If I Could Be Serious...

Nothing says "winning attitude" like hiring a guy from the Dolphins...

The Rams coaching search was very similar to the Cardinals offseason moves: not a lot of impact players to pick from, and a very uninspiring result. The Cardinals could have thrown away a ton of money on grown men by the name of A.J. and B.J., but decided to fill their gaps with average players. We would have loved for the Cardinals to make a huge free agent signing or negotiate another shrewd Jocketty trade, but not a lot of quality was out there for the taking.

Same goes for this coaching search.

Of all the coaches who were available (and were realistic candidates), it's not crazy to say that Mike Martz was the most qualified candidate out there. The record speaks for itself; he's been to the playoffs and Super Bowl. Herm Edwards has a fraction of the winning track record of Martz and the Chiefs were giggling like school girls once they hired him.

But it was time for a change, and there's no way Martz would (and should) coach this team in 2006. The trend has been hiring young coordinators as head coaches and reaping the benefits almost immediately. Lovie Smith, Marvin Lewis, even Charlie Weis turned their programs around within a year or two. And it's said that they all bring "a winning attitude" to their teams.

Winning attitude is not something that comes to mind when I think of the Miami Dolphins offense. In all fairness, Scott Linehan was only there for one year (with the Vikings from '02-'04, the pre-sex boat days). And the Dolphins finished the season strong with six straight wins and a final record of 9-7. Somehow he found a way to get Gus Frerotte to throw 18 touchdown passes.

So he must know what he's doing, there's no debating that. Is he ready to be a head coach? Probably not, but that's the way it goes in today's NFL. Retreads are a thing of the past; nobody wants to devote three or four years to a guy who was bad in his previous coaching stint. Unless you are the Patriots. Also, the Giants and Cowboys' fans probably like their recycled coaches now--Tom Coughlin and Bill Parcells. So even though it is proven that coaches in their second or even third try can build a winning franchise, owners are cautious to take that chance.

At least by hiring a new coach, the owner has an excuse if he sucked: "Well he might not have been ready..."

Hopefully John Shaw isn't reading that quote at his podium in January 2009.

If I could be Sean Salisbury for a moment by making an obvious statement: Hiring a head coach today isn't an easy thing. Do you take a risk with someone like Herm Edwards or Dom Capers--guys who have experience and can tweak their coaching approach from the mistakes of the past? Or try to catch the next Smith, Lewis, or Weis by going with the younger inexperienced candidate?

I'm not disappointed with the Rams' hiring. But like I said before--very uninspired. Possibly the only thing that can lift my spirits is if we draft D'Brickashaw Ferguson, an O-Tackle who possesses one of the greatest names in the history of sports. Unfortunately for him, we need to take a defensive approach in the first round, no matter what position. At the 11th pick, A.J. Hawk probably won't be there, but maybe Brady Quinn's sister will be. She trailed LB Chris Claiborne in sacks by 0.5 this past year, so it might not be so far fetched.

Mr. Linehan, you are on the clock. In reality you have three years to turn the Rams around, let's see what you got.

And just because this entry was an actual serious opinion for once, here's a fictional quote by Sean Salisbury on the Rams' situation:

"You've got to have FOOTBALL players making FOOTBALL plays. The coaches are gonna coach. The players are gonna play. The FOOTBALL is gonna be there every Sunday for you to throw and run! The crowd is gonna expect FOOTBALL players playing on the field, by playing FOOTBALL. Real FOOTBALL. Lines on the field, signicating where the FOOTBALL should go! Is signicating really a word? FOOTBALL--get that word in your vocabulary college boy! You love hearing myself talk. I love hearing myself talk. And everyone loves the way I think...and I'm a man who thinks about FOOTBALL. A LOT!"

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