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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Will Linehan really change the Rams for the better?

    By Jeff Gordon
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    12/04/2006


    Quarterback Marc Bulger went off on his “nonchalant” teammates after the Gridbirds hammered the Rams. One of those youthful underachievers, rookie tight end Dominique Byrd, capped an eventful Rams Sunday by getting involved in a nightclub tiff.

    Apparently he was involved with some “illegal touching” and things degenerated from there.

    Come Monday, folks were wondering if rookie head coach Scott Linehan could restore order at Rams Park.

    Your cyber-correspondent wondered if Linehan would get after his team as aggressively as he berated game officials Sunday on the field. Apparently, he didn’t – because Linehan’s message to the media sounded like more of the same old stuff.

    Linehan didn’t take any action on Byrd, preferring to see the legal system run its course first.

    The Coach talked to Bulger about his comments, but didn’t regard them as a major crisis. And he didn’t discuss Bulger’s comments with the team as a whole.

    After the game, Linehan lamented his team’s untimely penalties and costly turnovers. But Bulger’s outburst spoke to deeper concerns, such as the work ethic, commitment level and professional focus of certain unnamed players.

    Linehan’s response? He believes the players do care and that they are committed. The problem, he said, is that they just aren’t playing well.

    He continued trumpeting “accountability” in his programs . . . but the same players start at the same position and make the same mistakes game after game after game.

    So will real changes EVER be made?

    “You can make the changes now,” Linehan insisted. “The changes are to be made immediately and put into the action. It started today with our meetings, offensively, defensively, special teams and as a team. The whole idea is, changes must be for the better, to improve, to do what we’re not doing.”

    But Alex Barron keeps earning false-start penalties and Richie Incognito still loses his composure.

    “There has to be some sort of consequence,” Linehan said. “To determine what that is . . . repeat plays, even more than we have been. I think the emphasis has to be holding that person or persons or group accountable to those things.”

    But how? Whatever happens to the repeat offenders?

    “You have vocal leaders that want to be leaders now, guys that want to step up and take bull by the horns, there could be some things said on the field, too, to those guys,” Linehan said. “It doesn’t have be a coach. The players can’t start policing themselves.”

    That process may have started with Bulger’s declaration. Will it continue, though? Will veterans like Todd Steussie help the coaches draw the line on immature players?

    Injuries limit Linehan’s lineup options, so benching players is difficult. Punishing them is difficult, too, since the coaching staff still needs them to play.

    (It’s hard to start somebody who spends a week in the stockade. Playing the public humiliation card often backfires on a coach.)

    So we’re about to learn a lot more about Linehan. Is he up to the challenge of head coaching in the NFL? Is he tough enough to reel this team in?

    Can he handle the mounting adversity? Could he have imagined such tribulation during his first season as a head coach?

    “I think if you assume things are gong to go perfectly, I think you’re fooling yourself,” Linehan said. “I think you have to be prepared for anything and you have to be prepared for how you will respond.

    “I know that term ‘rookie coach’ comes up here lately, but I’ve been coaching for a number of years. I’ve been involved in a lot of situations football-wise, successful and not successful. The whole idea is the preparation part is how do you respond. It’s not what has happened, it’s what you do about it. That has always been my focus and always will be.”

    That’s great, but now we’ll see if the players respond to high-road coaching. In this corner of cyberspace, we harbor some doubts.

    Instead of asking players sign his symbolic sledgehammer, perhaps Linehan ought to have more of them duck it.


  2. #2
    jkramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Will Linehan really change the Rams for the better?

    i liked this guy in the beginning and i think he needs a chance to turn this around, but i have to admit that i am not impressed with how he 's doing so far,his comments make me think that nothing is going to change.

  3. #3
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Will Linehan really change the Rams for the better?

    He's killing me with I thinks.... He's says he's been around the NFL, has the experience through the good and the bad times. Enough of the reaction to an action! Time for Linehan to stand up and be heard. He needs to show a confidence whether he has it or not. The team is a reflection of their leader. Dang it, stop pussy footin' around and grab the bull by the horns. Marc Bulger kicked the door open, time for Linehan to enter with guns blazing!

  4. #4
    jkramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Will Linehan really change the Rams for the better?

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    He's killing me with I thinks.... He's says he's been around the NFL, has the experience through the good and the bad times. Enough of the reaction to an action! Time for Linehan to stand up and be heard. He needs to show a confidence whether he has it or not. The team is a reflection of their leader. Dang it, stop pussy footin' around and grab the bull by the horns. Marc Bulger kicked the door open, time for Linehan to enter with guns blazing!
    i believe you just stated what a lot of us are thinking.

  5. #5
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    Re: Will Linehan really change the Rams for the better?

    Not me I'm afraid.

  6. #6
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    Re: Will Linehan really change the Rams for the better?

    Nice article by Jeff Gordan....I like his style. Good questions ....
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #7
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    Re: Will Linehan really change the Rams for the better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang View Post
    Not me I'm afraid.
    Be afraid...be very afraid...Yikes!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    SJax, a developing quarterbacks best friend...

  8. #8
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    Re: Will Linehan really change the Rams for the better?

    Quote Originally Posted by SFCRamFan View Post
    Be afraid...be very afraid...Yikes!
    I didn't leave the comma out......................

    If we aren't going to give a coach longer than 12 games to get it right, we're going to struggle to find anyone to take the job, let alone change us for the better.

  9. #9
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Will Linehan really change the Rams for the better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang View Post
    If we aren't going to give a coach longer than 12 games to get it right, we're going to struggle to find anyone to take the job, let alone change us for the better.
    How true. Who's going to want to come and coach for this team if the window for success is 10-12 games?
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Four
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  10. #10
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    Re: Will Linehan really change the Rams for the better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang View Post
    I didn't leave the comma out......................

    If we aren't going to give a coach longer than 12 games to get it right, we're going to struggle to find anyone to take the job, let alone change us for the better.
    Agreed, peoples expectations were set too high and now it's an all out disaster because suposedly we "should be" a certain type of team. Linehan needs some time to get things done. Now he knows that the D line gets no push, Spoon should move back to the outside, and the O line needs to get better (and hopefully avoids injury) plus other areas of concern. Those are things he can address in the offseason/draft. We are a work in progress, that has to be accepted.
    BRUUUUUUUUUUUCE


  11. #11
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    Re: Will Linehan really change the Rams for the better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang View Post
    I didn't leave the comma out......................

    If we aren't going to give a coach longer than 12 games to get it right, we're going to struggle to find anyone to take the job, let alone change us for the better.
    Your right, 12 games isn't enough. 13 games though, thats another story...

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