No announcement yet.

Linehan takes hard look at himself

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Linehan takes hard look at himself

    By Jim Thomas
    Tuesday, Jan. 01 2008

    There will be coaching staff changes and numerous player changes in the weeks
    and months to come. But before going there, Rams coach Scott Linehan is
    starting his evaluation process by looking in the mirror.

    "I'm actually spending this week really putting a lot of thought into
    evaluating the season, starting with myself to be honest with you," Linehan
    said. "Looking at the things that I've got to change first, before we start
    talking about the staff and the personnel on our team. If I can come to terms
    with that first, I think I can make much better decisions (on everything else)."

    With the dust barely settled on a 3-13 season, Linehan already has come to one
    key conclusion on Linehan. Namely, he has to do a better job of handling

    "I personally was devastated by the way we started the season," Linehan said.
    "I didn't want to admit it, or tried not to show it. And I'm not going to say
    the first four games or eight games; I'm talking about the first couple (games).

    "If you go into a season, and you drop your first game or first two games, if
    you're feeling that disappointment or whatever, it sometimes may affect you."

    After squandering second-half leads in home losses to Carolina and San
    Francisco to start the season, Linehan believes he started pressing.

    "And it showed up in maybe how I coached, how we played and performed," Linehan
    said. "Hopefully, I've learned that lesson, and won't do that again. ... You've
    really got to put those (tough losses) to bed as quick as possible, and move on
    and get yourself ready to go with a whole fresh approach."

    But Linehan realizes he can't sit around all month in self-reflection. The
    annual West Coast summit meeting with team president John Shaw and president of
    football operations-general manager Jay Zygmunt will take place sometime in

    The Senior Bowl is in late January, and because the Rams finished with the
    worst record in the NFC, Linehan and his staff probably will be asked to coach
    one of the squads of NFL draft prospects all week leading up to the all-star

    "I'm not opposed to that," Linehan said. "Certainly with the high pick we have
    this year, it can be very valuable."

    The Rams have the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. The Senior Bowl also is a
    job fair for assistant coaches looking for jobs, and head coaches looking for

    Does Linehan foresee many changes on his coaching staff?

    "I don't know," Linehan said. "There possibly could be a change or two. I think
    it's only fair to say that at this point."

    But Linehan doesn't have a firm timetable on making staff changes, and says he
    really hasn't given the topic much thought until now.

    To get things right in 2008, the Rams must hit on their first- and second-round
    picks in April. Free agency can help, but Linehan realizes teams are doing a
    better job of keeping their own free agents, thus thinning the market.

    "So I don't know how much is done in free agency," Linehan said. "It's hard to
    get guys out. I think you've got to really look at free agency ó and trades.
    Trades are probably as good a way as any to change the face or the culture of
    your team, veteran-wise."

    Over the next several weeks, Linehan also plans to meet with most of his
    current Rams players, either in person at Rams Park or on the phone.

    "We've got to have a lot better offseason," he said. "We've got to see
    improvements in our offseason program. And the attitude and mind-set of our
    team's got to change. And it's got to start now. We can't wait until September."

    Linehan is just glad he has a chance to make things right in '08, while
    realizing it's very much a make-or-break year for him as Rams head coach.

    "I know the sense of urgency is there," Linehan said. "You put a lot of time
    and energy into a couple drafts and a couple years. You finish 8-8 (in '06),
    and then you turn around the next season and for whatever reason you have a lot
    of adversity and you have a tough year."

    So he's grateful for the vote of confidence Shaw gave him in early December.

    "It's a good sign for me, not just because I'm still standing, but that we've
    got (people) who have enough patience to understand that it does sometimes take
    time to get things done," Linehan said. "They've been through it before."

    Namely, in bringing back Dick Vermeil for a third season after he won just nine
    of 32 games in 1997 and '98. Vermeil and the Rams, of course, won the Super
    Bowl in the '99 season. Linehan realizes Rams ownership and management could've
    easily fired Vermeil after a 4-12 season.

    "And just moved on to another guy," Linehan said. "They hung in there (with

    Just like they're hanging in with Linehan for a third season after the 3-13
    disaster of 2007.

    "Hopefully, I'll be the beneficiary of that patience and that support," he
    said. "I truly believe that it's a blessing to have another shot."

  • #2
    Re: Linehan takes hard look at himself

    what do you think the guy in the mirror is saying back at Linehan ?


    • #3
      Re: Linehan takes hard look at himself

      This is nothing at all like Vermeil.

      It does sound like Linehan is saying he'll be better prepared to deal with an 0-8 record
      in the future. Just what I needed to hear.


      • #4
        Re: Linehan takes hard look at himself

        I thought it was all injuries? Was there more too it?


        • #5
          Re: Linehan takes hard look at himself

          Originally posted by RamWraith View Post
          "Hopefully, I'll be the beneficiary of that patience and that support," he
          said. "I truly believe that it's a blessing to have another shot."
          I can't say that I'm not impressed with what he said there. He knows he screwed up royally. I am in a crossroads with him, always have been. I am fine with firing him, but at the same time if we give him another year I am not sure how awful that could be depending on the draft and whatnot.
          Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams


          • #6
            Re: Linehan takes hard look at himself

            Atlease he's not being an idiot and blaming it on his players. He knows what he's done, and he wants to show the world what he can do. 3 strikes and youre out. hes on strike number 2.

            hopefully he can do something with the free agency (picking up a big name) there and signing our players.

            But if he can some how read lose Isaac Bruce...we want Chad Johnson or Randy Moss in return. It'd be the only way I'd be happy


            • #7
              Re: Linehan takes hard look at himself

              What coaches would he fire. If he does not fire haslett he won't be able to touch the defensive coaches. He needs to bring in a OC. I don't see that happening.
              They will fire softli and bring and Donahue and that will be there big shake up.


              • #8
                Re: Linehan takes hard look at himself

                Originally posted by RamWraith View Post

                "Hopefully, I'll be the beneficiary of that patience and that support," he
                said. "I truly believe that it's a blessing to have another shot."
                After this season, I believe I may have another shot, and I don't even drink...:\

                GO RAMS!!


                • #9
                  Re: Linehan takes hard look at himself

                  Linehan is a terrible coach and should just quit so we can get a decent coach in here. Who? I dont know, but I think anyone would be better than this guy!


                  • #10
                    Re: Linehan takes hard look at himself

                    :\ Well, we'll see, we'll see.

                    As V6 said, I too am at the crossroads with Coach Linehan. Yes, the 2008 draft will be important; make that imperative, imperative that good choices are made to be put into action immediately. As will having a new OC -- still thinking Coach Ellard might do fine but I'm not sure.

                    But the real determining factor will be Coach SL himself. This has been brought on by both the overwhelming number of key injuries in '07 as well as by some very evident situations that pertain solely on coaching (I'm still flabbergasted, for example, at the joking and smiling that was on our HC when talking with Bulger during the Pittsburgh game just before Holt began to vent for the INT on 4th down -- can't understand that and now don't really care to).

                    I'm just glad Coach is 'trying' to be honest with himself and with the organization. He knows all too well that next season will fall directly, fully, and squarely on his shoulders.

                    Let's hope he does some serious workouts till then. :bash:


                    • #11
                      Re: Linehan takes hard look at himself

                      My favorite part is obviously the statement about being grateful that the front office realizes it takes time (to turn anything around).

                      No truer words have been spoken.

                      Whether any of the non-supporters admit it or not, it is virtually impossible to suceed under the conditions we found ourselves in this year.

                      Even if Linehan was coach of the year, we would not have been a playoff team with all our injuries in my estimation.

                      And if we were, and got hammered in the wildcard game, would it have been worth it to lose a top five pick?

                      I say no...For me, if we don't have a legitimate chance of contending, I'd rather end up like we did rather than the middle of the pack.

                      I know basketball is different, but because David Robinson got hurt one year, the San Antonio Spurs were able to draft Tim Duncan the following year, and the rest is history.

                      I understand the frustration of a season like this, but to me, it's actually a blessing in disguise because I believe we sorely need a top 5 pick.

                      Now we can actually draft the very best player for us, instead of hoping a particular player drops.


                      • #12
                        Re: Linehan takes hard look at himself

                        How long have members here been saying the same things about the Rams team and Linehan, that its just not the injuries, but the person looking back in that mirror. It took how long before Linehan to have this revelation.

                        If Linehan survives this off season, all I can say is good luck Scotty, your gone to need it. Considering how slow he is off the blocks, it might be June that something possitive is done


                        Well he has at least hit on the solutions to the problems. More aggressive free-agent activity in the offseason (something I been saying in week 2 of the 07 season). Thankfully he knows how important it is to retain some of the free agents--have to see how he fairs there which many here this pass month have voiced a concern over.

                        Just about every board member had to scratch their head and try and fathom his chose of OC. And yet everyone here ot some extent or the other voiced criticim, dismay, and concern over players....some of those players have already been weeded out (LATE IN THE SEASON OF COURSE)

                        Linehan's resent reading of the tea leaves, just echos what most have already voiced ALL BLOODY SEASON LONG. Pity it took the whole of 07, a year we'll never get back, to come to these heart felt observations. I wounder if a bee would sting Linhan that it would take him a week to registor the pain

                        Come April we well see if there is hope or tears of dispair for 08


                        • #13
                          Re: Linehan takes hard look at himself

                          Loserhan Is Saying This To Get Us Fans To Buy His Crap And So Tickets Can Sale Next Year, This Is All A Trick, Don't Be Fooled. Loserhan Sucks Big Time
                          Last edited by rams 24/7; -01-02-2008, 03:44 AM.


                          • #14
                            Re: Linehan takes hard look at himself

                            Originally posted by Mooselini View Post
                            Atlease he's not being an idiot and blaming it on his players. He knows what he's done, and he wants to show the world what he can do. 3 strikes and youre out. hes on strike number 2.

                            hopefully he can do something with the free agency (picking up a big name) there and signing our players.

                            But if he can some how read lose Isaac Bruce...we want Chad Johnson or Randy Moss in return. It'd be the only way I'd be happy
                            I'm not so sure going from 6-10 to 8-8 is strike one?

                            Going from 8-8 to 3-13 might be worth 2 strikes though.
                            sigpic :ram::helmet:


                            • #15
                              Re: Linehan takes hard look at himself

                              He needs to take a harder look at himself and resign.


                              Related Topics


                              • RamWraith
                                Linehan knows future is now
                                by RamWraith
                                By Jim Thomas
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                                At age 44, Scott Linehan is still young and inexperienced by NFL head-coaching standards. He has been around long enough, however, to realize what he's facing this year.

                                "I feel like I've got to win," Linehan said. "I'm not going to (con) anybody. There's no question."

                                In some way, shape or form, Linehan must win "X" amount of games this season to keep his job. And what's the magic number?

                                "I don't know what it is," Linehan said. "But we've got to win."

                                Linehan says no one in upper management or ownership has communicated that to him. But they don't really have to.

                                "They know that I know we've got to win," says Linehan, who's entering Year 3 of a four-year deal. "They've been nothing but supportive, between Chip (Rosenbloom) and Lucia (Rodriguez), and John (Shaw). And obviously, I work with Jay (Zygmunt) on a day-to-day basis.

                                "They want nothing more than for our football team to have success, and to say, 'We did pick the right guy.' It pains me to not be able to give them the product. Especially a year ago."

                                After an 8-8 inaugural season in 2006, a year in which the Rams closed strongly and barely missed a playoff berth, the wheels fell off in '07 when Linehan's injury-ravaged team finished 3-13.

                                "We felt we should have done a lot better, in every way, basically," Linehan said. "But it happened. If you lament about it, it's not productive. You've got to take the experience, turn it into a positive, and work that much harder. Make sure you're smarter about your approach."

                                The early weeks of the offseason were perhaps the toughest stretch of Linehan's coaching career. He looked inwardly at what he could do better, and then outwardly to see what could be improved around him. Here's what Linehan came up with:

                                HE HAD TO HANDLE LOSING BETTER

                                There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of Linehan moping after losses, to the point of even returning to Rams Park on Sunday nights following a defeat, munching cereal and roaming the halls in sweat pants. Trouble was, those feelings spilled over into Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and on.

                                Linehan concedes: "My biggest flaw is that you spend all week beating yourself up to the point where you can't let it go."

                                Imagine how those feelings compounded last season as the Rams endured an 0-8 start.

                                "I think that's the No. 1 job of a head coach ó that he gets his team moving forward no matter whether you win or lose a game," Linehan said.

                                Easier said than done. In the end, it's what drove Dick Vermeil out of coaching after his first NFL head-coaching stint with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1976-82....
                                -08-24-2008, 01:37 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Linehan Staying Positive
                                by RamWraith
                                Tuesday, October 30, 2007
                                By Nick Wagoner
                                Senior Writer

                                For Scott Linehan, it would be easy to dread going to work every day to try to resurrect the 0-8 Rams. Nobody could blame him if the pressures of one of the most high profile jobs in sports (head coach of an NFL team) became too much to bear and he had a blow up.

                                But Linehan, ever the optimist, isnít worried about anything outside of what he can control as the Rams take their bye week to rebound, rehabilitate and recover from the worst start in franchise history.

                                The Rams are looking forward, not back and Linehan is doing everything he can to keep them focused on whatís ahead.

                                ďI donít do a whole lot of consoling myself,Ē Linehan said, in rwesponse to a question. ďTo be honest with you I do a lot more of the other. There is some truth to the fact that there are some things out of your control but what is in your control is what you have to focus on. And there are things that have been in our control that we are still falling short on, regardless of the bad luck that we have had. As long as you keep your open mind and keep learning and you donít get sensitive and stay the course I think you will always come out on a better end.Ē

                                With eight games to play, Linehan is ensuring the Rams take the proper steps so they can stay the course. The goal, of course, being that course will take them back to the level that they finished Linehanís first season.

                                At 0-8, the Rams bye week comes at the exact midpoint of the season. Itís an opportunity for the players and coaches to get away and re-focus on a second half that almost certainly wonít yield a playoff berth, but could help the team gain traction for 2008.

                                And Linehan isnít worried about whatís being said outside of the Russell Training Center.

                                ďNo I donít hear it; I know its there,Ē Linehan said. ďCommon sense, I think you understand itís part of the business. I understand it, too, I really do and I donít take any offense to it. Itís motivation for me because I want to turn this thing around. This season has gotten away from us. The experience has been that I have learned a lot about myself and you know that you never want to feel like this ever again so whatever you can do to avoid it is worth the trouble. Iím no different than anybody else; everybody has a vested interest in this thing.Ē

                                Although Linehan does his best to avoid hearing the outside chatter and the whispers about the teamís and his performance, it would be hard for anyone to keep their sanity in such a highly scrutinized position.

                                ďI keep my sanity because I have a lot of things going for me,Ē Linehan said. ďFirst, I will always say this: I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have one of these 32 jobs and to be in this position. I donít think I am having the luckiest season of my career but this isnít about me either,...
                                -10-30-2007, 06:57 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Linehan puts passion on display
                                by RamWraith
                                By Jim Thomas
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                                He was part Dick Vermeil. Why, he nearly teared up explaining what it meant to be an NFL head coach.

                                "I promised my wife I wouldn't cry, so I'm not going to do that," Scott Linehan said Friday. "But it's fulfilling a dream. Being in the greatest profession in the world, and being in the greatest league in the world. How lucky am I?"

                                And he was part Mike Martz - almost eerily so - in describing his offensive style, his insistence on calling plays. Even his tendency to become impatient at times.

                                "It's aggressive; it's attacking," Linehan said. "I think it will be similar to a lot of the things you've seen here before. ... We want to be dominant, be relentless."

                                He did everything but invoke Martz's pet phrase: fast and furious.

                                As for his passion for play calling, Linehan said, "It's like giving up a dog, or something. I can't give that away."

                                Similarities aside, during his introductory news conference as the new coach of the Rams, Linehan made it clear there will be no identity crisis at Rams Park.

                                "I'm Scott Linehan," he said. "I'm not anybody other than that, and I will never try to be like anybody else. But I will always work on being a little bit better every day so that our team can continue to improve."

                                So who is Scott Linehan?

                                He's the youngest of seven children.

                                "My entire family was teachers," Linehan said. "My dad was a high school principal. That was where I developed the work ethic."

                                He played college football at Idaho for Dennis Erickson, who went on to win two college national championships at Miami and become a head coach in the NFL.

                                "He was one of the first people to basically become an attack-style offensive coach in college football," Linehan said. "He used a spread offense. ... He had the biggest influence on me as to the style of offense and system.

                                "John L. Smith, the head coach at Michigan State, gave me my first job. He also gave me another job later in my career and actually hired me a third time. He's hired me three times; I don't know what the heck's wrong with him. ... He's been a great mentor for me."

                                Then there was Jim Lambright, who gave Linehan his first NCAA Division I job in 1994 as an assistant at the University of Washington.

                                And Mike Tice, who hired Linehan out of the college ranks in 2002 to be a coordinator in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings even though Linehan had no NFL experience.

                                And Nick Saban, who lured Linehan away from Minnesota a year ago to revive the sagging Miami Dolphins offense.

                                "So, I've named a lot of people there," Linehan said. "I...
                                -01-21-2006, 07:13 AM
                              • RamWraith
                                Linehan has chance to repay the Rams for unusual loyalty
                                by RamWraith
                                By Bernie Miklasz
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                                Thursday, Jan. 03 2008

                                I hope Scott Linehan realizes how rare it is to receive the kind of support and
                                loyalty being shown to him by Rams management.

                                Coaches are getting fired all over the NFL. I don't have the time or the column
                                space to list all of the dismissals, but guys who have established much better
                                credentials than Linehan are being kicked out of the building.

                                After one ugly season in which injuries were a major factor, Baltimore fired
                                head coach Brian Billick. He won a Super Bowl for the franchise this decade and
                                was 13-3 in 2006. Kansas City just swept out four assistants, including Mike
                                Solari, who had built one of the top offensive lines in the NFL.

                                The Detroit Lions made a scapegoat of offensive coordinator Mike Martz. Never
                                mind that the Lions defense allowed 32 points a game during a 1-7 collapse to
                                end this season; head coach Rod Marinelli sacked Martz. Why not fire the
                                defensive coordinator? It seems that the defensive coordinator is uniquely
                                qualified: He's Marinelli's son-in-law.

                                In this tableau of change, Linehan survives. He wasn't the next Rich Brooks or
                                even Bob Hollway ó previous St. Louis NFL head coaches who were gone after only
                                two dismal seasons on the job.

                                Team President John Shaw and general manager Jay Zygmunt are standing by their
                                man and taking a beating from an angry fan mob. The popularity of Shaw and
                                Zygmunt has never been lower than it is right now.

                                Can Linehan pay back that loyalty?

                                "I've got to do a much better job," Linehan said Wednesday in a conference
                                call. "I'm evaluating myself first. I've got a lot of things I have to do a
                                better job of. I've never, ever dodged that responsibility. It goes with the
                                territory. I accept it. I understand it has to be a lot better. I'm not going
                                to continue to do things the same way. If you do that, I've always believed
                                there is a good chance you will get the same result. I've got to make a number
                                of adjustments."

                                I want to believe Linehan.

                                So let's throw it down:

                                ó Does Linehan have the innate ability to lead? You can't fake leadership; it
                                comes naturally. But making changes in one's personality can lead to improved
                                leadership; Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel has demonstrated that.

                                ó Is Linehan willing to welcome important veterans into the loop, accept some
                                of their advice, and show respect? First order of business: schedule lengthy
                                dinners with quarterback Marc Bulger, wide receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce
                                and running back Steven Jackson. Ask them to be brutally honest in their
                                criticisms of his work....
                                -01-03-2008, 06:41 AM
                              • RamWraith
                                Next foe is the focus for Linehan
                                by RamWraith
                                By Jim Thomas
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                                Tuesday, Dec. 11 2007

                                Rams coach Scott Linehan said he has worried about winning games ó not his job
                                security ó as the 2007 season has progressed.

                                "I haven't really thought about my job status much more than the questions I've
                                been asked," Linehan said Monday. "Certainly, it comes with the territory when
                                you haven't had a winning season. But my focus has been, as always, the next
                                opponent. Last week, it was Cincinnati; this week it's Green Bay."

                                Nonetheless, it's nice to know that he has a vote of confidence from team
                                President John Shaw, who told the Post-Dispatch late last week that he expects
                                Linehan back next season.

                                "It's important to know that you have support," Linehan said.

                                Whether it's in person or on the phone, Linehan said he talks to Shaw every
                                week, and he spoke with him on the phone Monday.

                                "He's very supportive," Linehan said. "He understands. He goes through the game
                                and goes through each week. I also understand that this isn't where we wanted
                                to be. It's not the record we intended on having. The focus is to improve here
                                at season's end and continue to get better in certain areas."

                                At 3-10 following Sunday's 19-10 loss to Cincinnati, the Rams need to win two
                                of their final three games to avoid matching their worst record since the move
                                to St. Louis in 1995.

                                Topping the 4-12 record by Dick Vermeil's 1998 squad won't be easy given the
                                caliber of competition in the final three games. This week's opponent, Green
                                Bay (11-2), will be playing for a first-round playoff bye Sunday at the Edward
                                Jones Dome. The following Thursday, Pittsburgh (9-4) might be in a position to
                                clinch the AFC North title at the dome. Even in the season finale at Arizona
                                (6-7) on Dec. 30, the Cardinals could be fighting for a wild-card berth.

                                So if nothing else, the Rams could play spoiler the rest of December.

                                "There's some motivation there, but it's I think more important that we're
                                focused on getting our fourth win and creating some adjustments and momentum
                                for our football team," Linehan said. "We're playing for this year, too,
                                because we want to finish the season off right."

                                After an 0-8 start, Linehan has continued to stress treating the final eight
                                games like a second season and trying to finish '07 as strongly as possible.
                                Sunday's task will be daunting against the Packers, who not only rank third in
                                total offense behind ageless wonder Brett Favre but also rank ninth in the NFL
                                in total defense.

                                New England, Dallas, Indianapolis and, surprisingly, 5-8 Philadelphia are the
                                only other teams...
                                -12-11-2007, 07:03 AM