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Linehan Ax Watch returns...

It's quite a drama unfolding here, and all it took was a Torry Holt in-your-face sideline rant in the wake of another ugly Rams loss.

With an outburst from a guy whose personality might be described as the antithesis of T.O., the incident makes me wonder if the expiration date on Shaw's recent vote of confidence might have lapsed prematurely. The internet is ablaze with talk of the Rams locker room being "lost" to Linehan and an offensive scheme that players don't like and don't understand, and not because the plays are complex.

Citing sources close to Holt, the PD posits two theories on the logic behind Holt's outburst:

No. 1: He knew exactly what he was doing and was using the forum of a nationally televised game -- with team presidents John Shaw and Jay Zygmunt, plus part owner Stan Kroenke in attendance -- to get his point across.

No. 2: Holt was so frustrated with the Rams' offense that he lost his cool like no one at Rams Park has seen him lose it over the last nine seasons.

By the end of the team's 12th loss, especially in a game the Rams were competitive in for awhile at least, any player would be understandable be pretty frustrated, regardless of how classy he is. The second theory is likely true regardless of what you think about the first theory. As I've said before, I'm no shrink, but I also wonder if the considerations from the first the theory didn't pop into his head in the white hot moments before launching the tirade.

I don't know. Has Linehan lost the players? That'll be tough to answer unless you're a player. Watch how practices go, watch how the final game of the season plays out (small irony that it's against the city's former NFL team), most of all watch what happens once the Rams season ends, the context clues could come fast.

If he has lost the players, can he get them back? That might be a tougher proposition. Shaw and the folks in the suites should be uncomfortable waiting to see how things work out, because if Linehan has lost the players and has to spend most of the summer trying to get them back, the losing will likely continue and the owners' wallets will take a hit.

The Rams haven't been able to buy national coverage this season, until now. Nothing like a good drama to pick up interest. A Google search for "Scott Linehan" reveals nothing but articles with a sentence or two of speculation about what the incident may or not have revealed about Linehan's job security and the situation in the locker room.

My own prediction: 85% chance Linehan's back for 2008. Shaw has some cover to fire him with the "losing the players" issue, but he'll have a hard time finding a coach after issuing a vote of confidence and firing the guy anyway. The organization needs some fixin' in the suites first before they'll get quality applicants lining up with resume in hand.