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    Postgame With Gordo

    By Jeff Gordon
    Thursday, December 20, 2007

    wiramfan: Finally after 2 years of this crap I was able to channel through Torry Holt!! It sure felt good to tell Linehan off!!!

    Pathetic.. Smile and laugh some more you stupid son of a ....

    Do we really have to take this crap another year?

    Jeff Gordon: So THAT is why Torry went nuts. Nice work!
    ---------------------------------
    shane gray: Deion and Marshall tried to put to bed any rumors of the possibility that this could/should be Isaac's last home game for the Rams. Just looking at his game tonight, for example, and some of the amazing plays he made, it is apparent that he can still play at a very high level. Although his catches have been down this year, anyone reading much into that needs to realize:

    we have had massive O-line problems, making it tough to have time to run routes

    Bulger has been banged up most of the year

    Linehan consistently calls plays that are not best suited for Ike or Torry

    Isaac still has ten times the quicks and playmaking ability than Drew Bennett will ever have. If Bennett returns and Ike does not, you are looking at the biggest Rams fan in Southern Missouri considering jumping ship. This man defines the best of the Rams organization in so many ways, on and off the field, and, again, his play is outstanding regardless of his birthday total.

    Jeff Gordon: Bennett has to be better than he showed this season, when the injuries slowed him down. But keeping Drew and whacking Ike would make fans furious.
    -----------------------------
    Ron: I own 4 PSL's but live in Jeff City. I did not attend a single game this year but refused to sell my tickets to fans from the opposing teams. However, if the Rams don't make a move at Head Coach in the off season i will probably just let my PSL's lapse; it isn't worth spending the extra money for 4 season tickets to see a team with as much talent as the Rams coached by someone who has absolutely no business as a head coach. Message to Rams: Spend some money a get a real coach. Then make some wise draft picks; this team has talent but a lot of holes.

    Jeff Gordon: A lot of PSL owners feel the way you do.
    ---------------------------
    MTG: Some people in this town, bieleve it or not, care a great deal about the Horns on Helmet. I hear some are spending quit a bit of money attending these games, that's crazy talk right? Any how, I sat in my living room hoping that the Blue and Gold would not fold like a cheap folding chair like most of the last 11 i have watched, but guess what? You did. So if the management of this disorganization does not fire you on your country club like attitude on the sideline while an obvouis leader, T. Holt, is wanting to win, do the honorable thing and step down NOW. I don't imagine Jimmy Haslett was smiling, was he Scotty.

    Jeff Gordon: Scott isn't a quitter, so that is an admirable quality. This can't be pleasant for him.
    ----------------------------
    Jack J: Gordo,

    I guess we are all up late tonight. Merry Christmas to you and your family. On to the game. The Rams were in this game for most of it BUT the defense took a big step backwards. The secondary was just burned. It was a one possession game in the fourth but another melt down occurred. I just wish we all could have seen this team healthy this year so a fair evaluation of Linehan could be made. Maybe this is what John Shaw is saying, at least publicly.

    It seemed the defense had very little fire in their eyes with only a one possession game. To me that is a failure of this coaching staff. This is something that may very well carry over to next year IF Shaw's statements are correct that little changes will be made next year.

    Jeff Gordon: Terrible ending for the "D", which had played pretty well this season. They just got walked over, but the No. 2 and No. 3 back.
    ---------------------------------
    James in San Jose: Jeff,

    One more thought... The way I understand it, there is a VERY GOOD chance that Isaac Bruce will be let go and Scott Linehan will be retained. What more needs to be said about where this organization is headed?

    Jeff Gordon: That is the way it shapes up right now . . .
    -----------------------------
    rob: Jeff I thought the haltime ceremony was an insult to Faulk. If wasn't very professional or well organized. I hope the crowed was louder than the Tv. What was your take on it.

    Jeff Gordon: I thought it was OK. There's not much time at halftime. I liked Marshall's special and the video board tributes. A lot of Steelers fans in the crowd, but they were respectful.
    -----------------------------
    Joe Stafford: Jeff, Does Losehan have some Photo's of John Shaw or someone to be able to keep his job? If I performed on my job like Losehan does, IO'd be fired on the spot! What gives?

    Jeff Gordon: Shaw hates to make a change after two years. He did it with Brooks and got Vermeil. He gave Dick a third year and it worked -- but a LOT went right for that to happen.
    -------------------------
    Steve: Jeff:

    Miami's getting the first pick, but there are several teams with 3 wins. How is the pick order determined when several teams are tied? Do they use a points for-point against spread?

    Jeff Gordon: Right now, the Rams are No. 2, based on strenght of schedule. As Jim Thomas explains it, that could change if even if the Rams lose at Arizona.
    -------------------------
    chris: Jeff,
    the Rams repeatedly get beaten in the second half. While tonight was not the usual shut out, clearly this reflects on the coaching and a failure to make adjustments. I know Shaw said Linehan would be back, but if they lose out the remainder of their games, any chance that changes?

    Jeff Gordon: Only if John sensed the players bailing on this staff.
    -------------------------
    James in San Jose: Jeff,

    Did I hear right? Were the fans booing during the halftime ceremony when Costas mentioned Zygmunt and Shaw? I know I was booing at home...

    Jeff Gordon: You heard right.
    --------------------------
    Jim: Hey Gordo,
    Which player in the secondary did it seem like Big Ben was picking on the most?

    Jeff Gordon: Wade. Jonathan Wade. But really, everybody took their turn getting beat. Not pretty tonight.
    ------------------------------
    Joe Stafford: If this is Issac Bruce's last home game with the Rams, what a shame it has to go this way. Personally I would fire Bennedict arnold and give all the money to keep Bruce reguardless of cap problems! Oh I forgot, Bennett is Losehan's boy!

    Jeff Gordon: Such hatred for Drew. The man did catch a TD pass tonight . . .
    --------------------------
    shanks: hey jeff, linehan your done, and a wimp! even ask marshall. marshall was great tonight. he told it like it is. scott i"m sorry but your not a coach. minn, miami and now the rams? high school buddy. jeff, just go to your next question.

    Jeff Gordon: Ah, the pleasures of venting frustration.
    ---------------------------
    Mark Lovato: Jeff

    What happened to Holt getting into a heated conversation with linehan. Did you see linehan laughing on the sideline is what I thought he was upset about. I do not think this coach should be laughing about the situation he has put this team in.

    The rumor is that Haslett is going to be gone but I think this a mistake because the defense for the most part as been the bright spot.

    Jeff the rams need to a better job with there second and third teer players because as much talent that is undrafted is out there but this seems to be a area for improvement. Second I think they need to play the first string in the preseason and learn from their mistakes what do you think.

    Jeff Gordon: Sitting the starters in the presason didn't lead to a good start, so I have my doubts about that approach.
    If Linehan returns, I can definitely see Haslett looking for another opportunity. And Scott doens't want a former head coach on hand when fans are calling for this guy to get his job.
    -----------------------
    James in San Jose: Jeff,

    Any idea what was behind that flare-up on the sidelines with Holt and Linehan? He now has had sideline confrontations with Holt, Jackson and Bulger this season. There seems to be as much frustration with Linehan in the locker room as on the chat boards.

    Why would Linehan punt on that 4th and 4 on the Steelers' 36? The defense couldn't stop the Steelers all game. What did this team have to lose???

    Jeff Gordon: Linehan pawns this off as a heat-of-battle thing, but I think we're seeing the frustration of 12 losses boiling over. I love Holt for wanting the ball there.
    -------------------------
    Joe Stafford: Jeff, What is Losehan's problem with Torry Holt? Why in the world wouldn't Losehan call Torry's number on one of those pass plays at the end of the game? Back to back throws to No Hands Bennett? Are you kidding me! Then has the NERVE to smile about a pick! If I was the owner of the Rams, I would fire this MORON on the spot! Please tell me this is a bad dream!

    Jeff Gordon: Bulger hates to lose. Don't go overboard on that smile. It was more of a bitter smile. He doesn't enjoy this.
    -------------------------
    MikeRam: Gordo,

    How on earth can Shaw come out and say that the 8-9 year old Pop Warner football coach that we have will be back next year? When Torry Holt...Torry Holt!!, is on the sidelines yelling at you as a head coach, you have messed up really bad, and lost your team. This train wreck needs fixing, Shaw can't be that stupid to think that Linehan is the man for this team, can he? Can a smart individual like Shaw really be that dumb?

    In 20 years of watching the St. Louis Football Cardinals, and now 13 years of watching the Rams, I've never been more disappointed in a St. Louis football season.

    Jeff Gordon: He is trying to be loyal and rational. He understands it's tough to win shorthanded. But Shaw also needs to assess how these players are responding to this staff.
    -------------------------
    Mike: What exactly is there left to say? I guess it shows how pitiful a team is when they actually played a "decent" game and still get beat by 17 at home? How sad is it that it has come to that? I believe Linny sealed his fate today on that 4th and 6 in Pittsburgh territory. Granted, even if we score we still lose, we always manage to lose, but that was gutless. That is the M.O. of this regime, we always lose one way or another

    Jeff Gordon: He said it was a one-score game, had his timeouts left, ought to get the ball back . . . but then his punter kicks the ball into the end zone for a touchback and the defense caved.
    -------------------------
    jim: What a pathetic display all the way around, and to see Bulger smiling after another costly interception definetly makes you question his heart,as he seemed like he was trying to talk his way into the rest of the season off after the concussion. Hopefully we can get an adequte backup QB. One other thing can you tell me why Jackson who makes ridiculous money needs so many breaks during a game, and most at crucial times.

    Thanks Jeff

    Jeff Gordon: I don't think he asks out. In some cases, his less-than-great pass blocking makes it necessary to use Leonard as the single back. In this game, Pittman only ran twice.
    -----------------------
    tc: Hi Jeff,
    I'm glad that Shaw and gang got to see the crap in person, more Steeler fans than Ram fans, lifeless offence and defence, Torry shouting at Linehan... come on, Jeff give us some hope that that's it for Linehan.

    Also, good for Holt, he's always been a class guy.

    If it comes down to him or Linehan.. and they keep Linehan.. I think I'll cry..

    I LOVE the Rams, I bleed blue and gold (or terrible purple and purple) but this has been more painful then I ever remember. At least in the Tony Banks/June Henley days (and boy do they get picked on!) we knew they sucked... this is worse... I never thought that I say that..

    Thanks again for doing this.

    Jeff Gordon: With Bruce, Holt and Jackson, this team needs to be better than the June Henley Era. It just does. I cannot believe this team is 3-12, even with the injuries.
    ----------------------------------
    Bill: How can the Rams let Linehan stay past tonight? All-Pro players arguing with him on national TV! This guy has no clue, he should be gone tomorrow!

    Jeff Gordon: Arguments happen. What would change Shaw's mind is some sort of player revolt -- which was about to happen in Atlanta if Petrino didn't high tail it out of there.
    -----------------------
    Glenn: Hey Jeff, I don't want to here about our injuries (we should have depth this is the NFL) this team is so badley coached it makes me sick!!!!! Please tell me Linehan will be gone, and the earlier reports that he'll be back is a smoke screen? Linehan is DUMB simpley DUMB and I'm sick of him, and I tink the team is also.

    Jeff Gordon: Scott is not dumb, but his regime hasn't exactly inspired greatness from this team. Each game reminds us this team has ability, but that the coaches struggle getting the most from the players. They just find ways to lose.
    --------------------
    Gary Baker: Hey Jeff
    If all the fans ban the home games next year, do you think the clueless front office will get the message on keeping Lineham?

    Jeff Gordon: I think the Rams are very concerned about fan reaction. The was evident with the 1,000 thanks that PSL owners got from PA man Jim Holder during the game.
    ------------------------
    Seth Grasz: Jeff,

    As a lifelong Ram fan you get used to losing seasons. They are not fun but they are part of life in the NFL, especially if you are a LA\St.Louis Ram fan. How are we as fans supposed to get excited about another season with Scott Linehan as the head coach? The only positive thing that could possibly come from another year of the Linehan regime is another high draft pick following my prediction of another 3-13 or 4-12 season.

    I realize the offensive line has been a disaster but come on, seriously...I know on certain Sundays I would get frustrated with Martz but looking back now those were the good ol' days. Our offense is a mere shadow of what it once was and the defense continues to underperform. Changes have to be made in order to give the players and fans hope. Please Mr. Shaw don't let my plea fall on deaf ears...

    Jeff Gordon: Ah, it was good to see Mad Mike on the video screen, chatting up Faulk during the halftime ceremony. Those were the good old days.
    ---------------------------
    Aron: Bruce has still got it and needs to retire a Ram! If the Rams don't give Bruce his roster bonus; is it possible that they will do what they did a couple of years ago by releasing him and then signing him to a new contract?

    Jeff Gordon: Bruce was miffed the last time he went through this. He is a proud guy. I bet he shops himself if he gets the expected cut.
    ------------------------
    Jamil: Glad to see John Shaw could make it in town for a game. Do you think he was still around to watch T Holt go off on Linehan? It is hard to imagine going through another season (let alone marketing this team in the off season)with Linehan in charge. That punt on 4th and 4 was classic Linehan.

    ISSAC BRUCE SHOULD FINISH HIS CAREER AS A RAM!

    Jeff Gordon: I agree with the latter assessment. As for Shaw, his chat with Linehan after this one must be interesting. Maybe he will pick up on the hopelessness vibe.
    -------------------
    Fun Time: Soon to be heard from the Falcons locker room "Hey, at least were not the Rams".

    Jeff Gordon: Ouch.
    -------------------
    Eldrick Faversham, Jr.: Only one more game- Thank God it's almost over. I think Linehan will be back next year so we'll likley see more dull offense and terrible special teams.

    Gordo, what do think the chances are Isaac Bruce returning in 2008? 50-50? A little better? A little worse? He definitely can still play.

    Thanks

    Jeff Gordon: Bruce showed he can still play, but this team needs to get younger at WR and save a few bucks. Can the club find the right financial number with Ike after cutting him (which is inevitable, given his salary)? That is the tricky part.
    ---------------------
    JACK: With one of the top 4 picks in the 2008 draft, what position do you feel the Rams will go in round one & two?

    Jeff Gordon: Most draft projections have the Rams taking an OT, Long. Can't argue with that, given Pace's injuries and Barron's lack of progress. The Rams could also use another edge rusher, given Little's advancing age.
    -------------------------
    brian: I know why management said they were going to hold off to evaluate Linehan. They want the players to continue playing hard to evaluate THEM. He has lost the players and the fans as witnessed by the frustration of Holt. Time to look for a new coach.

    Jeff Gordon: It'll be interesting to see of the coaches maintain order during the next 10 days or so . . .
    -------------------------
    Mike: Linehan doesn't know how to win games, it's as simple as that. Even with all the injuries this team has had opportunities to score points and to win games but rarely capitalize on those opportunities and it's on Linehan. How can Shaw not see it? Does he even watch the games?

    Jeff Gordon: You could see tonight that the Rams had the skill to hang with a pretty good AFC team. But this regime can't finish off wins this year. The games always turn ugly at the end. Not a good sign.
    -------------------------
    Ken Haines: How underused is Jackson? Why does Linehan refuse to utilize him more and on a consistent basis. Why is he so stubbornly conservative. Do you think Linehan needs to be coaching with more passion?

    P.S. I want Coach Linehan back next season, I think he has done a lot of good things.

    Jeff Gordon: Yeah, 15 touches aren't enough for the Rams. Part of that is the team getting out of the game in the fourth quarter, forcing catch-up mode. But Jackson was pretty effective, even with the Steelers sitting on him.
    -------------------------
    Mickey: I'm a fan up here in Michigan so I don't get to see a lot of Rams games. The thing that struck me tonight was the shear avalanche of passes that had little to no chance of YAC. Out passes, hook passes, Out passes(!). How many times are we going to throw out passes!?!? The trend continued when Gus came in at the end.

    I am not a fan of Linehan's offense. I want him out as his offensive acumen is simple offensive. There comes a limit where injuries only account for so much of the team's losses. Unfortunately, the only way to improve the team is to improve the players and that ain't going to happen as long as Shaw is in command. He has had two good off seasons in 20+ years. In 1983 he got Dickerson, and in 1999 he got Faulk. Other than that, very little talent on the Rams since I started rooting for them.

    Thanks for letting me rant!

    Jeff Gordon: Good point on the YAC. A lot of fans bang on Holt and Bruce for not delivering the big post-catch yardage, but this offense isn't designed to bust a lot of plays through defensive seams. There is a lot of east-west passing in this scheme and a lot of stationary targets.
    ----------------------
    Rags: Hi Jeff,

    I miss going to your old "Oh the Humanity!" posts in the forum. This format is better, but it was always good for a belly laugh. Maybe you should name your column Gordo's "Oh the Humanity!".

    I didn't get to watch the game (NFL Network and all) but do you think Atogwe was a Pro Bowl snub? I am not sure who was screwing up coverage today (I checked the stats online) but 7 picks ain't bad.

    Jeff Gordon: The INTs are great for Atogwe, but it's tough to be defenders from a 3-12 team into the Pro Bowl. That INT total will pave the way for future honors if he keeps improving and this team actually wins some games.
    ----------------------
    Steve: I hate Scott Linehan. This guy is a total loser. I mean I really hate this guy. I have been a pro football fan since 1970 and have never been so angry about a football team. This team is terrible and mostly because of Scott Linehan. Also, I think Rams fans should boycott the stadium if they cut lose Isaac Bruce. Bruce should remain a Ram and Linehan should be unemployed and if I were in control that would have occurred before the final whistle of this game.

    Jeff Gordon: This loss was more on Haslett than Linehan, but 3-12 is 3-12. Not good enough, not even close.
    -------------------------
    scott.whiting@comcast.net: Hello hardworking Gordo,

    The Holt incident...what's your take?

    Jeff Gordon: Just covered that -- Holt was furious, but Linehan shrugged it off after the game.
    ------------------------
    Eric: Gordo, the NFL network caught an argument between Hold and Linehan on the sidelines, was that brought up or addressed by Linehan after the game?

    Jeff Gordon: Linehan: "It's not a big deal, not to me. It comes with frustration. We haven't been winning, guys get frustration . . . something said by a competitor to his coach. It's over as far as I'm concerned.
    ------------------------
    Brad: Jeff,
    After watching one of the stupidest coaching decisions in the fourth quarter and not going for it on the 40 then turning around and going for it and buting Bulger in a no win situation will the brass finally pay attention? Especially, after watching Holt thinking the coach is a idiot too by not going to his two best recievers at the end? I feel that there is no hope even for next year if this coach stays!

    Jeff Gordon: You could second-guess some of what happened -- especially the decision not to go for that first fourth down, but the punt into the end zone -- but the defense lost this game. The Steelers just pounded the "D" with their No. 2 back. Not good.
    ----------------------
    Eric: Gordo, Can you please explain to me how Shaw can justify keeping Linehan...? This team needs a leader!!! How does this front office expect to sell tickets next year?

    Jeff Gordon: Well, they are giving away a lot of nice gifts to lucky PSL holders tonight, so there is that . . .
    -----------------------
    Buzz: Gordo,
    The NFL Network telecast reported tonight that this is Haslett's last year with the Rams, insinuating that he and Linehan are on the outs. Have you heard anything about this? Thanks.

    Jeff Gordon: I don't know about that -- but I passed the note over to beat writer Jim Thomas to explore.
    --------------------------
    Mike: 4th and 6 at the Steelers 38 and we punt? We're 3 and 13! The Steelers are walking all over the D anyway, it doesn't matter where they start. WE'RE 3 AND 13!!! Linehan is an idiot.

    Jeff Gordon: The Rams gained 16 yards of field position and the Steelers marched right back down the field. When you're 3-11, why play it safe?
    ----------------------
    Mike: The Rams throw an ***load of money at Drew Bennett who has done nothing this season much less tonight and we're talking about cutting Isaac Bruce because they don't want to pay him $5M next season. Has anyone seen the catches Ike has made tonight? What has Bennett done? If Bruce is wearing another uniform next season I'm watching that teams games, I'm not going to watch this crap again next year. Rams management is clueless.

    Jeff Gordon: Drew has been, what is the word . . . horrific. Part of that is injuries, but this season hasn't been what anybody hoped.

    But he did catch a nice TD pass in this game, so he hasn't been a total loss.
    -------------------------
    Mike: What a catch! Number 80 is one of the best ever and after 14 years he still makes plays like that. They're thinking about getting rid of this guy? Ike is as big of a Rams legend as Jack Youngblood. He's earned the right to retire a Ram.

    Jeff Gordon: Yeah, but don't be shocked if he doesn't -- the Rams don't do many things right. You watch, they'll cut him and then fail to get him back at a lower rate.
    -------------------------
    Chris Merkle: Jeff:

    Marhall Faulk for President, GM, Coach and Waterboy! Let's not kid ourselves, Linehan is getting fired and deserves that fate. Look at the on field performance of the Rams.

    Let's get positive and make the changes that need to be made. We all know this whole organization from Shaw to the waterboy needs to be blown up and start from scratch.

    Jeff - great job and talk with you later!

    Jeff Gordon: Let's be reasonable here. The Rams have no issues with their waterboys.
    -------------------------
    Janie: Gordo: Any chance that John Shaw will smarten up? What about bringing Marshall Faulk in as a head coach?

    Jeff Gordon: Faulk wants no part of coaching. He has said he doesn't intend to put those insane hours in. Now, a front-office post he would discuss.
    ---------------------------
    steven: WOW!! linehan is the biggest (coward) ALIVE!!!.... the rams got nothing to lose and they dont go for it on 4th and 1. Than ron bartell got burnt like jason david. This season is coming down fast. GET RID OF LINEHAN!!!!

    Jeff Gordon: Dude, the season went down fast a while back. Now the Rams are just trying to get it over with.
    ---------------------
    Francisco Prado: Gordo, enjoy your coverage on my beloved Rams. Keep up the good work. My question/comment is one position that not many realized going into this offseason: center. With this being McCollum's last season and Romberg being a free agent (there's no telling if he is coming back), what will the Rams do? Will they move Setterstrom if they go after Faneca to team with Incognito at guard? Draft or sign a free agent(Jeff Faine?)? I hope John Shaw hires a true football GM instead of Zygmunt.

    Jeff Gordon: Romberg has done surprisingly well, when healthy. I think he is a player to keep. Fry didn't show much in Year One, but it would be nice to look at him again next summer after some more off-season work.

    The big issue is tackle, since Incognito and Setterstrom are fine at guard. A lot of early draft projections have the Rams taking Long of Michigan, for obvious reasons.
    ---------------------------
    Dave: Hopefully the Steelers fans cheer for one of the greatest football players to ever play the game when the Rams retire his number tonight

    I didn't get to see the game (I am assuming we lost) because I was at the Blues-Red Wings game which is in my opinion equivalent to Cards-Cubs. Never thought I would see the day when the Blues would be a more attractive game than the Rams

    Jeff Gordon: Yes, the Steelers fans were gracious during the ceremony, which was terrific. And the game was pretty entertaining too, albeit without much consequence.
    -------------------------------------
    Craig: Just wondering, will we ever have good special teams ever...ever?? This doesn't have anything to do with tonight's game. To be honest, I didn't see much of it. But, this problem transcends head coaches; what are they doing wrong?

    Jeff Gordon: The Steelers opened huge seams with their return blocking. It was ridiculous. Part of it is coaching, part of it is the special teams losing fire just like the "D" did.
    ---------------------------
    Armen Dacity: Please tell me that Linehan might be fired. Oh, and while you're at it, tell me that John Fox will be fired in Carolina and hired by the Rams.

    Jeff Gordon: Can't make those promises. Fox? Interesting.
    -------------------------
    David: I thought Marc Bulger looked flat footed on the three passes that concluded with an interception in the 4th quarter. I know he was facing a pretty good rush but usually you need to step into it to really fire it in there. His footwork didn't look like he was really on top of his game. Did you notice or am I just being picky since we lost??

    Happy Holidays to you and your family!

    Jeff Gordon: Good observation. I thought he just floated the ball out there without much snap.
    -----------------------
    John in Bentonville: To quote a favorite Grinch saying of my four year old, "stink, stank, stunk"

    Jeff Gordon: I wish I thought of that . . .
    ------------------------
    Armen Dacity: When has Torry Holt ever expressed anger to a coach in public like tonight? Never. I think (hope) this is the beginning of the end for Linehan.

    Jeff Gordon: It was very uncharacteristic of Torry, for sure.
    -------------------------
    walt: I think with all of the Rams players healthy next year Linehan is capable of coaching us to an 7-9 season. Then Mr. Shaw can give him a 5 year extension.

    Jeff Gordon: Ah, sarcasm . . .
    -------------------------
    Don in So Cal: I don't like coaching changes, particularly with all the injuries the Rams have endured in 2007. Yet, if the Rams had fallen to our 3rd string running back, as the Steelers did tonight, it's excuse time to explain another loss. Mentally and physically strong teams, lead by true leaders, overcome such adversity. The Rams exec team certainly noticed two things tonight: (1) a stadium half filled by the enemy and (2) the team leader, Holt, going one-on-one against Linehan. That's a double dose of trouble for the current coaching regime. I believe Linehan has lost the confidence of his players and the fans. The front office is all that remains. I think a change is warranted.

    Jeff Gordon: Pretty vivid night that way. The Steelers lose their top back to a broken leg on his first carry -- and they just steamroll the Rams anyway.
    -------------------------
    Chris: Gordo. Nice job as always.

    My question is do you think there is any chance that Linehan resigns? He clearly does not have much support in this town outside of Shaw. He is getting into shouting matches on the sidelines with a franchise player. He has mishandled just about everything he possibly could this season. Maybe he will realize it's just time to go back to being an offensive coordinator. This head coaching thing isn't for everyone.

    Thanks!

    Jeff Gordon: To see Scott this dejected is unpleasant. The thought has to occur to him. The losses take a terrible toll. But he doesn't want to be a quitter.
    --------------------------
    wiramfan: Stop protecting Linehan!! Yeah maybe Haslett isn't the answer but you know they have to put so much presure on the opponent to stay in the game.. I believe Haslett feels he not only has to stop the other team but they need turnovers or a "D" score! Haslett didn't lose this game, your boy Linehan did!!!

    If Martz was coaching you would be riding his a**!! You all ran him out.. Well ? Is Scott a long lost cousin of yours, or is the relationship closer?

    Jeff Gordon: I'm not exactly protecting Scott here -- but the defense was really bad, right from the start. Just a long, long night for Jim's unit. I like the guy a lot and think he could do a better job as head coach of this team . . . but that was bleak tonight.
    -------------------------
    RJ: do you have any information why holt was so upset at linehan. also, was bulger involved and the reason he was replace?

    Jeff Gordon: Marc not involved. Linehan said he yanked him because the game was done.
    ----------------------
    Joe Stafford: Heck I wish Losehan would show the same class as Bobby P. did to the Falcons, he sure would all Rams team members and fans a FAVOR!

    Jeff Gordon: Well, I'm not sure that Bobby showed class there, but I get your point.
    -----------------------
    Zach: I thought the best part of the night besides Marshall's number being retired was when they introduced Shaw and there were some boos and Bob Costas had to say for everyone to take it easy. Get a clue Shaw!

    Jeff Gordon: Nice touch by Bob there. And nice touch by the angry fans.
    ---------------------------
    Mike: did anyone actually ever check to see if we have 11 guys on the field on Defense? please answer, why on 3rd and 4th down plays of medium range does an opposing WR basically take 6 steps forward, turn around and not have a Ram within 5 yards of him in any direction? conversly, we run that same route and 99% of the time the defender is right there to bat the ball down? are we playing a different game?

    Jeff Gordon: Good description of the game. And a very good question.
    -----------------------
    Steve: Linehan never prepared this team in preseason. The first two games of the year were disasters because the players were not ready for the season. Everyone watching the preseason could see it but not Linehan. He said, "NOT TO WORRY, IT'S ONLY PRESEASON". It's been downhill ever since and at the end his total lack of game management is glaring. The team rallied tonight...were fighting back....and on 4th and ? in Steelers territory,,, PUNT. What??? Why not try to win the game? This guy has got to go.... he has no passion.

    Jeff Gordon: That decision was classic Linehan and, like many of the decisions, it didn't work.
    -----------------------
    mike lombardi: Jeff your 3-11 Your 4th and 6 with 6 minutes to go, leys punt and gain about 15 yards if Linehan comes back next year direct tv loses my superfan subscription. Bring back Martz and Haslett and pay some bucks for a special teams coach, thanks Mike in california

    Jeff Gordon: Not a great night for special teams coaching. No matter who the Rams give thsi job to, back things happen.
    --------------------------
    Joel in New York (Rams fan since 1969): Linehan shows no emotion and has that calm look on his face while the Rams continue to go down the drain. Laughing with Bulger on the sideline after the interception is sickening. Even his response on the Holt incident is upsetting. He does not deserve to come back as coach even taking into account the injuries. Unfortunately I believe the only way that happens is if the star players tell Shaw not to bring him back. Hopefully what happened between Holt and Linehan is the begining of the end for Linehan.

    Jeff Gordon: It'll be interesting to see if there is any carryover.
    -------------------------
    Amy: Hey Jeff, I not putting the blame for this lost on Linehan b/c from my point of view Haslett lost this game for the Rams. That D couldn't tackle anyone tonight and they gave up big plays. The only bone I have to pick w/ Linehan is that he should've gone for it on 4th 6 and he should've thrown the red flag on that one play where the ball was clearly fumbled.

    Durning the Offseason they need to work on the Oline and do something about that awful D.

    Congrads to Marc Bulger for passing Kurt Warner on the Ramsí all-time career touchdown completions list.

    Merry Christmas Jeff
    ~Amy

    Jeff Gordon: Yeah, not a great night for Haslett. Yikes!
    ---------------------------
    chris(rams fan from steeler country): Well, now maybe all the haslett for head coach talk can finally cease? Granted, the defense has played well for most of the season, but it has a long way to go to be among the elite. Touchdown aside, bennett is horrible, he's the weakest 6'5" receiver in league history(no heart, alligator arms, and slower than dane looker)! Gordo tell me how did chaveous lose everything in less than a year?

    Maybe the rams will draft a stud at safety one of these years? Archuleta never looked this bad and even alston probably could have been converted to safety with better results than what chaveous is giving us and why does haslett continue to match him up one on one with receivers. Hats off to IKE, FINALLY featured in a game and showing he's still got it on his big night! the rams would be better off cutting salaries elsewhere(pace,bennett,chaveous,wilkins,glover)b4 they release him!

    Jeff Gordon: A lot of your neighbors were at this game, guy. And they had lots of fun.
    -------------------------
    Nick: The Rams lack fundamentals on both sides of the ball, which I view is coaching (or lack of). Fundamentals can go a long way and make up somewhat for injuries. Linahan is hiding behind the injury factor, but the majority of the staff is not doing their J-O-B, and that comes back to him.

    Jeff Gordon: Not an unfair criticism . . .
    -----------------------
    Dave: Jeff,

    Do you think there is a lack of conditioning that is factoring into these second half doldrums. I would have thought that was crazy but lately I have to wonder-especially with our star running back sucking wind on the sideline when we're in the red zone and need him in there OR---or we just being outcoached in that every team is making adjustments at half to us and our staff is incapable of getting our own adjustments made---OR maybe Linehan just stands there at halftime with that vacant stare and beaten look and fails to fire em up
    What do you think??

    Dave

    Jeff Gordon: I don't know about conditioning, because every team eases off later in the year with all the injuries. Motivation and tactics might be bigger issues.
    -------------------------
    Mike: Why is Alex Barron so awful?

    Jeff Gordon: He has to work harder and learn from his experience. The guy should be a lot better by now.
    --------------------------
    James Griffin: There appears to be a lack of overall talent hold this team back....the coaching is bad but there is just not enough good footballers by footballers i dont mean guys who can run 100m in 10.2 like wade and hill (even though out), or are physically potentially dominant like Bartell, byrd, klopfenstien....

    Our corners are hopeless....they just are not good in zone or man, there were too many easy passes over the middle on third down and there were too many long bombs to holmes....ANYBODY who has watched the steelers this year knows that that is their game plan....just poor coaching and stupid picks

    we need footballers, guys like leonard, f.brown, w.witherspoon.....guys who dont have to be physically or even statistically the best but GET THE JOB DONE....who cares if you are fast if you dont understand the game

    Jeff Gordon: Young Wade had a great game last week, then Pitt comes out and abuses him in this game. I don't know if he and the others are hopeless, but they took a step back in this game for sure.
    -------------------------
    Chris: The halftime ceremony was fine...but why didn't they turn the music off when Marshall was talking???? Maybe it wasn't bad if you were in the building..but on TV, it just seemed akward with him trying to talk while there is this stupid music playing over the speakers..

    And if I go the rest of my life without having to listen to Deion Sanders call a game, I will die a happy man. He made Gumbel sound like Al Michaels!

    Jeff Gordon: Now THAT was a shot. In the dome, the presentation came off OK.
    -----------------------
    baddmann28: Props to Sir Issac Bruce tonight. He proved to be a great receiver and deserving of another season as a Ram. S Jax had another great effort. Coach Linehan? Seriously? This guy needs to be shown the door. Did Mr. Kronke and Mr. Shaw see this mess tonight? What was Coach Linehan's excuse for the laughing at the end of the game?

    Jeff Gordon: Linehan feels terrible. There was nothing funny about this. Don't put too much into that. The guy looks like death warmed over.
    ----------------------------
    Joe Stafford: Jeff, I wasn't complaining about Bulger, he just has to use the plays given to him. Sometimes you make a bad throw. But Losehan grinning and Not throwing to T. Holt just leaves me speachless. Holt is a class act, but personally I wished he would have taken a swing at Losehan, maybe he would actually get a clue!

    Jeff Gordon: Marc is beat up and he seems frustrated by the offense, both the execution of those around him and some of the concepts. As for Torry, thank goodness he didn't swing at Scott and stain his image.
    -------------------------
    Steve Lasky: Hi Jeff,

    Let's see...

    ---Earlier this season TV cameras catch Steven Jackson screaming in disgust at "Coach."

    ---Earlier this season TV cameras catch Marc Bulger giving the eye roll once "Coach" turns his back after a brief conversation.

    ---Earlier this season some second/third string punk curses out "Coach" in practice...and is NOT cut until several days later after he is arrested in Houston.

    ---Earlier tonight Torry Holt, the man who I never thought I would see have the joy of the game taken away from him, just blasts "Coach" on national TV.

    Question: Am I missing something here?

    Jeff Gordon: No -- the guys in the press box were just doing the connect-the-dots thing, like you. Linehan might not want to reach the web Friday or pick up a paper.
    ------------------------
    Geoff Smith: hey jeff,

    cant believe how badly defense performed...not to mention special teams (coverage)

    positives - may have found a kick returner in stanley, marshall is king, bulger wasn't bad, bruce looked like he has another season at least in him, wilkins kicked straight


    negative - holt and linehan almost had a biff, bennett sucks, our coverage is poor, haslett must go, not going for 4th and 6 when down by 7, defense couldn't make a stop

    Got anything to add or change on the lists?

    Jeff Gordon: Pretty complete there. It was nice to see McMichael make a few plays. Derek Stanley was a revelation - he earned a spot in camp next summer.
    -------------------------------
    Ramifications: This game was a capsule of the entire lost season for this organization. The coach simply is not NFL coaching material. Punting on fourth and six from Pittsburgh's 38 yard line when the defense has been unable to stop the Steelers all game long perfectly describes Linehan's failure to grasp what game situations demand. No red flag on a clear fumble the possession before by the Steeler running back?

    When the Rams met good teams this year they were drilled and totally outclassed on both sides of the ball. The Cowboys, Packers, Seahawks and Steelers exposed this team as being completely non-competitive. And forget the injuries, because every team has lots and lots of injuries.
    Look at how many Colts have gone down this year and look at their record. This team has no leader!

    Marc Bulger and Drew Bennett were the most costly mistakes this organization made during the off season. I've seen flag poles with greater lateral movement than Bulger possesses. Bulger has been in decline as an NFL QB since 2003. Forget his stats and look at the wins and losses and the fact that he is the unquestioned sack king of the past five years. Bennett was a waste of a ton of dough, who came to the Rams as a never-was and will be remembered as never-could-be.

    I understand now why the "Ed" is now an away game for this team. How many players would want any part of this scenario.

    Jeff Gordon: Bulger is a pretty good QB when he gets protected. His early season beating marred his season. He could get back to the Pro Bowl with the right amount of support and the right weapons.

    But is he Tom Brady? Uh, no.
    ----------------------------
    Joe Stafford: Jeff, lets be fair here, yes Bennett did catch a td, but lets get real here, compare his stats with Isaac Bruces for this year and for the career, Who's the better player right now? I say Bruce hands down!

    Jeff Gordon: For sure. It's tough to write off Bennett until we see if he looks different at full speed. But his season was a wash, for sure.
    ----------------------------
    michael gordon: Any chance the the argument with holt and bulger at the end will be the end of linehan....looks like he doesn't have Holt's support or Jackson's or Bulger's or for that matter haslett's

    Everybody is giving up on this guy....except shaw

    Jeff Gordon: I don't know if you can go that far with sideline flare-ups. More important is how the players respond as they get back to work for the final game.
    ------------------------------
    smitty: Gordo, wouldn't Shaw get the hint when all the Ram's season ticket holders sell their tickets to Steeler's fans. It's been sad the last two weeks when home games seemed like away games. Someone's has to get a clue!!!

    Jeff Gordon: They'll get a big clue when they see the renewal rate for next year.
    ---------------------------
    wiramfan: Sorry about accusing you of being related to Linehan, i lost my head... Just get him out of town!!

    Jeff Gordon: Scott is a good guy. It's just not working so well, is it?
    ---------------------------
    marisol: I shudder to think what kind of squad will show up next week for Linehan's finale. It could be the most dispirited group to wear the colors since they saw John Robinson off.

    Jeff Gordon: Ah, a John Robinson reference. Finally.
    --------------------------
    Kevin: Anybody have Marty's number?

    Jeff Gordon: Oh, I think Mr. Shaw could find it if he felt so compelled.
    ----------------------------
    Ramgal1: The view from Section 151 tonight:

    The Rams were blown off the ball on both sides tonight.
    The defense is too small and too slow. The offensive plays take too long to develop. Steelers DBs sat on the sidelines waiting for the ball to get there. Bulger locks on his primary too often.

    Funniest moment of the night: Costas scolding the crowd with "now, now" when the boos started for Shaw and Ziggy.

    Watching the Mashall Faulk highlight reels makes it all
    to obvious how far this team has fallen from the GSOT days.

    Jeff Gordon: Made you wistful, didn't it, seeing the video of Mad Mike and Kurt?
    ---------------------------
    Ferguson: Issac Bruce and the salary cap--Are the Rams really going to be in a lot of cap trouble this coming year? Seems like last year we still had plenty of room under the cap towards the end of the offseason. Is there that much more hitting next year?

    Do we really have or think we can obtain three or four receivers better than bruce? He has almost 700 yards and four TDs for a team that has started Berlin and the headbutt QB multiple times this year. We have too many problems on the lines on both sides of the ball to use a first or second round pick on a WR and I can't imagine we'll get someone markedly better in FA. He may not be a big time number 2 anymore, but he can still play some ball.

    If Linehan is back one of the few exciting, and marketable, things for this Rams team next year will be Bruce's continued climb up the all-time receiving lists.

    Jeff Gordon: The Rams aren't in terrible cap shape, but there is so much to do. This will be a very tough situation for managaement. I agree that Ike can play and he deserves to finish here. But not even Jerry Rice was immune to this sort of decision.
    -----------------------------
    jjg: Jeff
    Thank you for your time....
    I am interested in your opinion of RB Brian L. after seeing him up to this point in the season...???....no teams would line up if we tried to trade him for a #2 pick in next years draft even after getting a year of exp.....I thought Bulger should be pulled due to risk of injury for next season...how many times did guys come unblocked at him tonight??... Your thoughts and feelings .....
    Regards JJG

    Jeff Gordon: I was glad Scott pulled Marc at the end, for the final desperation throws. He has suffered enough. As for Leonard, I like him as utility back with Jackson and Pittman. That is a solid trio. But the team needs a pure lead blocker for run downs.
    ----------------------------
    Ron: Both Bernie Miklasz and Bryan Burwell have taken some well-deserved, but very intense shots at John Shaw over the last several weeks. Just wondering how they are treated by Ram management in news conferences like after tonight's game.

    Jeff Gordon: Nobody said boo to Bryan -- the guy was right, wasn't he?
    ----------------------
    Scott: My opinion is that things will never change with absentee owners and presidents. They are not part of the community and cannot sense how bad it is to be a Rams fan.

    The PSLs ensured ticket sellouts for years, people didn't want to lose their spot when the Rams got good. Ownership laid back and collected the money and laughed all the way to the bank.

    I think there will be little interest in attending Rams games next year with Linehan coaching the team. Remember the old jokes about leaving free Rams tickets on the street and coming back to find the stack had grown? I predict the same thing will happen with PSLs. Who wants to spend thousands of dollars a year on a couple of seats to make yourself sick?

    Better get used to the blackouts, too. There may only be away games on the tube next year.

    Jeff Gordon: Unless there is a change, you are correct.
    -----------------------
    shane gray: Thoughts on Stanley returning kicks tonight? I saw some promise there for sure.

    Jeff Gordon: A real plus there -- and he did a super job forcing a fumble in coverage. Big night for the kid.
    -------------------------
    Joe Stafford: Jeff, thanks for leting me vent on this Disaster of a team. Happy Holidays to you and yours!

    Jeff Gordon: Same to all you Rams fans. Enjoy your egg nog!
    -----------------------
    baddmann28: Hey Gordo, Keep up the good work,

    Back to the Holt/ Linny debacle, did anyone question Torry after this? My feeling is he knew management was in town, and is sick of this sorry excuse for a coaching staff and decided to make a statement. The fans are obviously on his side (as he'd know). Any comment from him, or at least your take?

    Jeff Gordon: Bryan Burwell tells me that Torry took a pass on commenting.
    ----------------------
    David: If the Rams want to know how to win fans back, all they have to do is look at the St. Louis Blues. If management shows they care about the fans, the fans care about the team. The Rams missed so many opportunities this year to get the fans in their corner. I feel sorry for the Rams players but this one falls on management. Staying the course does not go over well when you only win three games!

    Jeff Gordon: Well put. Go Blues!
    -------------------------
    marisol: Linehan will be fired a week from Monday. Bank it.

    Jeff Gordon: I wouldn't be shocked to see Shaw reverse his field. This was ugly tonight.
    ----------------------------
    Ron: It looks to me as if the players ,who want to win,don't believe in the coaching staff and aren't playing with the fire and emotion that it takes to win in the NFL. If the players don't believe in their coaches they must be as miserable playing the game as we are watching.This team is really hard to watch !!As much as I dislike Linehan's coaching and would like to see him gone,I have no confidence in Shaw and the rest of mgmnt. bringing in a good replacement.It looks like a rough road until Georgia sells the team! Keep up you good work. We appreciate you.

    Jeff Gordon: Last answer -- it's getting late. Reading the future of the franchise is tough not that Georgia has a medical issue. Interesting times ahead.

    Good night everybody!
    ---------------------------
    Chris: Jeff, I got really drunk while tailgating before the game, passed out, and woke up in Heinz Field!!

    Jeff Gordon: Ah, let's end this on a joke. Nice!


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    Re: Postgame With Gordo

    The spelling in these things is atrocious. Plus, are these guys not reading before they post the same question 18 times?

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