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  • The Search Continues

    After another dreadful weekend, possibly the most dreadful but we can debate the magnitude of it later, some inhabitants of Rams Nation will have seen their 'To do' list get a little longer.

    A problem once thought solved with the departure of Scott Linehan looms large once more and it concerns the anointment of the 'Scapegoat'. Glib smugness has been replaced by worried consternation as the realisation dawns that cosmetic short-term firings can't possibly address the fundamental failings of the Ram football team. Namely the players.

    Not any player specifically but each and every player on the football team, with a few youthful exceptions, has to be seen as responsible and accountable for their approach to their profession. To blame one player or one coach has been demonstrated to be an exercise in denial, it cannot be maintained that change in any one single area will act as the catalyst to future success.

    Frankly, as one esteemed poster on this board has made clear, the players we have as of now just aren't good enough or they're not trying hard enough and in both cases change is needed.

    Losing games is one thing but the manner in which they are lost is something else.

    And this weekend was something else.

    So lets stop advocating the firing of X,Y and/or Z and instead consider the possibility that the team was never as talented as we felt it was and has proven to be half as interested as we hoped it was.

    Change has to be wholesale.

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  • Fat Pang
    Borrowed Time
    by Fat Pang
    I made a comment earlier about Linehan being 'on borrowed time'. That wasn't so much a statment of personal preference as it was a recognition that he has to pull something out in the next 2-6 weeks or he's gone. In saying this, I'm sure I'm not saying anything that people don't recognise or even agree with but the truly unfortunate part is that the players will be the key factor in determining his fate and right now they would seem to be wholly indifferent.

    I can't think of anything worse that just not showing up. Getting beat is one thing but getting pasted is something else. The scale of the let-down is so damning that I can't offer the defence that "Its only one game".

    On the basis that we can't pin this debacle on one man and one man alone, I have to look at the players and conclude that they didn't, to a man, take any responsibility for what happened at Philly and that they abjectly failed to play up to the standards expected of professional football players.

    I'm a believer that if you need a coach to curse you at volume just before you set foot on a football field, then you're in the wrong business. I don't want to hear about Linehan's lack of fire or his ability to motivate the players. Yes, he can help in this area but if you really have to provide your players with their entire motivation then you have to find a different group of players. Its just not good enough.

    Linehan,Saunders and Haslett have to get their troops acquainted with the game plan, be prepared to adjust on the fly and get them in the best condition and position to win football games. That it isn't working is damn obvious right now, that it needs to change and fast equally so.

    Forget about throwing the coach and QB under the bus, this is a collective deal and if we fail to see significant improvement in attitude starting next week, then the only safe assumption is that there will have to be some collective responsibility shared out at seasons end.

    Linehan isn't the only one on borrowed time.
    -09-08-2008, 02:48 AM
  • RamWraith
    Rams' errors off the field haunt team on the field
    by RamWraith
    By Bryan Burwell

    On the day after the latest Sunday afternoon disaster, Scott Linehan wasn't all that interested in rehashing the hideous details or sorting through the glaring reasons why his football team officially is the worst in pro football.

    "There is an old saying, 'It is what it is,' " said Linehan, the Rams' coach. "I guess that's where we're at right now."

    It was Monday afternoon, and he already had evaluated several hours worth of gawdawful game films, listened to another gloomy briefing from his medical staff and scoured the personnel lists for some healthy, greatly flawed free agents to replace his injured, greatly flawed employed ones.

    In between, you had to wonder if Linehan didn't peek out the front door just to make sure the sky wasn't about to come crashing down on his furrowed brow.

    There's never any fun in watching a good man suffer. Every day you can see the pain spreading across Linehan's face. You can see it every time he bites down on his lip, grits his teeth, sticks out his jaw and firmly plants his feet, a willful man bracing for another harsh ill wind to blow.

    But for all the pain you see, you also hear the fight in his voice and see the stubbornness in his expression. Linehan has spent his entire coaching life scuffling to rise to the top of his professional food chain, yet now that he's here, the dream has become his worst nightmare.

    "We have to find a solution to the problem," he said in a defiant postgame outburst Sunday afternoon. "If I had a solution, I wouldn't be talking about what I am talking about right now. That's what we work on every day and night."

    He's working furiously, but it's not getting better.

    His team can't win. His team can't score. He has a revolving door of suspensions. His players can't stay healthy. He has a kicker who needs a hug, or a therapist. He has a prognosticating wide receiver who might be a little delusional, another receiver who apparently doesn't know the playbook, and a season that's on the verge of becoming a calamity of biblical proportions.

    After Sunday's 35-7 embarrassment in Dallas, an anonymous Rams player told Yahoo Sports NFL columnist Mike Silver, "I'm worried. I'm looking at our schedule and I'm scared we might go 0-16."

    Yep, just about the only thing missing from this 0-4 madness is a little famine and pestilence. And locusts. Yes, definitely locusts.

    And just to add insult to injury, a revived Kurt Warner is coming to town next weekend with the Arizona Cardinals to give us a little nostalgic blast from the past.

    And now for the good news: At least the game's on track to be blacked out on local television.

    Linehan keeps preaching that hard work and confidence...
    -10-02-2007, 06:27 AM
  • RamWraith
    Rams Follow NFL Lead in Character Commitment
    by RamWraith
    Monday, May 21, 2007

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Shortly before the Rams’ front office got to work on putting together their draft board and strategy, President of Football Operations Jay Zygmunt took the floor. His message was clear: for as much as 40-yard dash times and tackling statistics will factor into a player’s draft position, character will mean just as much.

    “That set the tone for everyone,” Vice President of Player Personnel Tony Softli said.

    And while the Rams have set about trying to find guys with high character in recent drafts, this year was different. And the added emphasis to drafting character players came from above.

    At the annual league meetings, Commissioner Roger Goodell set forth a revamped conduct policy for all of the league’s players, coaches and employees. At the heart of the matter, it is every player’s job to police his actions and represent himself and the league in a becoming manner.

    If a player doesn’t follow through on that, he is subject to severe and harsh penalties that include long-term suspensions. Tennessee cornerback Pacman Jones was suspended for the 2007 season because of myriad off the field issues and Cincinnati receiver Chris Henry will miss half the season for similar actions.

    Goodell even made it clear that lifetime banishment from the league is a possibility should the punishment fit the crime.

    In other words, while the league has always wanted character players, it’s never been more important for it to be at the top of the list in evaluating and adding talent.

    “The points of emphasis of how you go about putting your team together were very clear, and we’ve always factored in character and those kinds of things,” coach Scott Linehan said.

    Indeed, the Rams went through this year’s NFL Draft without adding a single player to have known character issues. In fact, first-round choice Adam Carriker was a three-time All Big 12 Academic Honor Roll member and second-rounder Brian Leonard won the Draddy Award in 2006 as the nation’s top student-athlete.

    In emphasizing a commitment to character, the Rams were forced to remove some highly regarded prospects from their draft board. In all, the team had eight players that were immediately placed on the “Do Not Draft” board. Those players were not, under any circumstance, to be considered for drafting.

    The Rams would not name names of those they refused to pick, but Linehan indicated that four were chosen, two on the first day and two on the second.

    “They were outstanding football players on film, but they had a number of things that kept them from being on our final board,” Linehan said. “It’s a way of controlling your philosophy and not letting it become emotional and saying, ‘This guy is so fast or so big, or can dominate his position.’ We didn’t let...
    -05-21-2007, 05:59 PM
  • VegasRam
    One thing no one has considered...
    by VegasRam
    There's been a lot of chatter about Linehan's scheme, (or lack of one), about his "flip-flopping" in assigning playcalling duties, and the inevitable "he's lost the players" chant.

    Lineha's scheme has been addressed by those much more knowledgeable than I, and I am firmly on the side of the "it's the INJURIES, stupid" crowd.

    As far as supposed reversal on who calls the plays, I would advance the theory that when he turned them over to Olson, citing his need to concentrate on "head coaching" responsibilities, it was an honest, humbling decision. Now that he has re-assumed that role, he's being labeled "undecisive", and not doing anything different to change the Rams' direction.

    However, he was over halfway into the season last year when he switched, and it could be argued that he is now comfortable enough with the "head coaching" responsibilities to take on the additional task of calling plays. In addition, I could be wrong, but I do not believe Olson was in the booth last year when Linehan was in charge of playcalling, so that is an attempt to try something different as well.

    Of course the SLOPsters, (aka "there are none so blind..."), refuse to give him any credit for three TDs in one game as opposed to NONE in four, with a second string QB, 31 points in one game vs. 39 in four, or any of the other positives from yesterday's contest.

    And finally , to the "he's lost the team" crowd, whatever credibility you may have had is now gone as you were certainly not watching the same game yesterday as I was. It can be argued that we don't have a singular, visible, vocal leader on either side of the ball, but all the players I watched were fired up and playing hard, and I challenge anyone to cite an instance where that was not the case.

    We're all frustrated, as I know NO ONE on this or any other board, (or in the media for that matter), would have even dreamed we'd be 0-5 now, so we need to vent. Fine.

    Just include a little objectivity.

    P.S. I'll be in Cabo san Lucas this Sunday, which means I'll miss the game, which means a win for sure. Enjoy it.
    -10-08-2007, 11:22 AM
  • Fat Pang
    National day dream
    by Fat Pang
    It's National Day here in Hong Kong. Not my nation's day you understand, but the National day of China. It's a celebration of the creation of the communist state and it's obligatory for anyone connected with the government here (and I am as a civil servant) to take the whole thing suitably seriously. And I was I promise, I really was, until it became apparent that they were hoisting the flag upside down...........

    I was stood next to the principal of my school at the time so my countenance didn't waver, but I got to thinking that it was an interesting image to ponder, given China's stance on human rights, environmental policy and virtually everything else. Something to do with seeing the world upside down.

    Anyway, whilst the principal talked about Chinese contributions to world civilisation of which there are many (Compass, paper, gunpowder and golf to name but four. I'm always sceptical of the golf thing but whatever), my attention started to wander as it often does when listening to speeches in Cantonese.

    I started to think about the Rams and what may happen this weekend and perhaps the rest of the season.

    You see, my cup is actually half full right now. I've read some of the reaction that the opening three games have managed to generate and I think it's been fairly strange. I think one of the disquieting things for many of our fellow citizens of Ram nation is the whole concept of change. No-one likes change, from moving house to funerals, no-one feels comfortable with changes to their physical, mental or spiritual landscape. Whole industries have sprouted to deal with change and it's implications. Management consultants, faith healers, Fung Shui masters, numerologists, priests, Tarot card readers and politicians are all pretty good examples of people who are required to deal with the fall out that comes with upheaval.

    As far as football is concerned, who can we consult?

    Well there's always Bernie Miklasz I suppose but what I've found is that his answers and those of many of his peers merely reflect some of the short term demands of the fans. Fans themselves go even further by stating that Bulger should be traded, Fisher should be benched and Holt and Bruce should toughen up.

    That way madness lies. The answer to the pain of change isn't further change. There aren't any fix-alls, the snake doctor has been run out of town and please, please can we just take a little notice of the fact that we're merely three games into the season and the team that we love to love has yet to find it's true identity.

    There have been some encouraging signs, the most obvious of which is that we've won more games than we've lost. As well as that however can we consider that our defence is no longer a league wide joke, our offence is starting to wake up, our special teams play has been solid, our running game looks okay, we've got a great young...
    -09-29-2006, 09:25 PM