for the state of this franchise. Any criticisms that have come your way this year, will be mild
compared to what you're setting yourself up for next year.
Linehan must win next year -- the division back from Seattle, and in the playoffs. Anything less will be unacceptable. It's all on you now Shaw...make it happen.
Failure is not an option.
Jeff Gordon: Man, you sound like one of my old bosses . . .
NFC: I think it says a lot that the comments during the game and the comments here seem to be few and far between. I think the fans have already started voting on a continued Linehan regime. We'll watch other games or do yard work when the Rams are on. I won't stop being a fan...but I'm not going to waste my time watching or worrying about anything this team does until ownership gets serious about competing.
Jeff Gordon: I'm sure that will be the consensus here and in the forums until further notice. Can't blame you . . .
st louis winners wanted: Gordo,
Unfortunately, the organization is tainted from THE VERY Top all the way down to Linehan. The only thing that will wake up their LOSING WAYS is a shake up starting with MR. Shaw. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll be able to go any higher than that. How many times has Shaw been in the rams locker room this year. How many times were the Cardinals owners at their games. Night and Day between these two organizations. Gordo, It's better if the games are blacked out. I only like to watch Quality football anyway. All a St Louis fan requires is that you try your hardest to WIN and that you have a good attitude. When we don't get that, we don't spend and Unfortunately, that might be the only MESSAGE that GETS thru to MR. Hollywood Shaw.
Jeff Gordon: Empty seats send a clear message, more so than e-mails, chat postings or forum rants.
BobjMc: Because Miami is going so bad, perhaps all the old cronies of Scott L will already be out of the league...so we can stop worryong about becoming "Miami West".
Jeff Gordon: Who is having a tougher year, Linehan or his guy Bobby Petrino? Toss up. Petrino had the Vick fiasco and Linehan lost a huge chunk of his starting lineup to injuries.
Robin: So, I understand that we have had tons of injuries this year...but what about last year. Scott Linehan's record for both years has stunk. He needs to go and I wish Shaw could pull his head out. I have been a fan for 30 years and this is just pathetic.
Jeff Gordon: Can't say that I was dazzled by 8-8 last year, so that point is well taken.
Patrick: Very true, however it was a big miss he made. Instead of being down 19-10, it would have been a one score game, and the Rams wouldn't have had to rush to score. He has just been much less consistent this year than in the past, and I think it's time for a change. In the dome he is still fairly reliable, but outdoors it's more likely to see him miss than make these days. The Tampa Game really strikes me.
Jeff Gordon: With Jeff, the fact he isn't automatic anymore may convince the Rams to buy a less expensive kicker. The Rams paid a premium for a guy to hit that 40-yarder when the game was in the balance. The fact he doesn't hit such kicks in his sleep anymore changes his value to the team.