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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams interview Rivera, Linehan

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    01/06/2006



    Ron Rivera is driven, and two snapshots from his professional life best illustrate that fact:

    In the early 1990s, at the tail end of his playing career, there was the sight of Rivera at the Chicago Bears' facility. At a time of the year when many NFL players are squeezing in one last vacation before training camp, Rivera was working on deep-snapping - all by himself - in June.

    A linebacker by trade, he was never more than the backup long snapper to Jay Hilgenberg in Chicago. But Rivera wanted to prolong his NFL career.

    In 1997, eager to break into coaching, Rivera worked without pay as a defensive quality control coach for the Bears.

    "They had never had the position before, and it was a chance for me to get in," Rivera told the Chicago Tribune. "So I volunteered to do it."

    Apparently, when Rivera sets a goal, he'll do anything it takes to reach it. And make no mistake, his career goal is to be an NFL head coach.

    "To me, you get into coaching to become a head coach," Rivera told the Tribune in 2004. "If you don't have specific goals like that, why coach?"

    Rivera is closer than ever to reaching that goal. He interviewed with the Rams on Friday and is scheduled to interview with Green Bay today, which happens to be his 44th birthday.

    Rivera is tough-minded and extremely intense. Those who have spent any time around Rivera say you can see the intensity in his eyes. Rivera is a stickler for detail, but he isn't much of a screamer. Oh, he'll administer the occasional tongue-lashing, as was the case in 2004 when a preseason victory over the Rams was followed by a lackluster effort in practice by the defensive unit.

    "We came out with a decent performance against the Rams, and I felt like some of (the players) felt like they were 'there,'" Rivera said at the time. "And you can't have that. You have to approach every practice as if you're going to improve, no matter how big or small the practice is."

    Perhaps the biggest question about Rivera's head-coaching candidacy is whether he has enough seasoning.

    He has been a defensive coordinator for only two seasons in Chicago under former Rams coordinator Lovie Smith. He has been in coaching only nine seasons - all at the NFL level.

    But Rivera has been exposed to all kinds of defensive systems, as well as some of the brightest defensive minds in the game, dating to his playing days with the Bears.

    When he entered the league in 1984, Rivera's first defensive coordinator was Buddy Ryan. Beyond X's and O's, Rivera says he learned to evaluate players, personalities and athletic ability from talking to Ryan in practice.

    Later, as linebackers coach in Philadelphia for five seasons (1999-2003), Rivera worked under Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson.

    And now, in Chicago, Rivera is working for Smith. The Bears' base defense is the Cover 2 scheme that Smith learned in Tampa Bay and implemented with much success in St. Louis from 2001-03. But Smith lets Rivera call the defensive plays in Chicago, and Rivera occasionally sprinkles in some of the blitz-happy schemes that Johnson still runs with much success in Philly.

    Ron Rivera

    Age: 44

    Hometown: Fort Ord, Calif. An Army brat, Rivera also lived in Germany, Panama, Washington and Maryland growing up.

    Coaching background: NFL assistant at Chicago (1997-98), Philadelphia (1999-2003), Chicago (2004-present).

    Fast facts: An All-America LB at California, Rivera played for the Chicago Bears for nine seasons and was a member of their 1985 Super Bowl championship team.

    Overview: Combines toughness with charisma and a bit of a fun-loving streak. Only two years as a coordinator, though. Is he ready?


  2. #2
    maineram's Avatar
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    Re: Rams interview Rivera, Linehan

    OK - who does he bring in as OC & DC if he's brought onboard ????
    and out of the ashes rise ...The Breakfast Club !

  3. #3
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Rams interview Rivera, Linehan

    Rivera is my first choice at this point. i wish we would make him an offer. if we wait, we are going to lose him.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams interview Rivera, Linehan

    Rivera is ready. Is Shaw and the FO smart enough? :1:

  5. #5
    tim
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    Re: Rams interview Rivera, Linehan

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel
    Rivera is my first choice at this point. i wish we would make him an offer. if we wait, we are going to lose him.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    they can't make him a formal offer until the bears are out of the playoffs. if they made a verbal offer it wouldn't leak out because that is likely also against the rules.

  6. #6
    Tony Soprano's Avatar
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    Re: Rams interview Rivera, Linehan

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel
    Rivera is my first choice at this point. i wish we would make him an offer. if we wait, we are going to lose him.
    general counsel

    That's what I say. Even with the rules, a team can impress a candidate in interviews and can make it known how highly they regard him. A lot can be said without committing.

    We don't want leftovers.

    .

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams interview Rivera, Linehan

    Rivera is my would also be my first choice at this point
    Lets hope the FO agree and appoint him before anyone else

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