Linehan limits the media exposure for coordinators

Friday, August 18, 2006

The first-year head coach has shielded his new assistants.

ST. LOUIS -- Throughout preseason training camp, first-year Rams coach Scott Linehan has shouldered the load of dealing with the media while his coordinators concentrated on getting players ready for the upcoming season.

But on Thursday, the final day of camp, he decided it was time for defensive coordinator Jim Haslett and offensive coordinator Greg Olson to get some exposure, and promised they would be available on Mondays to discuss the previous game.

Even so, Linehan says he'll continue to be the team's primary spokesman.

"I just feel it's important, especially early in any kind of program that there's one messenger," Linehan said. "It's not because those guys aren't competent and can't give you the information you need. That's a big part of my job description and I feel it's the role that I ought to take."

Haslett, who spent the past six years as head coach at New Orleans, doesn't mind remaining behind the scenes while Linehan gets all the publicity.

"To be honest with you, not dealing with the media on a day-to-day basis and focusing on football has been good for me," said Haslett, whose Saints team was displaced last season by Hurricane Katrina.

"But, I'll say this about this football team, compared to where I've been," he said. "I don't think there's a lot of problems and a lot of issues that Scott has to deal with. I know it's easier said than done because there are a lot of hidden things, but he's handled it very well. Scott's very intelligent and he thinks about things before he reacts. I'm enjoyed watching him work."

Olson, a former quarterbacks coach at Detroit, Chicago and San Francisco, said his transition to offensive coordinator has been made easier because Linehan plans to call most of the plays. Olson said he and Linehan are still working on details about how their relationship will work, but he's happy to serve as Linehan's apprentice.

"I'm enjoying the opportunity that Scott's given me to be the coordinator," Olson said. "I'm enjoying my time in St. Louis and I'm enjoying coaching this football team. Notes: Pro-Bowl OT Orlando Pace spent his third straight day on the sidelines after an injury scare Monday. Pace said Tuesday his right hip, knee and ankle all hurt, but there was no major damage. Linehan said Pace's availability for Saturday's preseason game against Houston is a game-day decision ... DE Leonard Little (quad) should play against the Texans, but if not, rookie Victor Adeyanju out of Indiana will start in his place.

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