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What Happened?

Everyone knows that the Rams are in camp now. Everyone knows the wide receiver issues, the Marc Bulger problems, and the Tye Hill “I think I can” saga. So I thought it would be interesting to take a look the last time the Rams were actually good. Way, way back, three years ago. The first year Scott Linehan coached the Rams.

When the Rams fired Mike Martz, they searched for a coach. I can remember the search, as on the official Rams website, I read about Ron Rivera being a candidate (at the time he was the Bears Defensive Coordinator). I was shocked when they went with Scott Linehan, but the pundit’s analysis reassured me:

“Linehan shuffled Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown successfully at running back, and coaxed a career-high 18 touchdown passes from Gus Frerotte. Also, wide receiver Chris Chambers had his best season and was picked for the Pro Bowl for the first time.” – AP News on the hire of Linehan, via ESPN.

“Players raved about him”- AP News on the hire of Linehan, via ESPN.

I remember when the Rams were 4-1, in first place, and barely lost to the Seahawks, because they scored too fast. Torry Holt’s miraculous catch had me screaming for joy and sadness because there were about five times I thought he had it, and just as many times I thought he had lost it. The Rams started to slip there. They went on a long losing streak and lost another close one to Seattle. Still, they managed to go on a three game winning streak at the end of the season.

At the end of the season, we had promise. Marc Bulger had a career year, as did Steven Jackson. Leonard Little had 13 sacks, and they had promise. If Josh Brown were to miss two field goals, Linehan very easily could have won the Coach of the Year, and the Rams would have made the playoffs. But looking good on paper won’t win games. Rams fans know that perfectly. No one needs reminding of Drew Bennett or Trent Green. Just because David Carr was the most accurate passer in the league that year (68.3%) doesn’t mean he was good. That 8-8 record sure feels like an eternity away.

Flash forward three years. We have a new head coach, new draftees, new players waiting for their chance to prove themselves. What do YOU think will happen? Email me at eric_nagel(at) Let’s see what you have to say/think about 2009.

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4 Responses to “What Happened?”

  1. […] Gab asks what happened three years ago when the Linehan era began in St. Louis. I think part of what happened was you […]

  2. Adam says:

    Good memory Eric. I have missed one game since 1999 and have been considered an optimist to say the least. The Offensive Line was horrible the past few years and I really believe that was the biggest reason for the record. I think Devaney and Spags are on the right path by bulking up O-Line and D-Line. There is a great opportunity to suprise people this year. Even Madden 2010 has the Rams Oline the highest rank in NFC West…..

  3. RamsHerd says:

    Eric, a big factor in the team’s demise was the continuing decline of the defense. We were giving out free points faster than Harrahs, and while the offense was able to keep pace in 2006, they just fell off completely — as the defense continued to get significantly worse year over year.

    In ’06, only three teams had more combined points scored + allowed than us: the Colts, Cowboys, and Chargers. The difference was that they all had playoff-caliber offenses, scoring 400+ points per season. And they all made the playoffs the following year.

    This is where all those years of disastrous Martz drafting and the front office’s continued defensive personnel evaluation just killed us.

    • John says:

      .Good points and all Valid. However this Problem is typical of Rams football in the last 30 years. Everything on the cheep. Not going after a stud free agent wide out for example. Then go back after the Super Bowl loss to the Patriots. Not resigning London Fletcher, not keeping Grant Wistrom, and not retooling the O line. Not to mention look at Kurt Warner now. This all stems from management not wanting to pay there TOP players, and bad drafting, on account of going on the basis of cheep. I have been a Rams fan since 1971, and this is disgusting. Not even a competitive team on the field for the last 4 years. Move them back to Los Angeles were they belong, with new owner ship and a fresh start, this is pathetic. This team had it all 6 years ago, and management fouled up.
      Pay your good players end of story

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