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Rams replace Linehan

September 30, 2008|From the Associated Press

The winless St. Louis Rams fired coach Scott Linehan on Monday, the morning after a fourth consecutive lopsided loss to start the season.

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, once the coach of the New Orleans Saints, will replace Linehan on an interim basis. The Rams made the decision in the middle of the night and made it public several hours later.

"I have enormous respect for Scott Linehan as a person and believe under the right circumstances he will be regarded one day as a fine head coach," owner Chip Rosenbloom said in a release. "Unfortunately, the situation with the Rams as they exist today is no longer acceptable and we have to make a change."

Linehan had an 11-25 record in his first head coaching job. The Rams have been outscored 147-43 this season and have given up at least 30 points in seven straight games dating to last season. St. Louis has lost 17 of its last 20 games overall.

Linehan briefly addressed players Monday morning and then left Rams Park with his wife, Kristin, driving away without speaking to reporters.

"He just told us that we're winners," said rookie defensive end Chris Long, Linehan's last first-round pick. "We're not winning right now, but there's winners in the room. He's going to do well, he's going to find a place where it's going right."

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Richard Collier, shot while sitting in a car outside an apartment complex this month in Jacksonville, Fla., is paralyzed below the waist and his left leg was amputated, his doctor said.

Collier was on a ventilator for about three weeks and has no memory of the shooting, said Dr. Andy Kerwin.

"His overall condition has improved greatly," Kerwin said. "We expect him to be discharged soon."

Kerwin said Collier suffered 14 bullet wounds to the back, left groin, left legs and right buttock. In addition, a bullet severed his spinal cord, causing the paralysis. The amputation was the result of damage to his left leg and groin, where blood clots formed.

Collier will undergo physical therapy to learn how to move from his bed to a wheelchair. He will never walk again, the doctor said.

New York Jets safety Eric Smith was suspended for one game by the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin.

Smith was also fined $50,000 by the league for what it called a flagrant violation of player safety rules. In a statement, the NFL said Boldin was in a defenseless position at the time contact was made.

Boldin was resting at home Monday.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers intends to play against Atlanta on Sunday despite a sprained shoulder that his coaches will be watching closely in practice.

Packers Coach Mike McCarthy and his assistants will monitor Rodgers' progress and prepare rookie backup Matt Flynn to start, just in case.

Receiver Chris Henry was cleared to practice with the Cincinnati Bengals after having completed his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy. . . . The New York Jets released punter Ben Graham.

PRO BASKETBALL

Pfund steps down as Heat's general manager

Miami Heat general manager Randy Pfund, who helped Miami win the 2006 NBA title as the highlight of his 13 years with the franchise, resigned.

Pfund said that it was "the perfect time to pursue other opportunities within the NBA," without offering specifics.

Team President Pat Riley -- who already had final say on virtually all personnel moves -- will assume at least some of Pfund's duties, which included overseeing draft preparation, scouting, salary cap management and player personnel decisions.

The Houston Rockets already have injury concerns with Tracy McGrady.

Houston's leading scorer said that his left shoulder is arthritic and will require surgery after this season. He also said his left knee is healing slower than expected after his surgery in the spring.

Deanna Nolan scored 21 points and Taj McWilliams-Franklin added 19 to help the Detroit Shock reach the WNBA finals for the third consecutive season with a 75-73 win over the New York Liberty at Ypsilanti, Mich.

PASSINGS

Former Rams executive Faulkner, 82

Jack Faulkner, a longtime executive with the Rams and coach of the Denver Broncos in 1962 and 1963, has died. He was 82. Story, Section B.

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