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Putting out fires

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When you read that Rams players are holding their own private mutinous meetings expressly for the purpose of complaining about Scott Linehan's offense, it's hard to get too excited about the 2008 season. Now, in addition to figuring out what went wrong and how to fix it, Linehan has to begin his tenuous third season as the Rams head coach rebuilding the team's morale and trust in their head coach. Some of the new coaches, particularly a new offensive coordinator and whatever role Art Valero will be in, may be able to rub some soothing salve of change into the disgruntled players. I just hate to see a season have to start with that though.

Say, who could that offensive coordinator be? TBD

The PD article linked above adds several new names to the mix. It also notes that candidates may be reticent to taking the job given the slippery footing Linehan's standing on for his job security. ESPN's Len Pasquarelli suggests Valero is still a candidate to be named the Rams' OC, something I don't find all that shocking.

Several Rams fans have expressed some interest in pursuing Pittsburgh guard Alan Faneca who's a free agent. Obviously, they'll have competition in that pursuit. This free agent watcher says the Bears plan to woo Faneca. The Rams will have to offer a lucrative package to entice free agents given their recent history and the not-so-secret friction between players and head coach. Those factors will make the free agent market, particularly the upper tier of it, a tough game for the Rams. Some salary restructuring will also have to happen before they can take a chance on the bigger free agent names, if they plan to. Right now, there's only about $9 million in cap space.

Speaking of those disgruntled players, Valero has a good reputation as one of the "most popular assistants among Bucs players for six seasons" according to this piece in the St. Petersburg Times. The same article reports, in the fourth paragraph, that Valero says he could still be named the Rams offensive coordinator.