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More Al Saunders

by Steve Savard

KMOV.com

Posted on January 30, 2008 at 5:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 3:26 PM

I've had some time to analyze the hire of Al Saunders as offensive coordinator and I can't find a lot of negatives. For starters, he has credibility and a proven track record. In his days in K.C., the Chiefs offense was ranked number one in the league in several categories from 2002 to 2005. And the common thread between those teams and the current Rams is the presence of a franchise running back. In K.C. it was Priest Holmes and here it's Steven Jackson.

He also has history--good history--with Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. Those two don't have a warm and fuzzy relationship with Scott Linehan so this can't hurt.

Linehan now has two strong-willed, outspoken coordinators but he can't worry about what's going on behind the scenes. He needs to win and if Saunders helps him win, then his job will be safe anyway.

Credit the Rams for being aggressive in going after Saunders the moment he became available. And credit them for spending some money. Saunders isn't coming cheap--he made about 2.5 million per season with the Redksins.

The negative to Saunders' hire: he's not a miracle worker. If the Rams aren't healthier than they were in '07, he'll be limited by what he can do. And remember this about his days in K.C.--the Chiefs offensive line in those years was anchored by three Pro Bowlers and two future Hall of Famers in Willie Roaf and Will Shields. It will be imperative that Orlando Pace, Mark Setterstrom and Richie Incognito all bounce back from season ending injuries. And, the Rams have to add one or two legit o-linemen(either starters or high quality backups) in the off season.

All in all, a promising move. But let's hope this is just the first of MANY positive moves in the off season. The Rams need a lot of help.

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