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You can call me Al

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That's the best news about the Rams I've heard since...well, since last year's draft pretty much.

In case you're hearing it here first, the Rams have hired Al Saunders as their offensive coordinator.

As we've said earlier, hiring Saunders takes the play calling, and much of the offense, out of Scott Linehan's hands. That's a good thing. Since Linehan started his tenure as head coach in St. Louis, the offense had it's best run for a brief period at the end of the 2006 season when Linehan relinquished playcalling duties to former OC Greg Olson. He's over his head as head coach AND offensive coordinator.

Saunders will also help smooth over the lingering effects of the sideline eye rolling and other, similar incidents that highlighted an emerging rift between the head coach and his offensive veterans.

Linehan says that his coaching moves have not come at the behest of Shaw and the management. Maybe not. Maybe he read the writing on the wall and realized his head coaching days in the NFL were over if he didn't take the gun out of his own hand by hiring a proven offensive coordinator.

Pundit reaction: it's a good move.

Here's ESPN's John Clayton

Saunders coached the Rams in 1999 and 2000. He does a good job of balancing the running game with the passing game, which should help quarterback Marc Bulger. He's also one of the best at getting improved play out of the wide receiving corps.

Yes. The team has a lot of money tied up in Drew Bennett and Randy McMichael. Injuries and play calling problems took something off their games last year, but "improved play" is a must for them.

Finally some good news.