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  • Rams Inside Slant

    Rams Inside Slant

    So much of what an NFL team does is tied up in player acquisition. In this age of the salary cap, which means frequent changes on rosters, making the right decisions are even more important.

    So, it stands to reason that coaching takes on more importance. How players adapt to new systems, especially younger players, is paramount for success, and it is the coaching that makes it happen.

    With the obvious emphasis on winning, coaching moves in head men and assistants mean a domino effect of other changes. Having a coaching staff on the same page is as important as the players.

    No team is immune. After the Rams' 12-4 season in 2003, defensive coordinator Lovie Smith was hired as the Bears' head coach. Going with him was linebackers coach Bob Babich. Offensive line coach Jim Hanifan retired, and special teams coach Bobby April also moved on.

    Rams coach Mike Martz is pleased with how the new coaches have come together quickly: defensive coordinator Larry Marmie, linebackers coach Joe Vitt, line coach John Benton and special teams coach Mike Stock.

    Said Martz, "There's a chemistry with a staff that happens just like what happens with a football team. A lot of times it has nothing to do with their coaching ability or their ability as a teacher. Their personalities kind of blend. With some of the new coaches on defense it's a unique chemistry. We had a good chemistry in the past here, there was a very good chemistry with Lovie and Bob and some of the guys that have been here, with different coaches that have come through in the last three years. With Larry now and also with Joe Vitt, who I've coached with before; then you add John Benton to the offensive side of the ball, who we had intimate knowledge of. My son played for him in college so I knew him very well. He's been to a lot of our camps so he's very familiar with what we do; were familiar with him.

    "Then Mike Stock. I'll tell you what, when you go looking for a coach you get all these calls when have a position available. You have to be careful with that because if you hire off a good recommendation there's good news and bad news to that. But from people that I know very well -- John Cooper, Dick Selcer -- people that I have great respect for were so high on Mike. I didn't know Mike. We brought him in and interviewed him, and it was clear his personality, his knowledge, his attention to detail; those are all the things we were looking for and he's a great fit. Personality-wise from a teaching standpoint, the chemistry of the whole staff is terrific right now. It's a lot of fun to be part of it."

    Notes, Quotes, Anecdotes

    --The Rams are still looking for depth on the offensive line, especially at tackle, after the decision was made not to sign Jeff Hatch for health reasons.

    A contract agreement had been reached with Hatch, who was originally a third-round pick by the Giants in 2002. However, the contract was contingent on Hatch taking a physical because he had missed his rookie season with a back injury and subsequent surgery.

    The results of the physical made Hatch too high a risk in the Rams' eyes, so the contract was not executed.

    --Rams second-year linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa credits some of his success as a rookie to the leadership of safety Aeneas Williams, who turned 36 in January.

    "The thing with Aeneas is he's pretty much a coach on this team," Tinoisamoa said. "He's the man around here. And he wasn't afraid to tell me: you have to do this, this is what we expect of you, this is what we expect from you. He only expects the best. When he used to tell me things, I had seen how hard he works so I had to respect that and listen. If he said this is how you do it, then that's how I'm going to do it. Everyone needs someone like Aeneas on their team or you're not going to be too successful.

    QUOTE TO NOTE
    "There's a void, but Jim's here quite a bit. We've asked him to be here as much as he wants to be here. Jim will always be a part of this. He'll be at camp, during the season, during the week of practice, we'd love to have him at practice. It's not like Jim isn't here anymore. He's around. He's not in all the meetings, but we still feel his presence." - Rams coach Mike Martz on "retired" offensive line coach Jim Hanifan.

  • #2
    Re: Rams Inside Slant

    Great to see that jim hanifan is going to stay involved with the team this year. I believe that other than landetta, he is the last guy left who was active in the league when the rams won their first title in 1945.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rams Inside Slant

      Every coaching change leaves a touch-and-go situation. Will the players respond to a new coaching staff, new philosophy, new expectations? From what little we have heard so far, it sounds like the team is acclamating to the new position coaches quite well. That's a positive, could bode well for this season.
      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rams Inside Slant

        Originally posted by general counsel
        I believe that other than landetta, he is the last guy left who was active in the league when the rams won their first title in 1945.
        Is it too late to add the General, Sir! to the nominations for funny posters?

        Comment

        Related Topics

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        • RamWraith
          Linehan transcript on coaching moves
          by RamWraith
          Head Coach Scott Linehan

          Tuesday, January 24, 2006



          (Opening statement)

          ďIíve been meaning to make this announcement. I, obviously, wanted to do it before it ever got out, but you know who things are; people find things out before I do, half the time. So Iím here to formally announce the hiring of my two coordinators. First, Jim Haslett, who you are all very aware of, whose coaching resume and reputation speaks for itself. Jim has been on my list. Iíve been very much hoping, for our sake, that he would be available during this while process. I knew going into it that he was going to be pursued by a number of teams as a head coach because of his reputation. Weíre lucky enough, I believe, to have his services. He feels it is the best situation for him to stay in the business, which shows you he is a true coach. Iím sure it would be an obvious temptation after going through the year that he, his staff, and his family have gone through this past year to just take a breather, but he is a football coach, and wants to go to the best place available. And Iím very happy to announce that he is going to be our defensive coordinator, and very excited about it. Heís a great fit. I looked at a number of candidates. There were a lot of really good candidates to evaluate and visited with a number of them over the phone or in person. And we met over the weekend, actually here in the South Florida part of the world. He was good enough to come down and visit with me on Sunday, and we visited a little bit more yesterday. put some thought into it over the evening and decided this morning that this is where he wanted to be, so Iím very excited about that.Ē



          ďOn the offensive side, Greg Olson is going to be our offensive coordinator. Greg and I have a history. We go way back. Weíre both Dennis Erickson raised, young coaches or players. I played for Dennis. He coached with him as a graduated assistant for Dennis at Washington State University. We were raised under the same system in college, ran the same systems in college at different places. We have never worked together; we have worked with each other in clinics and camps and things over time. I have admired Gregís ability to evaluate. A little history on Greg is he recruited, coached, and groomed John Kitna at a small college in both of our home state, Washington, Central Washington. John has gone on a very successful pro career. He then coached at my alma mater, after I left the University of Idaho to go to the University of Washington, and coached the quarterbacks there. Then was named the quarterback coach at Purdue University. He evaluated and helped recruit Drew Brees, and coached Drew Brees through his college career. We all know Drew was one of the all-time greatest college quarterbacks in the history of the game. A lot of that falls on Gregís ability to, number one, evaluate him, not a lot of people were recruiting Drew...
          -01-24-2006, 05:04 PM
        • RamWraith
          Shaw's State of the Rams Address
          by RamWraith
          Team President John Shaw

          News Conference

          Monday, January 02, 2006



          (Opening statement)

          ďEarlier today I spoke with Coach Martz, and informed him that he was being terminated as the head coach of the Rams. We have decided that a change in our head coaching position is in the best interest of the football team. We deferred taking any action until we were sure that Coach Martz had regained his health. His doctor advised us that Mike was fully recovered on January 1, 2006, which as you know was yesterday.Ē



          ďI want to express my appreciation to Coach Vitt and the coaching staff for their hard work in trying to maintain stability under very challenging and disruptive circumstances. I thank them for their efforts.Ē



          ďI will begin a search for a new head coach immediately. Our mission has always been, and continues to be, to be one of the premier franchises in the NFL. I want to assure our fans and our players that we are committed to putting a championship caliber team on the field. That will be foremost in our thinking as we conduct our search for a new head coach.Ē



          (On what type of coach is being sought)

          ďA coach that we think will improve our product and put a more competitive team on the field right now.Ē



          (On why Coach Martz was terminated)

          ďThere were several reasons, including the general direction of the team. I canít really pinpoint at what exact time we made a decision to change our coach. But like I said, we were going to defer any action until he had regained his health. ď



          (On when the decision was made to make the change)

          ďAgain, itís difficult for me to pinpoint the exact moment, and it was all somewhat academic because we werenít going to do anything until we were assured through Mikeís doctor that he was healthy.Ē



          (On what was Coach Martzís reaction)

          ďI spoke to Mike earlier this morning. I guess there was a sense of expectation that it was going to happen. He was very cordial.Ē



          (On whether he has timetable for hiring a new head coach)

          ďWe donít have a timetable. We will begin the search immediately, and hopefully get it done as quickly as we can.Ē



          (On whether the number of opening in the league forces the search to go more quickly)

          ďNo, we have identified a list of candidates. Itís quite a wide list. We will do this immediately, but diligently. I know there will be a number of coaching vacancies, but we will do it in a way that suits us.Ē



          (On whether the hiring of a new head coach will necessitate a restructuring of the front office)

          ďIt will start with a head coach. Iím not prepared to discuss...
          -01-02-2006, 05:51 PM
        • RamWraith
          Entire news conference in wrting
          by RamWraith
          President John Shaw

          Friday, January 20, 2006

          (Introduction of Scott Linehan as the Ramsí new head coach)

          ďGood morning. It is my pleasure today to introduce Scott Linehan as the new head coach of the St. Louis Rams. The hiring today culminates an aggressive and extensive search for a new head coach where we interviewed a wide range of candidates including three NFL defensive coordinators, two offensive coordinators, a college head coach and one former NFL head coach. After all of these interviews it was clear to us that coach Linehan should be the next head coach of the St. Louis Rams. By way of background, Scott Linehan is considered one of the young, bright offensive minds in the NFL. Last year, he was the (offensive) coordinator of the Miami Dolphins and for the three years before that, he was the (offensive) coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings. For the three years that he was the Vikings coordinator, their offense ranked in the top four in the NFL. Prior to that, he was a college coach for 13 years. Scott is married to his wife Kristen for 17 years, and he has three young boys. On behalf of Georgia Frontiere, Stan Kroenke, Jay Zygmunt, myself and the entire Ram organization, I welcome our new head coach, Scott Linehan.Ē


          Head Coach Scott Linehan

          Friday, January 20, 2006

          (Opening statement)

          ďIt feels kind of like kickoff. Iíll tell you, Iím pretty excited about this opportunity. I do want to tell you on behalf of my wife, Kristen, and our three young boys, we are very, very excited to be a part of the Ram family. I also want to thank John [Shaw], and Jay [Zygmunt], and obviously the ownership. I had a wonderful meeting with Georgia a couple days ago, and itís been a great experience, and theyíve done a lot of extensive work. I donít know how they do it. There were a lot of great candidates that theyíve been evaluating, and I feel very honored to be selected for this position. The one thing I want to make sure is really established right away is that this is going to be a family environment here at the Rams. We will do things cohesively as a group, as a unit and make decisions as a team from day one. Thatís how things get done. Thatís how things get done properly. Thatís the most important thing that I feel needs to be established right away. The next thing is I believe this is a new Rams era within, what I believe, is a great tradition. The tradition here is kind of a well-kept secret in a way, because some people donít really describe it that way to me. Itís really hard for me to believe that there are many teams in the modern era, for example the last seven years, have won or been in the top five in wins, won an NFC Championship and a World Championship. That is outstanding. It is a tradition that we will hold, the entire organization to that standard and to get back to that level of excellence...
          -01-21-2006, 08:00 AM
        • RamWraith
          They Said It: Quotes from Rams Park
          by RamWraith
          Rams Vitt
          Interim head coach Joe Vitt at Monday's press conference.
          (Karen Elshout/P-D)

          Here are transcripts of Monday's press conferences, as provided by the Rams' media relations department:


          MIKE MARTZ


          (Opening statement)

          ďI want to thank all of you in the media. I have had so many calls and letters and flowers and gifts. Itís really been overwhelming, and I really want to tell you that itís heartfelt and tell you how much I appreciate your concerns and your attention, and really, thatís why Iím here. I wanted to make sure, because so many of you called and wanted to know whatís going on, and youíve treated me so well over the years, thatís the least I could do is to answer some questions and let you know what the situation is.

          ďI was talking to Dan Dierdorf last week. He called. You guys know Dan, wonderful guy, great sense of humor. He asked how I was doing and, probably the best way to put it is, I didnít know I was feeling so bad until I started feeling good. Thatís kind of where I am right now. I really do feel good. However, I met with Vicki Fraser, Dr. Fraser, from Wash. U, and it was her conclusion that it was in my best interest, health-wise, to not coach the remainder of this season. For at least four more weeks, I wouldnít have been able to do anything, and then there was a possibility of coming back under a limited capacity. Somebody who has this in a normal job, I say normal, but who has a normal job, right, a nine-to-five job, thatís probably do-able. I canít do that. She understood that, and she said the best chance for a full recovery, which I will have a full recovery, and get back to normal is to stay away. For me to have one foot in and one foot out is not fair to the organization, to these coaches or these players. To be back next year with the Rams, here, as a head coach, the best think I can do, personally, is to take care of my health.

          ďAfter talking to Julie [Martz], and obviously Dr. Fraser was adamant about this, this is a tough thing to do, and there is a lot of guilt involved here. You feel like you are letting so many people down, the coaches and the players and the organization. There is a responsibility that, when you take this job, you feel. No matter where you are, when you go to bed at night, when you are out to dinner, if you are on the west coast, wherever you are throughout the season, there is that responsibility that is your life. So, not to be here when you feel like you need to is hard to deal with.

          ďThe only good part of that, at this point, is that I know Joe Vitt and the job that he has done the past two weeks. What a remarkable man he is. He really deserves to be a head coach in his own right. I think he is. Heís just done an outstanding job. The way the players and the coaching staff have rallied to this point is remarkable, and Iím excited about that. So, thatís a relief...
          -10-25-2005, 06:04 AM
        • RamsFan16
          Coaches Media Luncheon Quotes
          by RamsFan16
          http://www.stlouisrams.com/article/53079/



          Nice article IMO! The bold is what I think is most interesting....
          -02-15-2006, 06:41 PM
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