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  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    Many have asserted that the Rams' injuries render it impossible to fairly evaluate the job Scott Linehan has done this year. I disagree.

    One of the primary problems I have with Linehan is his performance as a "game day coach." I think one of the best indicators of a coach's performance in this regard is to compare how the team has done in the second halves of games. A head coach is responsible for observing how the team is matching up and adjusting at halftime. Second-half performance also is indicative of how a team finishes games.

    So, how have the Rams done this year in the second halves of games?

    First Half Performance
    Rams 63, Opponents 88
    (Average margin: -3 points)

    Second Half Peformance
    Rams 36, Opponents 131
    (Average margin: -12 points)

    It should be noted that these stats really cannot be attributed to injuries. Rather, they are indicative of a head coach who seems to start with decent game plans, but fails to adjust in the second half and, essentially, gets out-coached in the end.


  2. #2
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    Re: A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    A new coach and a new QB would be a good start!
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    Please don't try to make this a thread about Bulger.

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    Re: A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    Bulger is not the problem, the play calling is.

  5. #5
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    Re: A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    Lack of in-game adjustments is one of my biggest problems with Linehan and Haslett. Last week's Brown game was a perfect example. Yes, I know everyone wants to blame the Jackson injury, but the truth is the Browns made simple adjustments on offense and our defense was unable to stop it. I was in my car listening to the game for a while and Jim Hannifan was screaming- "Why isn't Haslett rolling the coverage to help out Brown?!?!?!?!? I don't understand this!!!"

  6. #6
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    Re: A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    This is a very strong arguement for the firing of Linehan. It further supports my contention that we MUST hire a Head Coach with NFL experience. No over-promoted coordinators or college coaches that have potential are a safe bet for us.

    We also have to recognize that any new HC will need to immediately win-over the confidence of the players. The Rams have a significant crop of experienced players whom we rely on to win games for us. After the Mike Martz regime and the current Linehan regime, these players will be highly suspect of any newcomer without an absolute certain winning record. Hopefully the front-office will take this approach and we will have a HC that will last for many years to come.

    Resigning S. Jackson is critical to our future success, but would he stay with a team that offers uncertainty and little potential to get back on a winning track. For that reason alone finding the correct HC will be essential. I'm secretly hoping Denver is looking to make a change and Shanahan becomes available. I have no idea what his contract staus is, but he is known in NFL circles as one of the best game-day coaches for his 2nd half adjustments. He is an offensive oriented coach and works wonders with the running game. I'm not a Bronco fan so I'm not certain why they are having a mediocre year, but I still believe he's the "real deal" when it comes to head coaches.

    It promises to be an interesting off-season for the Rams.

    Go Rams!

  7. #7
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    Re: A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Bulger
    We have faith in him. He's working as hard as he can. We're not making plays for him.
    Bulger pretty much sums up the way I see it. How do you make successful adjustments when you don't have a team with the ability to execute and make plays?

  8. #8
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    Re: A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Bulger pretty much sums up the way I see it. How do you make successful adjustments when you don't have a team with the ability to execute and make plays?
    Well we stunk it up last year in the 2nd half too. I'm thinking particularly about the Seattle game at home and the Bears game.

    But back to this year, why is it they seem to be able to make a fair amount of plays in the 1st half but none in the 2nd half? For the most part it's the same players in the 1st half as the 2nd. If their able to execute to a decent extent in the 1st half then they should be able to do it in the 2nd half with adjustments being made. The fact that they suck soooooooooo bad in the 2nd half is mainly attributable to Linehan and his staff. Looking at the 2nd halves of game has always been a good barometer for a headcoach.

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    Re: A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Bulger pretty much sums up the way I see it. How do you make successful adjustments when you don't have a team with the ability to execute and make plays?
    Well, first off, Bulger didn't say "We don't have ability to execute and make plays", he said, "We're not making plays." Poor execution is reflected on the coaching staff.

    Secondly, I'm a little confused here- our team is good enough to pretty much carry out the initial game plan (which is shown in the above statistic), but if they're forced to make an adjustment, then they aren't good enough? (which is shown in the above statisic). I can see your argument if we were stinking up the joint the entire game, but it definately shows that as teams go back to the locker room to make adjustments for the Rams- there is a significant drop off on the Rams part. I would say that since its their jobs to disect what the other team is doing and adjust accordingly, the blame for this has fall on the coaching staff. It's their job to have the players prepared for whatever is thrown at them.

  10. #10
    max's Avatar
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    Re: A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    I posted on this subject a while ago on another board. One rebuttal I got was that the Rams incurred injuries in the 1st half of games that would affect these numbers. That is true.

  11. #11
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    Re: A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by max View Post
    I posted on this subject a while ago on another board. One rebuttal I got was that the Rams incurred injuries in the 1st half of games that would affect these numbers. That is true.

    That would contribute to some instances, but not as often as this has happened.

  12. #12
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    Re: A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    Sometimes a first half injury can cost you the game in the second half, but Linehan has lost control of far too many games in the second half. This is a very telling stat.

  13. #13
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    Re: A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by moloch41 View Post
    Well, first off, Bulger didn't say "We don't have ability to execute and make plays", he said, "We're not making plays." Poor execution is reflected on the coaching staff.[/SIZE][/FONT]
    Symantics. Bulger nailed it, the team is not making plays for Linehan.

  14. #14
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    Re: A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    Although the stats indicate a difference in points produced between the first half and the second half of Ram football games, it's not necessarily a true indicator that it's because Linehan and Haslett don't make the proper adjustments. I'm not saying it is, or it isn't, but I don't think you can hang your hat on that stat alone.

    A couple of things to consider. First, you can't ignore the fact that injuries DO make a difference in the outcome of the game and a difference in the point totals at half-time and in the final two quarters. Why? Because not only do the Rams find themselves starting the game with a rag-tag group on the front line, injuries occur DURING the game, mostly in the first-half of the game. What happens then? Linehan scrambles to replace the fallen lineman, or the lost RB, and half our playbook goes out the window because the replacements can't adequately do the job. Our playcalling suffers because we've got guys playing out of position and guys playing that have spent very little time in Ram camp. Which brings up another point. Some of our replacement linemen were on the streets before we picked them up, and conditioning could be a factor. They wear down and protection gets worse and the offense suffers as the game wears on. ...and we can't score in the second half at the same rate we did in the first half.

    I'll use the Browns game as a perfect example. The Rams came out smoking on offense and we go up 14-0 right out of the gate. Jackson and Cog go down and our offense comes to a grinding halt. Was that Linehan's fault? Was it poor game adjustment? Absolutely not. Funny, I didn't hear people complaining about Linehan's game plan or playcalling during the first-half of the game. All I heard was, "now that's the Rams I expected to see this year". But we don't have the Rams of last year. Leonard can't be compared to Jackson, and the injury to Cog in that game forced the Rams to scramble guys around once again, for seemingly the hundreth time this year. Linehan didn't have the same weapons at his disposal on offense for the second half of the game that he did in the first half. So, of course point production goes down.

    Look, I'm not saying that I have agreed with every decision Linehan has made, and I have questioned Haslett's playcalling/gameplan at times far more than I do Linehan/Olson's. But you cannot say that Linehan's ability to coach is not effected by the injuries. It absolutely is. Some have made the comparison of line injuries to other teams that have lost 2-3 guys up front, like the Patriots at one time. But it's not a fair comparison. The Rams have lost three starters for the year and 2 (or is it 3?) others for a considerable amount of time. Only one guy has started all 8 games, and he's not doing a very good job. Other teams have their back-ups to fill-in. Guys that have put in plenty of pre-season game time. Guys that know the playbook. The Rams have been hit so hard by injuries that they've literally pulled guys off the street to start. They're conditioning is questionable, and they don't have time to learn the playbook as well as a number 2 guy that's been on the roster for some time. It's not a "typical" scenario of injury replacement, and to judge Linehan's performance during this time is just not fair, IMHO. We had a questionable Oline before the season started, before anybody got injured. Now we have the replacements.

    In my opinion, it's been more about execution than it has been Linehan's game-time decisions and playcalling.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

  15. #15
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: A Stat That Dooms Linehan, and Can't be Attributed to Injuries

    Quote Originally Posted by max View Post
    I posted on this subject a while ago on another board. One rebuttal I got was that the Rams incurred injuries in the 1st half of games that would affect these numbers. That is true.
    To an extent, but not all the injuries happened in the first half of games. Besides, that is all part of the adjustment issue. If a player is injured, the coach must find a way to adjust the strategy.

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