Monday, January 21, 2008

Rams have been left in good hands

By Bernie Miklasz

I don't know Chip Rosenbloom well. We've had a few
conversations, and
shared a meal or two along the way,
since the Rams and his mother, Georgia
became part of the St. Louis sports community in 1995.

But the initial impressions are positive. He's a good man,
and a
gentleman. Rosenbloom, 43, has a successful film
career going, as a
producer, screenwriter and director.
But this is no showy, Hollywood guy.
Chip has a relatively
low-key personality. He's serious by nature. He's a

family man, and happily spends time with his wife and kids.
Same with his
sister, Lucia Rodriguez. I've met her several
times and found her to be
warm, friendly and devoted to
her husband and children.

I also know this: Chip and Lucia appreciate the way their
mother was
received and treated in St. Louis. They're grateful
for the support and
affection she received over the last 13
seasons here. In the final years
for the Rams in Los Angeles,
when things turned ugly, Chip and Lucia were
upset by the
personal attacks made against their mother.

And that's among the reasons I believe Chip will do the right
thing by St.

Upon his mother's passing, as Chip takes over as the controlling
partner, Rams fans are worried about the long-term
future of the

I am confident that Chip will take care of the Rams, and St. Louis.

Here's the first look:

—Rosenbloom will probably sell, but he's in no rush. In a few years
probably sell because his life and Lucia's are based in L.A.
And he
believes the owner of the Rams ought to be more
intimately involved with
the franchise, should have a presence
in the St. Louis community. By
selling, Chip and Lucia would
make a lot of money, yes. But they also want
the Rams to have
local, visible and accessible ownership.

—Rosenbloom, however, is also devoted to the memory and legacy
of his
parents. His father, Carroll Rosenbloom, loved owning the
Baltimore Colts,
and then the Rams. Chip is conflicted; he has told
associates that he'd
feel guilt by selling the Rams out of the family.
But he also believes St.
Louis deserves the full concentration of the
owner, and he may not be able
to do that.

—Rosenbloom has told associates of his feeling that the Rams
must change
the inner dynamics in St. Louis. I haven't spoken to
Chip about these
matters, but I am told that he's interested in
a new direction for the
franchise. Team President John Shaw
may leave the organization at some
point in 2008, and if it
happens, the exit would be viewed as an
opportunity by
Rosenbloom to restructure management. I am told that he

believes the Rams need a more high-profile and proactive
leader of the
franchise, much like the Cardinals have in team
President Mark Lamping,
and the Blues have in John Davidson.
Yes, Chip is also concerned about the
on-field direction of
the team. But please understand: He isn't going to
his way into this. He will need time to get a better read on the

state of the franchise.

—And if and when the Rams are sold, what then? Chip really likes
respects minority partner Stan Kroenke. And Kroenke cares
deeply about the
Rams. But because of the current NFL
ownership rules, Kroekne can't own
controlling interest in the Rams
and maintain majority ownership of pro
franchises in Denver. And
that's another reason Chip won't rush into
anything; he is said to
want to give Kroenke time to decide what to do,
and perhaps work
something out with the NFL.

We're about to enter another new chapter of NFL football in
St. Louis, and
I believe the Rams are in honorable hands. And
as we begin anew, let's
offer Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia
Rodriguez our condolences, our best wishes
and our welcome.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Olson out as coordinator; line coach fired

Although the team has yet to make an official announcement, Paul Boudreau is
indeed out as Rams offensive line coach. Rams president of football
operations-general manager Jay Zygmunt confirmed Monday that Boudreau will not
return next season.

Meanwhile, Zygmunt said that Greg Olson has been informed that he will not be
the team’s offensive coordinator in 2008. Olson is subject to re-assignment
with the Rams, Zygmunt said, but has also been given permission to seek a job
with another team.

It seemed clear that Olson would be out as offensive coordinator once it became
known that the Rams had expressed initial interest in recently-fired Miami
Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron, who has been an offensive coordinator for much
of his career.

Cameron was one of three finalists in ’06 for the Rams’ head-coaching job that
went to Linehan, so he obviously is held in high regard by team president John
Shaw, who conducted the job search along with Zygmunt.
But Cameron runs a different offensive system than Linehan; Cameron’s system is
actually similar to the Norv Turner-Mike Martz system, which has its roots in
former St. Louis Cardinals coach Don Coryell.

The ouster of Boudreau and potential departure of Olson may not be the only
staff changes, according to Zygmunt, as head coach Scott Linehan continues to
evaluate his staff.

There is a chance Olson could end up in Buffalo even before all is said and
done. The Bills are looking for a new offensive coordinator since Steve
Fairchild (a former Rams assistant) took the Colorado State head-coaching job.
Olson worked for Bills head coach Dick Jauron both in Chicago and Detroit.
As for Boudreau’s potential replacement, two highly-respected line coaches --
Hudson Houck (Miami) and Mike Solari (Kansas City) -- are available as a result
of staff shakeups with the Dolphins and Chiefs. The Rams, in fact, have
expressed initial interest in Houck, who worked with Linehan in 2005, when
Linehan was the Dolphins’ offensive coordinator.

Another possibility is Steve Loney, who spent the 2007 season in the college
ranks as head coach at Drake. Loney worked with Linehan from 2002-04 as
offensive line coach with Minnesota