Linehan knows people want 'head coach's head' Print
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Monday, 15 September 2008 14:02
NFL Headline News

 ST. LOUIS (AP) -Normally a soft-spoken type in news conferences, St. Louis Rams coach Scott Linehan could barely contain his emotions during a postgame diatribe Sunday describing the team's shortcomings.
Having vented all that frustration, he opted to think positive a day later and somewhat weakly forecast success for this weekend as 10-point underdogs at Seattle.
``In my mind, we're going to beat Seattle,'' Linehan said Monday. ``I'm not making any guarantees. In my mind we're going to beat Seattle and we're going to right this ship, OK, because we don't have a choice.
``I don't have a choice and neither does anybody else around here.''
The Rams (0-2) have lost five in a row by an average score of 40-15 dating to last season and have yet to run a play inside the opponent's 20 this year.
tart-to-finish mismatch.
``When you don't win games, people are going to want the head coach's head. That's the way it works,'' Linehan said. ``I've accepted that only as part of the job, but not as part of where we're going.''
Jokingly, Linehan said he thought about radically altering the schedule in search of a positive result, perhaps by holding practice at midnight and having players sleep during the day. Seriously, he noted it was pointless to worry about practicing the red zone offense until the Rams get there.
``We could eat baloney sandwiches on Wednesday, penalize the team for not playing very good,'' Linehan said. ``We could try all that stuff. The bottom line is it's how we play on Sunday and what we do when we get in those moments that's going to decide our fate.''
Linehan did, however, hint at personnel changes this week. The list of potential candidates could include safety Corey Chavous, cornerback Tye Hill, wide receiver Dane Looker and offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Nick Leckey.
Winning coaches compliment their fallen foes all the time, so such plaudits should be kept in context, but Giants coach Tom Coughlin on Monday saw potential in the Rams.
``They played tough, they played hard,'' Coughlin said. ``They were in position in the fourth quarter to win the game, so I think that they have many talented players. I realize they're 0-2 but they have a talented group.''
Those words are unlikely to soothe players' wounded pride.
``Certainly nobody takes any satisfaction from hanging in there for three quarters with those guys,'' said rookie defensive end Chris Long, who got his first career sack. ``We can't be satisfied with any facet of the game.''
Linehan was 8-8 in 2006, his first season as a head coach at any level. But the Rams are in the midst of a sorry 3-15 skid dating to last season, and echoes of their 0-8 start last year are lingering with an increasingly hostile fan base. Thus far the addition of offensive coordinator Al Saunders is an early-season flop - they scored their only touchdown of the season on a fluke play against the Giants.
The offense is 3-for-26 on third-down conversions, quarterback Marc Bulger has been sacked 10 times and Steven Jackson is still rounding into form after a 27-day contract holdout. Bulger limped away after Jackson bumped knees with him on one handoff, and Jackson tripped on the turf on what could have been a 66-yard touchdown run.
``I think it's a fragile group and we've got to stay the course,'' Saunders said. ``I'm disappointed, certainly. I'm not discouraged about these guys, because I know what we can do down the road.''
The defense has been every bit as shaky, surrendering 963 total yards. The Giants had six gains of 28 yards or more while foiling the Rams' pregame strategy of controlling the run and stopping Plaxico Burress.
``I think there are some individuals lacking confidence,'' defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. ``They just need to go out and play.''
 

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