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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams happy to say bye to first half of season

    By Bill Coats 10/29/2007 7:29 pm

    Has a team ever needed a bye week more than the winless and injury-riddled Rams?

    Coach Scott Linehan will conduct a full practice Tuesday, an abbreviated session Wednesday, and then the players are off until Monday. Linehan doesn’t need a break, however, to identify a wish list for his 0-8 squad over the second half of the season:

    1. Rhythm and consistency on offense: Despite getting two touchdowns in a game for only the second time all year in Sunday’s 27-20 loss to the Browns, the Rams remain the NFL’s lowest-scoring team (12.4 points per game).
    2. Limit turnovers: Quarterbacks Marc Bulger and Gus Frerotte have tossed 16 interceptions – twice as many as all last season, and the Rams have lost eight fumbles.
    3. Play better in the second half: The Rams have been outscored 131-36 after intermission.
    4. Create more turnovers on defense: The Rams have produced only 11 (5 interceptions, 6 fumbles). At minus-13, their turnover ratio is the worst in the league.

    “I think those things would probably be a good place to start,” said Linehan, who added that his message for the second half is, wipe the slate clean.

    “There’s really no other way to be. We can’t live in the past,” he said. “It certainly would feel much better if we were sitting here with a record opposite of the one we have, but we arrived here. How we got here is not anywhere near as significant as what we do in the second half. We have to look at it as an eight-game season and do our best to win them all.

    “There have been big turnarounds in this league in the past; you can go back and see them. It’s a tough challenge for us with the way things have gone, but if we can just hold on to playing the next game and getting some momentum from a win on the road, we can do a lot more things in this season than appear right now. I think that has to be the mind-set.”


    It would be easier to muster more enthusiasm for the prospect of a major turnaround if the first two games after the bye weren’t on the road (New Orleans on Nov. 11, San Francisco on Nov. 18). The Rams have been outscored 114-19 away from the Edward Jones Dome.


    The week off helps a bit in the injury department. Running back Steven Jackson (back) probably will play vs. the Saints, and center Brett Romberg (ankle) and wideout/returner Dante Hall (ankle) have a chance. So does Leonard Little (toe), who will consult a specialist this week.


    Although he conceded that he doesn’t get out much during the season – “I’ve got a path to and from my house to work, and that’s about it” – Linehan said he hasn’t been forced to don a disguise in public.

    “No, no. You’d be surprised,” he said. “I get a lot of supportive comments from people. That’s why it’s such a great town.”

    Still, Linehan acknowledged a growing frustration with his team, and with him.

    “I know it’s there; it’s part of the business,” he said. “I understand it too, I really do, and I don’t take any offense to it. It’s motivation for me, because I want to turn this thing around. This season has gotten away from us and I know that I never want to feel like this ever again, so whatever you can do to avoid it is worth the trouble. . . .

    “The only thing you can do is preach the same things. You just have to work on getting better every day. That’s our challenge right now, not getting in the tank and you have to pull yourself out of there every day.”

    Asked how he keeps his sanity, Linehan said: “I have a lot of things going for me. First, I will always say this: I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have one of these 32 jobs and to be in this position. I don’t think I’m having the luckiest season of my career, but this isn’t about me either, it’s about the team. And I have a great, supporting family. Going home every night is well worth the six or seven hours that I get to kind of unload for a little bit.

    “There’s one day, hopefully in the near future in about eight games, we can go back and say, ‘That was a trying experience and we made it through this thing all right.’”

    All for now. . .

  2. #2
    helorm341 Guest

    Re: Rams happy to say bye to first half of season

    The onlything linehan can do is "preach the same things"? If they aren't working try something new

  3. #3
    RamsInfiniti's Avatar
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    Re: Rams happy to say bye to first half of season

    A couple weeks ago, he did try something new: he got angry and yelled at the team during practice. What happened after that? Everyone said he has lost control of the team and his own emotions ...

    It doesn't matter what he does, somebody is going to be a critic ...

  4. #4
    ramsfan38 Guest

    Re: Rams happy to say bye to first half of season

    I really feel for the guy. It's not like he's not committed to the team. He is just way in over his head with the number of injuries this season to key players and not having enough players fully developed to take over. I know everyone says a team should be able to win games in spite of injuries, but what other team has as many starting players injured as the Rams and are still successful. Some of the losses we suffered during the first eight games would still have been losses even with a healthy team. I for one am withholding judgement on the guy until after the season and see if he can regroup for the second half.

  5. #5
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams happy to say bye to first half of season

    All things considered, it seems to me Coach Linehan is as committed to the team as the team is committed to remaing professional and responsible (in general).

    It takes much courage and integrity to go through this level of adversity and defeat, week after week.

    I like what Infinity and Fan38 had to say above. I appreciate it. :r

    To me, not having all these critical injuries during the first 8 games would probably translate to being 3-5, if not 4-4 right now: Frisco, Arizona, perhaps Baltimore, and Cleveland. It was close enough to have those 'W' in spite of the injuries (and okay, the mistakes).

    But again, it is good -- or perhaps comforting -- to see the team move on with resolve and guts, with expectation and commitment.

    :bash: Go Rams!
    Last edited by RealRam; -10-31-2007 at 12:08 AM. Reason: Emoticon

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