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  1. #1
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Scott Linehan number 2

    OPENING DRIVE
    (July 18, 2006) -- Ten teams open training camp in the next week or so with new coaches.

    New coaches generally mean new approaches on a variety of fronts, including offensive and defensive strategy.

    In most cases, there is more to teach and learn in camps of teams that have undergone a coaching change than in those of clubs with established coaches and systems.

    Here is how I rank the 10 coaches who were part of one of the more dramatic offseasons of upheaval in recent memory in the order of their chances for immediate success (which means that a low ranking does not at all rule out the possibility of future success):


    The Chiefs are hoping new coach Herman Edwards can finally get them over the hump.
    1. Herman Edwards, Kansas City: He took over a contender after Dick Vermeil's retirement. Edwards, former head coach of the New York Jets, should make the team better by going to more of a smash-mouth offensive approach that maximizes the production of Larry Johnson and by instilling an aggressive, swarming mentality that should help improve the defense. Edwards' motivational skills are on a par with those of Vermeil, his former coach in Philadelphia.

    2. Scott Linehan, St. Louis: He was left a good, solid team after Mike Martz's departure. Linehan, a former offensive coordinator in Miami and Minnesota, should be able to add more of a ball-controlling dimension to the offense by giving Steven Jackson a larger rushing role and by having tight ends more involved in the passing game. Former Saints coach Jim Haslett, the Rams' new defensive coordinator, will do his part to allow the Rams to pose a serious challenge to Seattle in the NFC West.

    3. Brad Childress, Minnesota: He assumed control of a pretty good club after Mike Tice was fired. His horizontal approach to the passing game meshes perfectly with the knowledge and skill of his veteran quarterback, Brad Johnson. Childress, who served as Andy Reid's offensive coordinator in Philadelphia, also should tighten things up considerably after the many off-the-field distractions of last season.

    4. Sean Payton, New Orleans: He ended up with a team loaded with question marks after Haslett was fired, but he has the potential to provide some very positive answers. Landing Reggie Bush with the second pick of the draft, alone, should do wonders for the offense, but the improvement could be dramatic if Drew Brees is fully recovered from shoulder surgery by the start of the season. Payton, a former offensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, is capable of getting plenty of production from a healthy Brees.

    5. Rod Marinelli, Detroit: The former defensive line coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took over a team, previously guided by Steve Mariucci (and interim coach Dick Jauron), with several underachieving players. Marinelli's largest contribution should be in changing the more carefree culture that had existed and requiring greater accountability. Martz, the new offensive coordinator, also should get better results from a struggling offense.

    6. Art Shell, Oakland: He returned to a troubled Raiders team, which he coached from 1989 to 1994, after Norv Turner was fired. Shell brings much-needed toughness to the offense and will emphasize a power rushing attack that should help on both sides of the ball. His greatest challenge will be finding a consistently effective quarterback. Aaron Brooks gets the first crack.

    7. Gary Kubiak, Houston: The former Denver Broncos offensive coordinator faces some lofty expectations after replacing Dom Capers, because Texans owner Bob McNair and the fans are no longer satisfied with merely being in the NFL. Although top overall draft pick Mario Williams has the tall task of making people forget that the team passed on Bush, the focal point of scrutiny for Kubiak's rookie season will be the performance of David Carr.

    8. Mike McCarthy, Green Bay: He found himself with numerous holes to fill after taking over for Mike Sherman. The fact quarterback isn't one of them is the reason McCarthy, former offensive coordinator in San Francisco and New Orleans, didn't end up at the bottom of the list. Brett Favre is still good enough to give the Packers a chance to win, even with so many question marks in his supporting cast.

    9. Dick Jauron, Buffalo: He took a job that neither he nor anyone else thought would be available before Mike Mularkey's surprise resignation. Jauron has enough head-coaching experience (all with Chicago) to make the best of it, but he faces an enormous challenge in finding a competent starting quarterback from among J.P. Losman, Kelly Holcomb, and Craig Nall, and turning around a defense that struggled last year.


    Eric Mangini will have his work cut out for him in his first season as Jets head coach.
    10. Eric Mangini, N.Y. Jets: He became the NFL's youngest coach when, at 35, he replaced Edwards, who requested his release to join the Chiefs. Youth and inexperience aren't necessarily major drawbacks, but they could prove to be stumbling blocks in the early going, especially for a team that needs to find a quarterback (from among Chad Pennington, Patrick Ramsey, Kellen Clemens, and Brooks Bollinger ) and has many other holes to fill. As Bill Belichick's former defensive coordinator, Mangini does have a pretty good model to follow.


  2. #2
    Varg6's Avatar
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    Re: Scott Linehan number 2

    I honestly can't say this is wrong. I really think Herm should be #1 just because of the fact that they do have some serious weapons, and Herm is already a proven Head Coach anyways. They got this thing right about us (for once), and I'm happy at #2, and obviously at #2, #2 can still do a lot of things this season...


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  3. #3
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Scott Linehan number 2

    2. Scott Linehan, St. Louis: He was left a good, solid team after Mike Martz's departure. Linehan, a former offensive coordinator in Miami and Minnesota, should be able to add more of a ball-controlling dimension to the offense by giving Steven Jackson a larger rushing role and by having tight ends more involved in the passing game. Former Saints coach Jim Haslett, the Rams' new defensive coordinator, will do his part to allow the Rams to pose a serious challenge to Seattle in the NFC West.
    Hmm, and here all this time I thought Linehan inherited a troubled, aging, cancerous trainwreck of a shambled squad from the death and destruction of the evil Mike Martz.

    Oh well, maybe I heard wrong.

    Okay, joking aside, Linehan may be the formula for the earliest possible return to the top of the division. His offense appears flexible enough to adjust to inexperienced youngsters and aging vets alike. And just as Martz' biggest mistake (next to fathering Jimmy Kimmel.....seriously look at their pictures side by side) was hiring Marmie, one of Linehan's best moves was bringing in Haslett.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  4. #4
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Re: Scott Linehan number 2

    My first thought was I wanted the rams to go for a defensive coach, but when the rams pick Haslett I think that was one of the most impotant move of the off season. I think his ranking is right but I would not have him at # 2 if not for Haslett.
    :ramlogo:

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