January 20, 2006

St. Louis lands the Anti-Martz.: Promising news for Rams fans, as Dolphins Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan takes over as head coach, ending once and for all the truly dysfunctional (but never boring) reign of mad scientist Mike Martz.

posted by The_Black_Hand to football at 11:30 PM - 13 comments

Rams fans, I think you're going to like this guy. As a Dolphins fan, I hate to see him leave Miami, but I wish him well. Not only a pretty sharp guy, but also a truly decent human being who seems to get along with just about everybody. And, in what I can only describe as a bizarre twist of fate, guess who's rumored to be a possible replacement for Linehan in Miami?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 11:56 PM on January 20

It's really a great, new beginning for the Rams. With the overall talent the team has, it's a great situation for someone like Linehan to come into. All he has to do is study everything Martz did in all aspects of the game (as well as his dealings with others), then do the opposite. He'll be fine. The Rams will be one of the teams that can make the biggest turnarounds next season.

posted by dyams at 07:50 AM on January 21

If I were a Rams fan, I'd be concerned that the organization was trying too hard to find a likeable guy in response to the years under the sourpuss Martz. An unlikeable winner (Jimmy Johnson, Bill Parcells, Lloyd Carr) will always be more popular with fans than a likeable loser (Vince Tobin, Ron Zook).

posted by rcade at 07:58 AM on January 21

Caught his press conference and a couple of the local one-on-ones. He seems to be likeable, funny and just what the St. Louis media clamors over...a good interview. But, I watch Jay Leno every night. Linehan will only be front and center on game day, post-games and the Monday afternoon Ram Park press update. Let's see how jovial and friendly he is after a twenty point loss to Texas... Anyway, good luck, Scott. With this front office, you might need it!

posted by Thumper at 09:08 AM on January 21

Let's see how jovial and friendly he is after a twenty point loss to Texas... The Rams have all the talent to be a super bowl contender. The only thing that was keeping the Rams down was the negative atmosphere and stupid decision making by Mike Martz. The offense is very stout. Bulger is one of the best QB's in the league and he always puts up top numbers. Jackson and Faulk are a great tandem of hard nosed running and finesse running & catching ability. Big game and Reverend Ike are the best in the business. The O-line is getting better and we have Big Pace. The defense is getting stronger and put up big numbers at the end of the season. (Plus let us not forget that the year the Rams won the Super Bowl, they did not have a great defense, the offense carried the team.) THe team will only be as good as Linehan. Martz was a drain on the team. If Linehan can turn that around, he could easily be in the post-season in 2006.

posted by mcstan13 at 09:35 AM on January 21

The rams cannot stop the run on defense. Until they improve their defense they are not going to the playoffs. They lost to the niners twice. In the game in St. Louis all the Rams had to do was stop the niners pathetic running game and they could not even do that. I agree their offense is good, but if they cant stop the run the offense will never get the ball.

posted by jeeb75 at 10:16 AM on January 21

I'm not as convinced the Rams have a stout, Super Bowl-talented offense. Some of their greats appear to be solidly on the downside of their careers. Marshall Faulk gained 292 yards last season on 65 carries. Isaac Bruce had around 500 and 3 TDs.

posted by rcade at 10:17 AM on January 21

You said it, jeeb! Our record setting offense here in KC for the last 5 years has netted us zero playoff wins thanks to a pathetic defense. And change is needed in the Rams staff to shore that end up. Good luck Rams fans, the future looks a little brighter now.

posted by kcfan4life at 10:22 AM on January 21

I'd take Faulk as a 3rd down back, still. He still gives the opposing defense a fit when in the game. Good triple threat guy. run, catch, block.

posted by kcfan4life at 10:25 AM on January 21

The Broncos proved that, with a few correct moves, a defensive line can be shored up quickly and made into one of the best defenses against the run. Anyone knows Faulk is on the downside of his career. That's as obvious as the nose on your face. If Bulger can stay healthy (a big "if") the team will move the ball with any squad in the league. I'm actually sick of hearing Martz' name. He was a pathetic head coach and it won't take Linehan much at all to surpass him in ability. And as for a "likeable" guy as head coach, what would you call Tony Dungy? He may be the nicest, most likeable guy to ever wander a NFL sideline, but is that his flaw? Is that what keeps his teams (Tampa and now Indy) from advancing further in the playoffs? Linehan definitely had some fences to mend with the front office, top to bottom, but I wouldn't assume that's going to necessarily transfer to the way he handles his team. For every hard-ass Parcells and Johnson who've had success, there's a hard-ass Jim Haslett or Gregg Williams who've fallen flat on their face (taking their team down with them). It's all about motivating individuals and building on their strengths, as well as adapting to what is necessary to win. I'm willing to give Linehan a good shot.

posted by dyams at 10:42 AM on January 21

I don't think Nick Saban would ever co-exist with Martz. Nick is a smart coach that above all stresses discipline, while anyone watching the Rams over the past several years could see that discipline was anything but Martz's strong point (taking timeouts because he couldn't get the play in to the quarterback in time, back-firing gimmick plays, wasted challenges for things like "spot-of-the-ball on a kickoff returned to the Rams' 30). The whole NFL coaching carousel is bizarre to me. How folks like Sherman, Capers or Haslett who got fired after years of underachieving or futility can be considered for head coaching positions is beyond me. In any other business, this would never happen. "So you just ran a Fortune 500 company into the ground and now you want to run another Fortune 500 company? Hmmmm . . . hired!!!" It just goes to show the entrenched dinosaur mentality in much of professional sports that favors "experience" over intelligence or being forward-thinking.

posted by holden at 11:16 AM on January 21

This Rams fans fingers are crossed. I hated to see Green, Warner, Hakim and Prohel go but I'm thrilled to see Martz replaced by just about anybody. Wishing Lovey Smith was still with the Rams...

posted by STLCardinalfan at 12:24 PM on January 21

The Broncos proved that, with a few correct moves, a defensive line can be shored up quickly and made into one of the best defenses against the run. The only trick is the "correct moves" part.

posted by yerfatma at 02:53 PM on January 21

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