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The Rams Simply Failed... Not Linehan--Hadley article
Monday, November 13, 2006
ONE PLAY DOESN'T DETERMINE A GAME
I had to chuckle this morning having heard and read media accounts of the Rams-Seahawks game.
A columnist that stated loudly and boldly St. Louis Rams Coach Scott Linehan had brought stability and sensibility to the organization before they even played a game suddenly has determined that‘s not the case.
The same columnist basically stated that the element of surprise was a meaningless factor in calling plays… what?
The same columnist that wrote in one sentence there was no shortage of reasons why the Rams lost the game… then proclaims that there was one reason.
Never mind the fact that the same head coach called a superb drive in the final minutes leading to the Rams taking the lead in the contest.
Never mind the fact that the same writer admitted knowing the play went astray because of miscommunication.
I’ve seen playoff games won with offensive linemen catching first downs and/or touchdowns. I’ve seen playoff games won with offensive linemen aligning as a fullback or running the football. I’ve seen Super Bowls that had a defensive player lineup on the offensive side of the football and catch a touchdown.
The element of surprise is a key ingredient in successful play-calling. I heard the same columnist gush pearls of praise for New England Coach Bill Belichick because of his ability to strike with the element of surprise.
A hot topic of conversation recently is why don’t they utilize Joe Klopfenstein near the goal line?
Now instead of why isn’t Klopfenstein utilized near the goal line… it’s going to be broken down as to when and how?
Why throw to a fullback that has just 18 career receptions?
I witnessed Baltimore kick start it’s comeback against Tennessee yesterday throwing to a fullback that in his four-year career had a grand to total four receptions. Ovie Mughelli would transform the catch into a 30-yard touchdown. Mughelli now has 60 career receiving yards… 50 percent came on that play which was the first score leading to 20-unanswered points for the Ravens.
Never mind the fact that the Rams defense had stifled the Seahawks offense to the tune of 13 total yards in the second half including three “three and outs” before another special teams faus pax sparked the Seahawks.
Seattle would gain 283 yards on Sunday… nearly 50 percent was attained on the first two drives of the game (134 yards).
Linehan felt confident that his team was in total control of the game and he was looking for a knockout punch.
Much like a prize-fighter he was caught off guard by a few jabs… well-placed jabs.
The Nate Burleson’s punt-return for touchdown and Richie Incognito meltdown were abstract happenings that can’t be factored into the series-to-series play calling.
The Rams punt coverage had ranked among the best in the NFL entering this contest. The Seahawks two previous punt returns in the game had netted five yards.
It looked so simple, another terrific punt by Matt Turk had pinned the Seahawks deep in their zone. Burleson had little wiggle room… in fact some theorized he was in error by failing to call for a fair-catch.
Moments later… the Seahawks had the lead and life.
Regardless, the Rams would muster a terrific and dominating drive scoring the go-ahead points.
A drive that Linehan orchestrated.
What followed was the second jab leading to the knockout.
One player would garner 25 yards in penalties hindering a two-point attempt all the while perfectly setting up Seattle with sweet field position.
Sure enough, with Wilkins kicking from his 15-yard line, Josh Scobey would register his longest kickoff return of the season… 33 yards.
With less than 10 minutes remaining in the contest, the Rams had complete control of the game.
Linehan was operating within the framework of the contest.
Special teams letdowns and penalties were overriding factors that in the end amplified previous decisions.
Seattle would gain 29 yards in seven plays highlighted by a spectacular Darrell Jackson catch to arrange for a comfy 38-yard field goal attempt.
What might’ve been had Wilkins kicked off from normal range? What might’ve been had Incognito not imploded? What might’ve been had the Rams coverage units not blown a gasket on their final two efforts?
There were no shortage of reasons why the Rams lost Sunday in Seattle… however don’t fool yourself it wasn’t anyone or any one thing that determined this contest.
Here’s to Scott Linehan… I hope he is Mike Martz.
I’ll take four playoff seasons in five (full) years as a head coach. I’ll take the division titles and run to the Super Bowl. I’ll take the most glorious three-year offensive stretch in NFL history.
This football team isn’t out of the playoff picture… the schedule certainly presents the opportunity to garner a playoff berth.
There are eight teams that currently rate 5-4 or 4-5 (which includes Carolina regardless of the outcome this evening in the Monday Night game). A legit case can be made the Rams have the best schedule moving forward of the eight teams within the 5-4/4-5 grouping.
While the masses choose to focus on one play and one play-call… I saw an offense register it’s most impressive drive in the clutch in a big game on the road.
Don’t fool yourself… in many ways Linehan came of age yesterday. The offense came together when it mattered most… with the division title on the line.
Simplistically, the Rams lost this game… However the fight and grit witnesses in the second half has me believing that this loss is merely the foundation building for a bright future.
Re: The Rams Simply Failed... Not Linehan--Hadley articleSimplistically, the Rams lost this game… However the fight and grit witnesses in the second half has me believing that this loss is merely the foundation building for a bright future.JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS
"HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"Adm. William "Bull" Halsey
Re: The Rams Simply Failed... Not Linehan--Hadley article
Cocky optimism...I like that!
Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams
Re: The Rams Simply Failed... Not Linehan--Hadley article
Terrific post Wraith would give you rep but I need to spread the love around.Just Fix It