Rams Notebook: Olson's on call
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Following last year's Rams game against Carolina, offensive coordinator Greg Olson's job description changed. Head coach Scott Linehan turned over play-calling chores to Olson, and Olson made the most of the opportunity.
With more emphasis on the running game, the Rams were more productive offensively. And more productive in the win-loss column, going 4-2 down the stretch, including a three-game winning streak to end the 2006 season.
As the Rams open the 2007 season Sunday against Carolina, Olson has continued his play-calling duties.
"Obviously, I didn't go away," Linehan said. "I'm still in the offensive meetings, and spend all of my time there other than some with the defense and ... special teams. We're going to continue to do a lot of the same things, and hopefully improve on where we left off at the end of the year."
Linehan says he collaborates with Olson on play-calling between drives but makes it a point to avoid meddling once the Rams have the ball.
"You've got to leave the play caller alone during the drive," Linehan said. "You can't have that kind of interaction other than the adjustments that need to be made."
Entering this season, Olson says he's much more comfortable with the St. Louis offense, which makes play-calling easier. He also has had an entire offseason to prepare for his expanded role.
"During the summer, I had time to think about it, knowing that going into (the season) that was going to be the case," Olson said. "So obviously, that made the preparation that much more easy."
No stone unturned
Teams show so little during the exhibition season, there's an element of uncertainty in regular-season openers. This is especially true of the Carolina offense, because the Panthers have a new coordinator in Jeff Davidson.
Under Davidson, the expectations are that Carolina will feature more shifts and movement; more cutback running as opposed to the power schemes of previous coordinator Dan Henning; and more passes to the tight end. But who knows for sure?
"People will be surprised at what's going to happen Sunday as far as offensively," Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith told Carolina reporters.
The Rams have watched all kinds of tape, including Carolina's 2007 preseason contests and Cleveland and New England film, to try to minimize the element of surprise. Davidson was an assistant with the Browns and the Patriots before coming to Carolina.
"You really don't know what you're going to get until it comes," Rams defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. "But we'll be ready. We've seen almost everything imaginable."
No 'Cs' for St. Louis
In an effort to foster leadership, and draw positive attention to veteran players, the NFL instructed each team to name five captains this season and have them wear "C"s on their jerseys — hockey style.
But after voting by Rams players, Linehan named nine captains. He felt there were too many players close to the top five vote-getters to exclude as captains. Since the league wants only five players with the "C" on their jerseys, Linehan decided against putting the letter on any jersey. Call it an all or nothing approach.
Re: Rams Notebook: Olson's on call
hmm good decision with the 'C' designation, its unfair to leave four guys without one
Re: Rams Notebook: Olson's on call
I think all the players need to act like captians. Rams fans all know who the leaders of this team are.