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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Linehan Might Go for More Offense

    NFL DRAFT:

    Apr 26, 5:24 PM (ET)

    By R.B. FALLSTROM
    ST. LOUIS (AP) -There's seems to be a lot of Mike Martz in Scott Linehan.

    Throughout the offseason, the St. Louis Rams' second-year coach has been hearing that for his team to become a contender the defense must be upgraded. Linehan has his own agenda, and one much like his predecessor.

    Thus far in free agency, the Rams' biggest expenditures have been for the passing game, with wide receiver Drew Bennett and tight end Randy McMichael joining high-paid stars Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce in the lineup. Despite their holes on the defensive line, Linehan, at least publicly, says he just might keep fortifying the offense with the 13th overall pick of the draft.

    Before the Rams acquired kick returner Dante Hall from the Chiefs for a fifth-round pick on Tuesday, Linehan expressed interest in taking Ohio State return man Ted Ginn Jr.

    "I promise you if a player like Ted Ginn or any other player creates field position or changes the scoreboard, our run defense is going to get a lot better because that team we're playing is going to be throwing," Linehan said. "I don't want to be cynical about it, but I just really feel the accumulation of talent making your team incrementally better, regardless of what side of the ball you're on, is going to make us a much better team."


    Case in point: Indianapolis won the Super Bowl without a dominant defense because the Colts score enough to dictate terms. Rams special teams coach Al Roberts noted that Tony Dungy was just "playing the hand he was dealt."

    "It's hard to get the players they've got," Linehan said. "The hand we're dealt here is we've got two veteran receivers who are arguably the two highest-paid guys in the league, but it's justified."

    The Rams went to two Super Bowls in a three-year span from 2000-02 with Martz running a high-powered offense. In recent years they've tried to balance out things without much success. Far removed from the glory years, St. Louis has had only one winning season in the last five.

    St. Louis has emphasized defense in recent drafts, taking cornerback Tye Hill in the first round last year. Steven Jackson, the No. 1 pick in 2004, is the Rams' first Pro Bowl draftee since Holt was taken in 1999.

    It might be a smoke screen, but Linehan said the Rams will take the ubiquitious best player available in the first round. That would be an easier sell if the Rams are able to trade a high pick for Panthers defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, who is on the block.

    Mock drafts tend to assume the Rams will draft for need, with Nebraska end Adam Carriker, Louisville tackle Amobi Okoye and Michigan defensive tackle Alan Branch among those mentioned as possibilities.

    The Rams already have addressed their pass rush, acquiring defensive end James Hall from the Lions.

    "We want to get an impact player, regardless of position, and address needs as we go," Linehan said.

    Generally, the Rams have had spotty success on draft day since moving to St. Louis in 1995. Linehan is proud of his first effort, which produced at least a half-dozen players who figure to make next season's roster. Along with Hill, Linehan considers tight ends Joe Klopfenstein (second round), defensive end Victor Adeyanju (fourth), defensive tackle Claude Wroten (third) and offensive guard Mark Setterstrom (seventh) as keepers.

    He believes linebackers Jon Alston (third) and Tim McGarigle (seventh), tight end Dominique Byrd (third) and wide receiver/return man Marques Hagans (fifth), also from the '06 draft class, have a chance to make a mark this season.

    Linehan, who had no head coaching experience at any level before his rookie season with the Rams, made the final call on draft day last year and will again have that responsibility. He gives the team an "excellent" grade for his first draft.

    "I think we were right on in our evaluations, which makes you feel good about the process," he said. "There was no 'What are we doing there, that was a reach."'

    As his second draft approaches, Linehan said he's reached a comfort level with the process.

    "I feel so good about where we're at as a team, staff and organization based on how we're addressing it," Linehan said. "I don't want to say it's a lot more fun, but it is a lot more fun."


  2. #2
    Drew Guest

    Re: Linehan Might Go for More Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post

    It might be a smoke screen, but Linehan said the Rams will take the ubiquitious best player available in the first round. "

    smoke screen or not,thank god when the 13th pick comes along B.P.A will be a defensive player!

  3. #3
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan Might Go for More Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    NFL DRAFT:

    Apr 26, 5:24 PM (ET)

    By R.B. FALLSTROM
    ST. LOUIS (AP) -There's seems to be a lot of Mike Martz in Scott Linehan.

    Thus far in free agency, the Rams' biggest expenditures have been for the passing game, with wide receiver Drew Bennett and tight end Randy McMichael joining high-paid stars Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce in the lineup. Despite their holes on the defensive line, Linehan, at least publicly, says he just might keep fortifying the offense with the 13th overall pick of the draft.

    "I promise you if a player like Ted Ginn or any other player creates field position or changes the scoreboard, our run defense is going to get a lot better because that team we're playing is going to be throwing," Linehan said. "I don't want to be cynical about it, but I just really feel the accumulation of talent making your team incrementally better, regardless of what side of the ball you're on, is going to make us a much better team."


    The Rams already have addressed their pass rush, acquiring defensive end James Hall from the Lions.

    "We want to get an impact player, regardless of position, and address needs as we go," Linehan said.

    Generally, the Rams have had spotty success on draft day since moving to St. Louis in 1995. Linehan is proud of his first effort, which produced at least a half-dozen players who figure to make next season's roster. Along with Hill, Linehan considers tight ends Joe Klopfenstein (second round), defensive end Victor Adeyanju (fourth), defensive tackle Claude Wroten (third) and offensive guard Mark Setterstrom (seventh) as keepers.

    He believes linebackers Jon Alston (third) and Tim McGarigle (seventh), tight end Dominique Byrd (third) and wide receiver/return man Marques Hagans (fifth), also from the '06 draft class, have a chance to make a mark this season.
    Don't be shocked if Linehan continues to go for offense. He feels like obviously Tye Hill is a keeper along with Adeyanju and Wroten. Also is expecting Alston and McGarigle to make a mark this season (whatever that means?). We may all be disappointed if Linehan goes offense with the 13th pick but don't be shocked.

    Unless.....Unless this another smoke screen ploy???

  4. #4
    Country Guest

    Re: Linehan Might Go for More Offense

    Unless they are going Levi Brown the Rams should stay away from drafting offense.

  5. #5
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan Might Go for More Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by Country View Post
    Unless they are going Levi Brown the Rams should stay away from drafting offense.

    "We want to get an impact player, regardless of position, and address needs as we go," Linehan said.

    I like the fact that he would rather have an impact player than draft for need in rd 1. The team will be investing alot of money if they stay at the 13 spot no matter who they select. With the exception of QB, I don't care what position their 1st selection plays as long as he is a good football player who will leave it all on the field each and every time he steps onto the field. I have to trust that the Rams have done their homework and will do us proud on draft day ...

  6. #6
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    Re: Linehan Might Go for More Offense

    Can you say BPA?
    This space for rent...

  7. #7
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan Might Go for More Offense

    It's always interesting how much an author is willing to leave out when trying to make their point. For example...

    Case in point: Indianapolis won the Super Bowl without a dominant defense because the Colts score enough to dictate terms. Rams special teams coach Al Roberts noted that Tony Dungy was just "playing the hand he was dealt."
    While Indy did not have a dominant defense during the regular season, their defense made DRASTIC improvements in the playoffs that seem to be ignored by the writer.

    During the regular season, the Colts' defense gave up 332.2 yards per game and 22.5 points per game. Their defense allowed opponents to convert on third down 47.1% of the time.

    Comparatively, during the post-season, Indianapolis allowed 238.5 yards per game, nearly 100 yards fewer than they allowed during the regular season. They also allowed fewer points per game at 16.2, ypg, nearly a touchdown's difference. And the difference in opposing third down conversion percentage was drastic as well, dropping to 23.9% in the playoffs.

    The author's statements seem to imply that Indy was able to win a championship in spite of their poor defense. I think anyone who watched the Colts in 2006 and then watched them in the post-season saw big improvements in the performance of their defensive unit that were vital to their success.

    I hope the people in the Rams' front office and coaching staff aren't ignoring this when they evaluate their own defense and our chances for success.

  8. #8
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Linehan Might Go for More Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    While Indy did not have a dominant defense during the regular season, their defense made DRASTIC improvements in the playoffs that seem to be ignored by the writer.

    During the regular season, the Colts' defense gave up 332.2 yards per game and 22.5 points per game. Their defense allowed opponents to convert on third down 47.1% of the time.

    Comparatively, during the post-season, Indianapolis allowed 238.5 yards per game, nearly 100 yards fewer than they allowed during the regular season. They also allowed fewer points per game at 16.2, ypg, nearly a touchdown's difference. And the difference in opposing third down conversion percentage was drastic as well, dropping to 23.9% in the playoffs.

    The author's statements seem to imply that Indy was able to win a championship in spite of their poor defense. I think anyone who watched the Colts in 2006 and then watched them in the post-season saw big improvements in the performance of their defensive unit that were vital to their success.

    I hope the people in the Rams' front office and coaching staff aren't ignoring this when they evaluate their own defense and our chances for success.
    Very good points. In addition to seeing the importance of improving the defense (regardless of how good the offense is), I hope the Ram decision makers realize how much of an impact a big time playmaker can mean to a defensive unit. Is it a coincidence that the Colts defensive turnaround corresponded to the return of Bob Sanders? Maybe Kris Jenkins can be our Bob Sanders.

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