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nychief
01-18-2006, 04:24 PM
eep thinking offense, set to hire Dolphins' Linehan


Clark Judge Jan. 18, 2006
By Clark Judge
CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer
Tell Clark your opinion!



Expect the St. Louis Rams to make an announcement on their next head coach shortly -- probably by Friday and no later than Monday. And expect that head coach to be Miami Dolphins' assistant Scott Linehan.
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League sources confirmed that Linehan, the Dolphins' offensive coordinator, is the choice of an organization that Wednesday completed its second round of interviews by consulting with Chicago defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.

Linehan and San Diego offensive coordinator Cam Cameron had their second interviews earlier.

Originally, the Rams were expected to hire a defensive assistant, largely because of problems the club had on that side of the ball this year (only Houston allowed more points). But the more club executives tossed around the idea the more they decided an offensive head coach might be the ticket -- largely because they believed they could straighten out the league's 30th-ranked defense by choosing a candidate from a reservoir deep with solid defensive coordinators.

Scott Linehan got a lot out of a little with the Dolphins. (Getty Images)
Scott Linehan got a lot out of a little with the Dolphins. (Getty Images)
That decision, of course, will belong to Linehan, but look for someone like Jim Bates, who was the Packers' defensive coordinator last year, or the New York Jets' Donnie Henderson to be among the candidates.

But there's another reason St. Louis opted for an offensive assistant. When you look at the Rams, you find their best players generally are on one side of the ball -- and, no, it's not defense. It's with an offense that former coach Mike Martz built into one of the league's most productive units before departing in the middle of this season with a heart infection.

Linehan, 42, initially was considered a long-shot candidate because he has only four years of NFL experience. But his name emerged in recent weeks as the Rams started combing the league for offensive assistants, talking to, among others, Cameron, Baltimore's Jim Fassel and Pittsburgh's Ken Whisenhunt.

Linehan is young, smart, dynamic and imaginative. The Rams were impressed with how he managed the Minnesota offense when the Vikings had Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper. Linehan enhanced his standing by winning this season with Gus Frerotte as his quarterback, though that's probably more a testament to the job done by head coach Nick Saban.

But look what the Dolphins accomplished: With Frerotte and Sage Rosenfels as their passers, they ranked in the upper half in many offensive categories and finished in the middle (16th) in scoring. Sure, they were blanked by Cleveland, but they responded by finishing with six straight wins.

Now look what happened when Linehan joined Minnesota in 2002 after 13 seasons of coaching at the college level. In his three years as an offensive assistant there, the Vikings never ranked lower than fourth in overall offense and were the league's second-ranked passing unit in 2004 when quarterback Daunte Culpepper threw 39 touchdown passes, a franchise record.

St. Louis is desperate for some of that production. The Rams believe they have the necessary talent in players like running back Steven Jackson, quarterback Marc Bulger and wide receiver Torry Holt. But they also believe they lost something last year when the organization was shredded by friction between Martz and the front office.

The Rams want their high-scoring offense back. And they want to return to winning. They believe Linehan gives them the chance.

Coach
01-18-2006, 04:27 PM
Hmm... Linehan over Saunders?

Interesting.

Deberg_1990
01-18-2006, 04:41 PM
Hmmm...interesting choice. I do believe the Rams do have some talent left. IM not sure about their offensive line though other than Pace.

ChiefsCountry
01-18-2006, 04:51 PM
Hmmm...interesting choice. I do believe the Rams do have some talent left. IM not sure about their offensive line though other than Pace.

They used their first round pick last year on Alex Barron. So they have talent on the tackles.

Frosty
01-18-2006, 04:52 PM
I was hoping that they would hire Cam Cameron away from San Diego.

nychief
01-18-2006, 04:59 PM
I was hoping that they would hire Cam Cameron away from San Diego.


that was my thought also - I had a vision of Cam leaving and marty running LT into the ground.

cmh6476
01-18-2006, 05:57 PM
can't believe some of these guys who are getting opportunities over Saunders...

nascher
01-18-2006, 06:06 PM
Yes but a superb OC/DC doesn't make a good HC !!!

sedated
01-18-2006, 06:12 PM
that was my thought also - I had a vision of Cam leaving and marty running LT into the ground.


I'm sure raider fan is saying the same about Herm, Saunders and LJ

phxchief
01-19-2006, 06:29 AM
Day after day, coach after coach, the Edwards' hiring keeps looking better and better.

tomahawk kid
01-19-2006, 07:02 AM
that was my thought also - I had a vision of Cam leaving and marty running LT into the ground.

That'll happen anyway.

No need to fear there.