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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams' poor eye for talent, not Linehan, spurred slide

    By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Thursday, Sep. 27 2007

    Let's clear something up at the beginning: Not only will Scott Linehan remain
    the Rams head coach for the remainder of the season, he'll be the HC in 2008
    unless something extraordinary goes down.

    If Linehan smashes a chair over the head of one of his bosses, OK, that
    probably gets him fired. If he finishes 1-15 or 0-16 and the players quit on
    him, maybe that gets Linehan fired. But only maybe. I'd say the chances of that
    happening are minimal.

    You need to understand that Rams owner Georgia Frontiere, team president John
    Shaw and general manager Jay Zygmunt really like Linehan and will give him
    every chance to succeed. I can assure you that he has 100 percent support from
    his employers, so you might want to hold off on those upstart Internet
    campaigns for Marty Schottenheimer or Bill Cowher. Linehan isn't going
    anywhere.

    I spoke to a couple of Rams VIPs about Linehan's status on background, and they
    wouldn't comment on this subject because they believe it's ridiculous to even
    suggest that Linehan's job is in jeopardy. The Rams VIPs didn't want to insult
    Linehan by giving him the proverbial vote of confidence only 19 games into his
    regime, when he's 8-11 overall and is off to an 0-3 start this season with a
    squad that already has been severely damaged by injury.

    Here's the biggest problem the Rams have right now, and it isn't Linehan: This
    organization can't identify good football players. The drafts have been awful
    in recent years (too soon to tell about 2007). There have been way too many
    early round busts and only one pick, running back Steven Jackson, who evolved
    into a Pro Bowl talent. Free agency hasn't delivered any true stars who have
    made this team significantly better on either side of the ball.

    This startling incompetence in evaluating personnel is slowly destroying the
    franchise. And until ownership and Shaw decide to hire a personnel sage to
    replenish the talent, the Rams will sink deeper into mediocrity. And the coach
    will be largely irrelevant.

    This almost makes me long for the days of George Boone, and please note that I
    said "almost."

    Not that Linehan gets a free pass.

    (And if Linehan did get a free pass, he probably would opt to throw it 2 yards
    to Torry Holt at the sideline.)

    Monday, I wrote a blog on STLtoday.com about Linehan's "prevent" offense. I
    simply do not understand an offensive approach that has Marc Bulger throwing
    mostly quick-hitch sideline passes to the wideouts. Those wimpy plays achieve
    little except create the impression that Linehan and offensive coordinator Greg
    Olson are playing scared with their obsession to prevent sacks, hits and
    turnovers.

    What they're preventing is big plays.

    Think I'm exaggerating? The Rams have attempted 109 passes so far, and 22 have
    been caught behind the line of scrimmage. Another 51 have traveled 10 yards or
    less. That means 67 percent of the Rams' passes so far have been dinks. If
    you're petrified of throwing the ball downfield, then why have so many
    expensive wide receivers? Why sign Drew Bennett and tight end Randy McMichael?
    If Bulger's ribs prevent him from making longer passes, then play Gus Frerotte.
    That's why you gave him a three-year, $6.3 million deal.

    The coaches did the smart thing in establishing the running game at Tampa Bay,
    but then failed to follow up by stinging the Bucs with downfield throws. Bulger
    always has thrived on those intermediate throws; this season when he attempts
    passes that are airborne for 11 to 20 yards, Bulger has completed 18 of 27 and
    has a QB rating of 114. I'd like to see the coaches play to their players'
    strengths for a change.

    Linehan has lost Jackson to injury, and the offensive line is scrambled. The
    situation is tough, and unfair. But the Rams can't go to Dallas and turtle.
    They have to at least earn respect by putting up a fight. Linehan's job may be
    safe, but that's no reason to play it so safe.


  2. #2
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    Re: Rams' poor eye for talent, not Linehan, spurred slide

    This startling incompetence in evaluating personnel is slowly destroying the
    franchise. And until ownership and Shaw decide to hire a personnel sage to
    replenish the talent
    WE already have!!!

    The St. Louis Rams appointed Tony Softli Vice President/Player Personnel today and reached agreement with Charley Armey to continue his association with the team as Vice President/Pro Personnel.

    Softli, a former football player and coach at the University of Washington, has worked in scouting for the Carolina Panthers since the franchise was formed in 1995, most recently as Director of College Scouting.

    The Panthersí drafts in the last six seasons have been among the most productive in the NFL. Under Softliís supervision the Panthers have acquired such Pro Bowl players as Julius Peppers, Steve Smith, Dan Morgan, Kris Jenkins and many others who have contributed to Carolinaís success in this decade.

  3. #3
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' poor eye for talent, not Linehan, spurred slide

    quote"Here's the biggest problem the Rams have right now, and it isn't Linehan: This
    organization can't identify good football players. The drafts have been awful
    in recent years"

    I have to agree 100% about the drafting of our players over the years. I did not like Linehan comments made earlier in the week about if the Rams beat the cowboys it will be the biggest win sence coming to St. lu. The Cowboys is just another team we need a win against. The biggest win right!! we been to 2 bowls I think we have had bigger wins.
    Last edited by eldfan; -09-27-2007 at 11:19 AM. Reason: miss a quote
    :ramlogo:

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams' poor eye for talent, not Linehan, spurred slide

    I think we are getting better in this department. SJ is a Pro Bowler, Barron isn't there yet but he's certainly not a bust, Hill looks like he could be a Pro Bowl player down the road, and it's too early to tell yet on Carricker (although we do seem to be stronger up the middle for one reason or another). We've also been finding guys like Setterstrom and Ryan in the lower rounds. Not Pro Bowl talent, but solid contributors.

    Those drafts from 2000-2002 are the ones that really hurt us. Kennedy in 2003 was bad news, but at least we got guys like Tinoisamoa and Curtis out of that one.

  5. #5
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' poor eye for talent, not Linehan, spurred slide

    Define recent years... Does Torry Holt qualify?

  6. #6
    Ram Dragoon's Avatar
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    Re: Rams' poor eye for talent, not Linehan, spurred slide

    AS early as it is in the season Dallas, the Cowboys are the Darlings of the NFC. So any wins against them would seem to be a huge victory.

    Yet surprisingly as big a victory at this point it would be over Dallas. It really matters most beating opponents in ones division. Beating Dallas is only one win...loosing to Frisco is like 2 losses. If the Rams had beat them it would be like 2 wins. Best to hope for in 07, is to split a game with Frisco

    If the Rams stomp the Cowboys, I get to bragg to my friends who are Cowboy fans. That is something. But I would rather have Ram victories over division opponents-get into the payoffs and then STOMP the cow**** out of the COWBOYS:l

  7. #7
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    Re: Rams' poor eye for talent, not Linehan, spurred slide

    I did not like Linehan comments made earlier in the week about if the Rams beat the cowboys it will be the biggest win sence coming to St. lu. The Cowboys is just another team we need a win against. The biggest win right!! we been to 2 bowls I think we have had bigger wins.[/quote]I doubt Linehan meant that a win on Sunday would be bigger than winning the SuperBowl or the 2 NFC championship games the team have won since moving to St. Louis. I think he meant that it would be one of the biggest upsets since moving to St. Louis if the Rams were to win on Sunday, which I guess is debatable. Thinking back to '02 when the 0-5 Rams faced the 5-0 all conquering Raiders and won the game with the then 3rd string QB leading the side to victory. I suppose with all the injuries the side has at the moment( similar to '02) a victory on Sunday would be a surprise, lets all hope we spring it...

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