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The Watercooler: Spags vs. Linehan...What's Changed?

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  • The Watercooler: Spags vs. Linehan...What's Changed?

    08.31.2009 12:52 pm
    Spags vs. Linehan … what’s changed?
    By Roger Hensley

    THE WATERCOOLER

    QUESTION: With just two weeks remaining until the season opener, what are the tangible differences you see in the Rams under coach Steve Spagnuolo compared to the team during the Linehan era?

    JIM THOMAS
    The first thing you notice is the presence each coach brings to the job every day. Spagnuolo can play what the players call “the big room” — the team meeting room. Linehan couldn’t. Spagnuolo’s speeches are direct and to the point. Linehan’s weren’t. Even in the NFL, players need to be motivated, inspired, and given guidance. They didn’t always get that with Linehan.

    BILL COATS
    They appear to be more aggressive and tougher on the field. And this might not be a tangible difference, but it’s obvious that they’ve bought into what Spagnuolo has brought and have full trust in him.

    BERNIE MIKLASZ
    I’ll keep this one simple: the players respect this coach and want to play for him.

    JEFF GORDON
    At the end of the Linehan/Haslett era, there wasn’t much life left. Guys were NOT flying around. This team clearly has more enthusiasm — but we haven’t seen a mind-blowing improvement to this point. The defense still gives up some big plays and the offense is still hit-or-miss. Since Bulger has been hurt, that huge question mark still hangs over the team. Can he regain his Pro Bowl form? To this point, we have no idea.

    KATHLEEN NELSON
    If you’re looking for tangibles, as in stats, the team’s takeaway total is encouraging. But yards per carry, yards after the catch, red zone efficiency, and all that stuff that counts in fantasy leagues prove meaningless because the first string isn’t always playing the first string, and a lot of the focus right now is on simply making the team, fighting for the final few spots at the bottom of the depth chart. The quality that’s most noticeable to me is intensity. Players seem to play with more emotion and focus more consistently than in the past. When the regular season begins, those intangibles could translate into measurable stats that could be better than last year. Not now, though.

    KEVIN WHEELER (Host of “Sports Open Line” on KMOX)
    The team has more of an edge to it. They’re more aggressive, attack the opponent more and seem to enjoy the physical aspect to the game as opposed to getting pushed around like they did in the past. Some of that is the attitude of the Spagnuolo staff rubbing off on the players and some of it is simply feeling like there is hope. Players know when the end is near for a coaching staff and when that spiral of negativity begins to swirl it’s almost impossible to go against the stream and maintain intensity. Spags and Co. have given the team a shot of energy with their enthusiastic approach and because the players were just begging for some kind of change after the last couple of years.

  • #2
    Re: The Watercooler: Spags vs. Linehan...What's Changed?

    to me it seems like spags gets the team compete 100% to the point where they have a decent chance to win the game everytime . . under linehan there was no competion. . . we were just the defense to another teams offensive highlights
    Torry Holt Dont play that

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Watercooler: Spags vs. Linehan...What's Changed?

      Even in the NFL, players need to be motivated, inspired, and given guidance.
      I don't doubt Jim Thomas; I'm sure he's right. However, that statement kinda makes me sick. If I'm the owner, I'm telling these guys, "Hey, I got your motivation right here in this envelope. It even has your name on it. It's called a paycheck. Oh I'm sorry, did I say paycheck? I meant BIG FRIKKIN' HUGE PAYCHECK!"
      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Watercooler: Spags vs. Linehan...What's Changed?

        It's kinda funny that they all said the same thing just in different ways... intensity. Spags is an intense guy who gets you to want to follow him through hell. Linny just asked kindly if you'd like to walk through a rose garden with him. The players respect and want to play for Spags and thus we will get that extra bit of effort that wins games in this league. Now we just need to get healthy and get into the regular season!
        I believe!:ram:

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Watercooler: Spags vs. Linehan...What's Changed?

          Originally posted by TekeRam View Post
          It's kinda funny that they all said the same thing just in different ways... intensity. Spags is an intense guy who gets you to want to follow him through hell. Linny just asked kindly if you'd like to walk through a rose garden with him. The players respect and want to play for Spags and thus we will get that extra bit of effort that wins games in this league. Now we just need to get healthy and get into the regular season!
          Linny: Wud dyu like to play de footbawl viz me, Ricky Bobby?

          Bobby: No way man! I'd rather play for Mike "Honcho" Martz than for you, Frenchyhan!


          Last edited by HUbison; -09-01-2009, 06:52 AM.
          The more things change, the more they stay the same.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Watercooler: Spags vs. Linehan...What's Changed?

            I saw Loserhan on the sideline of the Detroit game the other day and I almost hurled. I don't get that reaction with Spags. One of the things I am really looking forward to this season is no "dumb" plays. I can't recall specifics, because I choose to block out trauma in my life, but there were many plays Loserhan would call that just left me dumbfounded... I will NOT miss that at all!
            "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

            Jack Youngblood

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The Watercooler: Spags vs. Linehan...What's Changed?

              Originally posted by MoonJoe View Post
              I saw Loserhan on the sideline of the Detroit game the other day and I almost hurled. I don't get that reaction with Spags. One of the things I am really looking forward to this season is no "dumb" plays. I can't recall specifics, because I choose to block out trauma in my life, but there were many plays Loserhan would call that just left me dumbfounded... I will NOT miss that at all!
              The one that always sticks out in my mind is the draw play on 3rd and 15+ almost every single time. I understand the need to mix it up, but it seemed like 90% of the time we had a 3rd and 15+ situation it was a draw that went nowhere since the D saw it coming. Followed by a punt on 4th and 14.

              Comment

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              • MauiRam
                Meet the new Spags; same as the old Spags?
                by MauiRam
                ROGER HENSLEY Friday, December 10, 2010 1:37 pm


                QUESTION: What differences, if any, have you seen in head coach Steve Spagnuolo’s approach in his second season with the Rams?

                JIM THOMAS

                The basics haven’t changed. The message is the same. Spagnuolo is intense, yet sincere. Demanding but interested in more than just football when it comes to player relations. The practices remain demanding, but he knows when to back off. If anything, he seems just a bit more relaxed this season.

                There’s a steep learning curve for a first-year head coach, and it appears that Spagnuolo has a better handle on just about everything that goes with having that job.

                BILL COATS

                One of the things that stands out about Spagnuolo – and he emphasizes this often – is that his approach really never changes. He’s a devoted one-game-at-a-time guy, he’s consistent in how he handles his players, and he preaches the mantra of never getting too high when things are going well or too low when they’re not.

                JEFF GORDON

                He is way more relaxed with the media. Winning some games probably helped that. Now that he is more comfortable, he is slightly more willing to address team mishaps and shortcomings. But I think he has been consistent in his dealings with the team itself and his approach to coaching.

                On the tactical side, he has given the offense a bit more latitude as Sam Bradford proves himself. He actually gave the offense the chance to close out the Arizona win rather than putting that responsibility on the defense.

                BRYAN BURWELL

                The most notable change I’ve seen is how much more comfortable he is in front of the TV cameras. He seems to be far more willing to engage reporters who want to question his strategies, and he does it with some sly wit. It is just another sign of how comfortable he is in his role as the front man for the organization.

                For the most part, on the football side the only noticable change is that he has been far more agressive this year defensively because he has upgraded personnel from last year.
                -12-10-2010, 11:42 PM
              • macrammer
                Groundhog Day?? Zag/Han v De/Spags
                by macrammer
                I see a bit of a split on the forum between keeping spags and letting him go. It is only our opinion and ultimately it is up to owner to decide but here is what I find interesting;

                Linehan/Zag were atrocious. I think we can all agree on that. Linehan did not have NFL H/C experience, failed miserably but appears to have found his home in Detroit as the OC.

                Say Spags gets hall pass his first year due to the complete rebuilding that was required after the previous regime. Spags is 9-31 overall or take into consideration the first year hall pass, he is 8 - 16. He is 2-12 over last 12 games.

                As you all know, Spags made his bones on the defensive side of things and had no prior NFL H/C expereince

                I saw a post today that discussed the need for playmakers for the Rams. I would certainly agree with that assessment but it got me to thinking about Linehan. Did we not say same thing about the roster and was that not one of the driving forces that caused the regime shift to DeSpags? Did we not already "rebuild?"

                I am looking for some insight from the clan folks that feel we should keep Spags at least one more year. I'd like to understand the thought behind this. Please, something a bit more substantive then "I do not want to rebuild again" or, "We did not have camp" "Too many injuries" etc.

                Can you list the prevailing and compelling facts that explain your view? It would be helpful to me as perhaps I am missing something that I should take into consideration other then what I see on Sunday.
                -11-07-2011, 10:57 AM
              • jjigga3000
                If The Team Takes on The Coaches Personality.........
                by jjigga3000
                Then what does that say about Spags. This team is undiciplined. We our getting penalties almost every play it seems. If teams take on the coaches personality then I'm not sure Spags is the right guy for this team. Yes I know we don't have very many play makers but cmon, this team is playing piss poorly, I don't know what's worse the play calling or the play of the offense. It seems we have two teams the Offensive Rams, and the Defensive Rams. The Defensive Rams try the hardest to keep the team in the game, but Offensive Teams just is not playing well.

                The definition of Stupid is doing the same thing yet expecting different results. Our play calling is rediculously poor. I like Spags but I don't think at this point he's getting the job done, this I know something needs to change a trade a coach being fired something to shake this team up. Cause this is one product that is hard to support. I'm glad I did not purchase NFL Sunday ticket this year.
                -10-04-2009, 05:39 PM
              • AvengerRam_old
                Let's get this out of the way: Spags v. Line#&%
                by AvengerRam_old
                I'll start with the obvious.

                I condemned Scott Line#&% early in his tenure with the Rams (perhaps unfairly, but ultimately rightly, so).

                I fully support Steve Spagnuolo.

                Why the difference?

                Well, it just does not come down to wins and losses.

                Line#&% took over a team that was a bit down, but still had a core of players (Bulger, Jackson, Bruce, Holt, Curtis, Pace, Little, etc.) who been to the playoffs. His job was to sustain the remaining pieces of the GSOT, refresh the roster, stabilize the organization, and return to the playoffs.

                When Spagnuolo took over, that core was gone (Bruce, Curtis), on the way out (Holt, Pace) or worn down by three injury-plagued seasons (Bulger, Little). The only true known commodity was Steven Jackson. Spags' job was to REBUILD.

                So... given the difference in the HCs' respective "missions," there should be no surprise that there have been different initial results.

                Line#&% failed accross the board. His inability to manage playcalling duties with HC duties hindered the effectiveness of the veteran offense. His player personnel decisions were poor. His style caused division, rather than unity. And, of course, the team suffered on the field.

                Spagnuolo's success or failure simply can't be evaluated at this point. Anyone who thought that the Rams could remove the (arguably over-priced and under-performing) base of veterans, elevate a bunch of players with 0-3 years experience, and start winning immediately (and I include myself in this category) was kidding him or herself.

                This is not a new scenario. Teams often, following a successful run, have to bottom out entirely before returning to success. Look at the Cowboys during the transition from Tom Landry to Jimmy Johnson. First you have to break ties with the past (regardless of the short-term consequences), then you have to make good personnel decisions, and then... and only then, can a new era begin.

                The error of the Line#&% regime is that it wrongly tried to sustain an era that, in reality, was already gone.

                This is the first year in which the Rams organization has truly accepted that the GSOT years are over, and that a new chapter needs to written.

                I'm still banking on Spagnuolo being the man to help write the next story.
                -12-01-2009, 07:51 PM
              • Bar-bq
                Rome wasn't built in three years
                by Bar-bq
                I've been reading a lot of posts lately trash talking Steve Spagnuolo and what the fans perceive as his inadequacies as the head football coach of this team. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about - posts to the tune of:



                or



                I think it's a really interesting reaction to the Rams 2011 season not being the Playoff cake walk many of us thought it would be. And as many fans call for Spagnuolo's head at or before the end of the season, I think that an important question is being overlooked:

                Are the Rams actually any better since Spagnuolo came aboard?

                If you measure 'better' by strict wins and losses, as it is fair to do, then the answer is a resounding 'no'. Steve Spagnuolo has a higher losing percentage than his predecessor, Scott Linehan, who may well be the most hated Rams head coach of all time. If you look at it this way, it's easy to point the finger at Spagnuolo as the losingest coach in recent memory, and, under these guidelines, I can see why a firing would be justified.

                However (and don't pretend you didn't know there wasn't a great big 'However' coming ... ), there is a second way to look at this picture.

                Consider, for a second, the state of the Rams roster at the conclusion of the Linehan/Haslett debacle. With the (eight) exceptions of Steven Jackson, James Hall, Chris Long, Adam Goldberg, Jacob Bell, Ron Bartell, Donnie Jones and Josh Brown, I can't think of a single other player still on the Rams roster of 52 from the conclusion of the 2009 season.

                Speaking mathematically, since the end of the SLOP era, Spagnuolo has had to fill 44/52 roster spots with new guys, including 16/23 starting positions. That's 85% of a football team, and 70% of a starting twenty three.

                Sure, there were guys who stuck on for a little while - Marc Bulger and Leonard Little on their last legs, Victor Adeyanju and Laurent Robinson trying to find theirs - but the majority of this team has been overhauled since Spagnuolo arrived. Which begs the subsequent question:

                If Spagnuolo is fired, will he leave the roster be in a better state than it was when he was hired?

                Resoundingly, this answer is 'yes'. I don't know how you can tell me that a roster that boasts Bradford, Lloyd, Jackson, Saffold, Dahl, Bell, Long, Quinn, Lauriniatis, Mikell, Bartell, Fletcher, Murphy and Stewart - in addition to Jones and Brown - is in a worse shape than the aging, ragged wreckage Linehan sped away from.

                Of course, there are still holes - some of the players team Spags have brought in have not been able to do the job (I hope you are enjoying dropping balls back in Jacksonville, Mr. Sims Walker ...), and some started out hot but got got (c)old quickly (has anybody seen Fred Robbins' walking stick?), but undoubtedly, the roster is in a better shape than it was three years ago.

                ...
                -11-29-2011, 05:24 AM
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