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  1. #46
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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Point #1: I'm very happy about this hiring. This is the next-best thing to a HC change. Saunders is the perfect fit to utilize the talent the Rams have on offense.

    Point #2: No, this is not the end of SLOP. I chalk this up to the Front Office doing the right thing for the team. Whether Linehan would have let Olson go in favor of Saunders on his own... who knows? The real question, though, is this.... if the Rams offense plays well, does that mean Linehan is the long-term solution at HC, or does it mean Al Saunders is? There's a problem I'd like the Rams to have - winning games and wondering who deserves the credit!

    Point #3: Okay... I called this one the day Joe Gibbs retired (look it up!). Is someone finally gonna give me some love on this one?
    Point 2 - I am not surprised that SLOP will live on.....at all. Saunders may improve things but he is not replacing Linehan.

    Point 3 - So all you want is some love and some recognition? As some have said even a blind squirel finds a nut sometimes..... congrats Avenger. You got one right. Good job.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  2. #47
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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    Follow up on Saunders hire from the Rams website:
    ________________________________________


    Saunders Signs on as O.C.
    Wednesday, January 30, 2008

    By Nick Wagoner

    Senior Writer



    It didn’t take long for Scott Linehan to decide after the 2007 season that his offense needed a makeover. The idea of finding a new offensive coordinator quickly moved to the top of his list.


    But finding the person to handle that responsibility was not something Linehan wanted to rush. In fact, Linehan wanted to take as long as possible to ensure he found the right man for the job.


    In search of a jolt for an offense that regressed in 2007, the Rams are turning to a familiar face to provide the spark. The team named Al Saunders as offensive coordinator on Wednesday, signing him to a three-year contract.


    “I talked to more people for this job than I did in the entire hiring process when I hired guys the first time around,” Linehan said. “That’s how important it was to me. I didn’t know at the time where it was going to take me. I knew what my goals were, but I was hoping something like this would transpire. I was hoping somebody the caliber of Al would be available but you never know. It opened up and he was open to it. We hit it off right away.”


    Linehan, who took the reins of the search for an offensive coordinator into his own hands, spoke with a variety of candidates, some more serious than others.


    On the heels of a 3-13 season in which the offense tumbled from sixth in the league in yards per game (360.4) to 24th (297.5), the Rams went searching for a coordinator with some cache to allow Linehan the opportunity to oversee the direction of the team.


    Linehan interviewed Ken Zampese and Hue Jackson officially and spoke with numerous other candidates including Cam Cameron in a more informal setting.


    “I got really pumped up talking to each and every one of them,” Linehan said. “You’ve got to be really patient and really sit back and take it all in and know that if you’re patient enough there may be something that comes that really gets your interest. I was keeping a pretty close eye on the Washington situation because I knew there might be a change. Al was somebody I had on my ‘fantasy list’ so to speak. When it became real that he might not be staying at Washington and that they may give us permission I just kind of waited. It was hard to tell guys to wait, there were some really good candidates I was holding up, but I just had to do it.”


    Saunders replaces the since departed Greg Olson, who took the quarterbacks coach position in Tampa Bay after the Rams re-assigned him.


    Along with the three-year deal, Saunders will receive the reins to an offense that not too long ago was one of the league’s best and most explosive.


    Saunders will handle all play calling duties and will be heavily involved in developing the offensive philosophy and game plan.


    That part would seem to be the most difficult for Linehan, who was brought to St. Louis on the premise that he could continue the team’s offensive success. But after a difficult season, Linehan acknowledged the adjustments he has to make to get the Rams back to contention.


    “Knowing what I know about Al, and knowing what he’s going to be able to do for our football team, and knowing what I have to be able to do, the adjustments I have to make and the improvements I have to make as a head coach, I welcome it,” Linehan said. “My biggest goal with this whole thing was that I was going to find somebody that had that kind of credibility and background knowledge that they could do that. I didn’t know in my wildest dreams that somebody like Al was going to be available. So it takes a lot of things off my plate and let’s me direct them towards some other things with our team that I need to address.”


    That doesn’t mean Linehan will be completely removed offensively. He says he told Saunders he would have at least one idea a week that he wanted to try and will continue to be involved in putting the game plan together.


    “He has full authority on the play calling which I think makes a lot of sense,” Linehan said. “I will probably learn more than I ever learned coaching because I think that much of Al as an offensive coach and what he brings.”


    Linehan was prepared when Saunders became available after the Redskins fired him on Saturday and replaced him with Jim Zorn.


    After some internal discussions, the Rams immediately brought Saunders to St. Louis for an interview. Following a couple of days of negotiations, Saunders and the Rams agreed to a deal late Wednesday afternoon.


    Terms of the contract were not immediately available, but it is believed that one of the sticking points in the negotiations was compensation because of Saunders’ status with Washington.


    “This hire of Al, and I want it to be made very clear, was 100 percent mine and was something that just came up that I never dreamed would be available,” Linehan said. “The fact that we were able to execute it was really special for me.”


    One thing that won’t be a sticking point is the admiration and respect that Saunders will immediately command in the locker room. Rams receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce played under Saunders in two of the best offensive seasons in NFL history in 1999 and 2000 with Saunders as the receivers coach.


    “It’s really important to keep as much continuity as we can and I know the continuity is going to be very, very good for especially all the veteran players,” Linehan said. “It would surprise me if this isn’t a very positive move for them as far as they see it, but it was more important to me that I hire the best coach for our football team. At this point our football team needs some veteran leadership not only from the veteran players but some veteran coaches which was a big part of my thought process.”


    Saunders comes from the Don Coryell style of the West Coast offense and has plenty of NFL credentials to make a case for an instant offensive improvement.


    And he will be right at home in the Midwest, where he has spent a good chunk of his coaching career. Saunders got his NFL start in San Diego where he served as offensive coordinator from 1983-1986 before handling the head coaching duties from 1986-1988.

    Soon after, Saunders made his first sojourn into the Midwest as the receivers/assistant head coach for Kansas City. He served there from 1989-1998 before coming to the Rams.


    When Vermeil returned to coaching in Kansas City, Saunders went along as offensive coordinator, a spot he filled from 2001 to 2005. He spent the past two seasons in Washington in the same capacity.


    Saunders offenses are known for finding a balance between the run and pass and taking advantage of matchups all over the field. Saunders was in charge in Kansas City when Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson were at their peaks and had success with Clinton Portis in Washington.


    Saunders and Linehan’s relationship first developed when Linehan was with the Vikings and Saunders was in Kansas City. The teams scrimmaged regularly at their respective training camp sites in Wisconsin.


    And Linehan is quick to credit Saunders in helping develop his offensive ideals. Now, the pair will work together to attempt to restore the panache to the once dominant Rams offense.


    “To just have the notion or the thought that he could be my coordinator at this point, considering I was really looking for somebody really important or somebody like him, it was really kind of unfathomable at the time,” Linehan said. “But it worked out, and it’s really one of the most positive things that has happened.”

  3. #48
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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    “This hire of Al, and I want it to be made very clear, was 100 percent mine and was something that just came up that I never dreamed would be available,” Linehan said. “The fact that we were able to execute it was really special for me.”
    There's those stones he was missing. There's what he was lacking throughout the most part of the 2007 season. Conviction. The ability to say "hey, this is my guy, and whetever happens, it's on my back".

    Great hire by Linehan. I'm stoked for this team and this offense.

    For this to succeed, and I'm fairly certain that Saunders will make it perfectly clear: We need an offensive line, and moreover, we need the offensive line that he's most comfortable with. If that includes big name free agents, great, if it includes solid depth, great, and if it includes high draft picks, great. He's got to have the pieces in place to make his offense successful.

  4. #49
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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    Now Since Saunders Is Back In St.louis. How Many Of You Still Think Issac Bruce Could Be Let Go By Linehan???????????

  5. #50
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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    Some info from me listening to the Linehan interview

    -Linehan was VERY sincere in his talkings

    -Said he is going to give the entire offense to Al

    -Admitted he lost some of the guys and needs to rebuild trust

    -Happy with Hasslett and has NO BEEF.

    -ADMITTED HE NEEDED HELP!

    -Lots of confidence that this will be turned around

    -Complete team effort, and will rely on more people to be successful.

    -AGAIN, VERY up beat...much more than I have ever heard Linehan. Not boring, very positive, joking, relaxed and VERY talkative.

    this is great NEWSSSS, man I'm Buzzing!!!


    steve
    "The breakfast Club"

  6. #51
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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    jorge, of course his job is to improve the offensive line play. my point is that without healthy guys that we have/better overall talent, i dont see how any coach is going to improve the offensive line play enough to make a difference in any material way in the wins column. We just didnt have the talent on the oline this year with all the injuries.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  7. #52
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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    Linehan Sees the Light
    By Bernie Miklasz
    01/30/2008 9:15 pm

    GLENDALE, Ariz. — The most fascinating thing about Scott Linehan’s decision to hire Al Saunders as offensive coordinator is what it represents in a larger sense:

    Linehan is sincerely trying to change, and improve, as the Rams head coach.

    Linehan caught me off guard Wednesday during my afternoon-drive radio show on Team 1380. I’m here to cover the Super Bowl, with my partner Randy Karraker co-hosting the show from St. Louis. When I was told that Linehan wanted to call in and come on the air, I thought it was a joke.

    Indeed, a few minutes later, Linehan joined the show, to personally deliver the news of Saunders’ hiring.

    And it was welcome news, because Saunders will bring a nice touch to Rams Park. He’s a skilled offensive coordinator, a creative football descendant of Don Coryell, a proven source as a teacher and designer. There is a sequence, a history, of good results on the Saunders resume.

    Moreover, Rams’ offensive players will be fired up by Saunders’ arrival.

    This move has the strong potential to raise the morale of Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Marc Bulger and Steven Jackson. Saunders is a link to the Rams’ best days, their greatest moments, their “Greatest Show on Turf” Era.

    Rams legend Marshall Faulk, on scene in Arizona, working the Super Bowl as an analyst for the NFL Network, was pleased by the word of Saunders’ appointment.

    “This gives Linehan credibility,” Faulk told me. “And Al Saunders will bring that credibility to the guys who are already there, and the guys who will be coming to the Rams as free agents or draft choices.”

    Faulk hasn’t been a big fan of Linehan’s coaching. ”We all watch the games. And adjusting is part of the game,” No. 28 said.

    Linehan has adjusted… his offense… his staff … and now his own role.

    Linehan said that this would be Saunders’ offense completely — except that Linehan joke that he’d like to put in one play each week. But Linehan is so revved up by landing Saunders that he called it “a Godsend.”

    The Saunders’ role aside, Linehan clearly wanted to explain the broader scope of this hiring, which comes in the aftermath of a troubling 3-13 season.

    Linehan characterized the recruitment of Saunders this way: ”An admission that I needed some help.”

    He added: “I know we need to win, and to do that we need to make some adjustments. We’re well on our way to having a positive offseason. And in this league, if you do things the right way, you can turn it around in a heartbeat and a hurry.”

    “And, he said, “That all starts with me.”

    For some reason, Linehan said, “things weren’t right in 2007, and 2006.”

    And Linehan seems determined to change that — and himself.

    By having Saunders as the coach of the offense, and Jim Haslett coaching the defense, Linehan is free to concentrate on other areas. And he knows he must improve his relationship with his players, especially on offense. (Linehan, by the way, said he was “good and happy” with Haslett as the defensive coordinator).

    In an admirable display of candor, Linehan said he’d “lost touch” with his players because he’d spent so much time fretting over the offense, and stewing over so many things that distracted him from essential matters. This led, Linehan said, to “a detatchment” from the players. He didn’t mean for it to be this way, but the strain of a season gone bad caused the coach-player bond to break.

    ”I felt the relationship eroded, and I didn’t see it coming,” Linehan said.

    Linehan added that a head coach definitely must have the confidence of “the players and the coaches and all others around the building.” And Linehan knows he’s come up short on that front. But again, he seems sincere in wanting to correct all that.

    It seems obvious that Linehan wants to get on the same page with Holt, Bruce, Bulger, Jackson and other key veterans. And that’s important.

    When Linehan ran the offense for the Minnesota Vikings, the players loved him. They were motivated to play for him. They hated to lose him. Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper were terribly upset when Linehan left to accept a huge raise in pay to become the Miami Dolphins’ offensive coordinator in 2005. I always wondered why the assistant who commanded such loyalty in Minnesota would have such a difficult time connecting to players in STL.

    Well, I suppose the easy answer is, it’s all about the education of becoming a head coach. This can be an excruciating job, and the responsibilities and the burdens change when a guy becomes the boss.

    Linehan realizes he must do better, much better, to keep his job beyond 2008. And he seems determined to take his best shot. That should be automatic, right? Not necessarily. I’ve watched many a struggling coach in my 27 years of covering the NFL, and some of them remain hardheaded, never seeming to understand the need to adapt.

    Linehan does.

    The hiring of Al Saunders was a fantastic step for Linehan to take.

    But what is even more encouraging is Linehan’s desire to grow as a leader.

    -B

  8. #53
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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    Saunders is brought back into the fold
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Thursday, Jan. 31 2008

    A few years ago, when Scott Linehan was Minnesota's offensive coordinator and
    Al Saunders was filling the same role for Kansas City, the Vikings and Chiefs
    would scrimmage during training camp.

    "I got to see him work and he got to see me work," Linehan said. "We were kind
    of competing against each other. But it was funny how close we were
    philosophically."

    Now, those philosophies will merge in St. Louis. On Wednesday, Linehan —
    preparing for his third season as the Rams' head coach — hired Saunders as his
    offensive coordinator. Saunders received a three-year contract; financial terms
    were not disclosed.

    Saunders, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday, succeeds Greg Olson;
    he is bound for Tampa Bay as quarterbacks coach. Olson was relieved of his
    coordinator duties earlier this month, shortly after the Rams finished a 3-13
    season.

    Linehan interviewed several candidates. But when Saunders became available
    Saturday, after he was let go by the Washington Redskins, he became the No. 1
    target.

    "I called Al right away, and we had some really good, lengthy discussions,"
    Linehan said. "I've got to say, it re-energized me just to have an opportunity
    at this. And then when it became real, that he was going to do this, it just
    really set the tempo for our offseason here and the season coming up."

    After a productive offensive showing in 2006 during Linehan's first year as
    head coach, the Rams stumbled badly this past season. The unit slumped to 24th
    among the NFL's 32 teams in total offense. With an average of 16.4 points per
    game, the Rams were the fifth-lowest-scoring team in the league.

    Linehan concluded that he needed an offensive coordinator with extensive
    experience and strong credentials. "I was hoping that somebody of the caliber
    of Al would be available," he said. "When it opened up, I acted quick."

    Linehan, who also spent a season as Miami's offensive coordinator, called the
    plays most games with the Rams. But after last year's downturn, he determined
    that a change in approach was necessary.

    "I needed help; I realized that," Linehan said. Turning over the offense to
    Saunders "takes a lot of things off my plate and lets me direct them to some
    other things with our team that I need to address," he added.

    Saunders, 60, will call the plays and take the lead in offensive game-planning.
    "I'm going to learn more probably next year than I ever have coaching," Linehan
    said.

    Saunders coached at five colleges — including one season (1972) as wide
    receivers coach at Missouri — before landing his first NFL job, in San Diego.

    He coached the Chargers' wide receivers for three years before being promoted
    to head coach in 1986. He was fired after the 1988 season and, after 10 years
    as an assistant with the Chiefs, Saunders came to the Rams in 1999 to coach the
    wide receivers under Dick Vermeil.

    Saunders remained in the same role, which included the title of associate head
    coach, in 2000 after Mike Martz was named head coach. The following year,
    Saunders embarked on another five-year stint in Kansas City under Vermeil,
    whose "retirement" was short-lived.

    As offensive coordinator, Saunders put together a scheme that incorporated much
    of Martz's wide-open offensive philosophy, but complemented it with a heavier
    emphasis on the running game. During that half-decade, the Chiefs rang up more
    points than every other team in the NFL and had the NFL's top-ranked offense in
    '04 and '05.

    Saunders joined Joe Gibbs' staff in Washington in 2006. Gibbs resigned Jan. 8,
    and although the Redskins have yet to hire a new head coach, Saunders and
    defensive coordinator Gregg Williams were fired.

    Linehan emphasized that the hiring of Saunders, as well as other coaching staff
    changes, were not made at the behest of team President John Shaw. "There was
    never any mandate of any kind," Linehan said.

    Since the end of the season, Olson was removed as offensive coordinator, and
    offensive line coach Paul Boudreau, running backs coach Wayne Moses and
    secondary coach Willy Robinson were fired.

  9. #54
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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    Well, ok....he sees he needs help and he went out and got it. There is just one little problem that I see.....what's he going to do? Motivate? Not his style. Dictate? He already said he's released the offense to Saunders and the D to Haslett. Get the players back on his side? Well, signing Saunders sure helped.

    I just don't know what his role will be now.

  10. #55
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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    he will sit back and take a look at how things should be ran in the nfl. saunders is the best thing that could have happend to linehan

  11. #56
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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Point #1: I'm very happy about this hiring. This is the next-best thing to a HC change. Saunders is the perfect fit to utilize the talent the Rams have on offense.

    Point #2: No, this is not the end of SLOP. I chalk this up to the Front Office doing the right thing for the team. Whether Linehan would have let Olson go in favor of Saunders on his own... who knows? The real question, though, is this.... if the Rams offense plays well, does that mean Linehan is the long-term solution at HC, or does it mean Al Saunders is? There's a problem I'd like the Rams to have - winning games and wondering who deserves the credit!

    Point #3: Okay... I called this one the day Joe Gibbs retired (look it up!). Is someone finally gonna give me some love on this one?
    I remember, AV, so here's to you.:bashWe need a "beer" smily, Dez)

    On another note, I see posts here asking, "What's Linehan going to do?"

    I would ask, "What did Vermiel do?" Lots of parallels here.

    Maybe a head coach's main job, or focus, is being a sounding board for the coordinators and other coaches. The CEO of AT&T isn't teaching his field personnel how to wire up a phone. (OK, the analogy sucks, but it was short notice. You get the point).

    Linehan gets to stand back and look at the forest now. (Gotta love cliches!)
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

  12. #57
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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    Sorry, but Vermeil had status in the league. He already had taken the Eagles to one Super Bowl. Linehan has nothing but a losing record. Big difference.

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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    This is Great news! Maybe we can get back to our greatest show on turf days.

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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    I haven't seen contract info. Is it available?

    Hopefully this is a sign that if the Rams make a change next season to the head coaching position that it will be a focus on the defensive side of the ball and that Saunders can stay a while.

    The Rams have a solid OC and DC. I'm not sure Linehan is the leader we need to roll it all together but we'll see over the next 10 months. Regardless, my season ticket bill just became a heck of a lot easier to justify paying.

  15. #60
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    Re: Saunders is done deal

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    Sorry, but Vermeil had status in the league. He already had taken the Eagles to one Super Bowl. Linehan has nothing but a losing record. Big difference.
    I don't know what Vermiel's record was his first two years at Philly, but it's still apples and oranges. My point was that when DV had his new coordinators in place, he sat back and let them do their thing.

    After a 4-12 season.

    After a near mutiny.

    After a heart to heart with management.

    Their relative status as coaches at their respective points as Rams coaches is what I was referencing.

    Mr. Negative.
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

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