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News » Our NFL Czar's Week 3 Countdown

Our NFL Czar's Week 3 Countdown

Our NFL Czar's Week 3 Countdown
The St. Louis Rams are 0-2. They have a new owner, Chip Rosenbloom, who isn't happy and wants to sell before the franchise deteriorates even more. They are dealing with a must-win situation Sunday in Seattle because if they lose, they could be facing a winless streak that could stretch into November. Their bye week comes the first weekend of October and the players wonder if head coach Scott Linehan will be around the following week. Plus, there are too many players who don't seem to care if they win or lose.

NFL Week 3

Week 3 action

    Cardinals at Redskins -- Preview | Notes
    Buccaneers at Bears -- Preview | Notes
    Panthers at Vikings -- Preview | Notes
    Chiefs at Falcons -- Preview | Notes
    Raiders at Bills -- Preview | Notes
    Dolphins at Patriots -- Preview | Notes
    Bengals at Giants -- Preview | Notes
    Texans at Titans -- Preview | Notes
    Saints at Broncos -- Preview | Notes
    Lions at 49ers -- Preview | Notes
    Rams at Seahawks -- Preview | Notes
    Jaguars at Colts -- Preview | Notes
    Steelers at Eagles -- Preview | Notes
    Browns at Ravens -- Preview | Notes
    Cowboys at Packers -- Preview | Notes
    Jets at Chargers -- Preview | Notes


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There are several options on the table for Rosenbloom and team president John Shaw to consider. One is to do nothing and let the next owner build his own team. Two is to clean house and make the franchise more attractive to a prospective buyer.

A mid-season change is never a good thing, but usually it is necessary.

It would do the franchise a world of good if Shaw would spend more time in St. Louis because he is one of the league's brightest men. But the ownership change, losing Georgia Frontiere, hasn't been easy for him while also knowing there is a for-sale sign on the front lawn.

Here are the options that are currently on the table:

Fire both Linehan and top executive Jay Zygmunt, hoping to change the direction of the franchise. I personally like both men, but in sports you never fire 53 players, you fire the leaders. The underlying positive in St. Louis is that Marc Bulger remains a quarterback you can win with in this league. However, you have to protect him and give him a chance to make plays.

One option would be to promote defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, who seems to be supporting Linehan this season after openly campaigning for his job last year. Haslett also may be a better interim head coach than he is a nuts-and-bolts coordinator.Two, hire ex-Packers GM Ron Wolf as a consultant. Wolf has remained close to the game through his good friend Bill Parcells in Miami. When he was working full-time, Wolf was one of the best in the business, right there with Colts GM Bill Polian and new personnel stars A.J. Smith and Scott Pioli. But is Wolf worth the $4-million price tag that Parcells got in Miami? Yes, his presence would make the franchise attractive to anyone, and he surely knows how to evaluate talent and a prospective new coach.

Three, hire ex-coach Marty Schottenheimer and his former Chargers personnel man Buddy Nix. Both men are unemployed right now, the result of Smith's decision in San Diego. But Marty is 65 and with him you get stability, but you also better be prepared for him to hire his brother, Kurt, and his son, Brian. Like Wolf, the salary price would be hefty. But Schottenheimer is a no-nonsense coach who might get the locker room's attention.

Four, bring back Dick Vermeil. This man is still popular in St. Louis, but does Vermeil really want to work that hard again? He doesn't want to coach, but he would put a good face on the franchise. The one downside to Vermeil is that he probably would promote offensive coordinator Al Saunders as the head coach.

Five, give Jim Fassel a call. He did take the Giants to a Super Bowl with Kerry Collins and was in the running last offseason for the Redskins' job. He is living a young man's life in Arizona right now and might be a good interim hire with a club option. Interestingly, Fassel's name has also popped up in Oakland as a potential replacement to Lane Kiffin should Al Davis pull the trigger and make an in-season termination.

GAME: Arizona at Washington


CZAR'S SCOOP: When the league reduced Marshall's three-game suspension to one game, they apparently knew about the potential of assault charges being filed against him in Georgia by his girlfriend following a scuffle at their apartment. The league seems willing to see how Marshall fares in court before making any decisions whether or not he will miss more time. Saints coach Sean Payton was looking for a new deal when owner Tom Benson surprised him with a new extension last weekend, making him the fifth-highest-paid coach in the league. Denver's Mike Shanahan and Payton are both graduates of Eastern Illinois University. Both were quarterbacks at EIU, which is located in Charleston, Ill. Payton, a three-year starter in the mid-1980s, still holds most of the school's passing records. Ex-Bronco John Lynch will be at the game Sunday.

GAME: Detroit at San Francisco

TIME: 4:05 ET

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: The Lions want to run the ball more consistently, but they've fallen behind, 21-0, in both of their games. One reason they got rid of San Francisco offensive coordinator Mike Martz was because they wanted to run the ball more, but now they are back to throwing a lot to Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams. The big problem is that QB Jon Kitna is coming off a three-interception game. San Francisco CBs Nate Clements and Walt Harris have the ability to stay with Detroit's fabulous duo. Martz hopes to protect young QB J.T. O'Sullivan (eight sacks last Sunday) by giving Frank Gore at least 25 touches vs. the Lions. Ex-Raider OT Barry Sims starts for injured 49ers tackle Jonas Jennings. Kitna was sacked 114 times in two seasons under Martz.

CZAR'S SCOOP: The Lions have been pretty much ruined by eight plays in which their defense has allowed 397 yards. One good example to prove that Kitna is merely an average or worse quarterback is his passer rating on third down. It is a paltry 14.6 on five completions in 14 attempts for 35 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Detroit's last victory in San Francisco was in 1975. One of the greatest victories in Lions' history came at San Francisco in the 1957 playoffs, when the Lions overcame a 20-point deficit to win, 31-27. The Lions went on to win the NFL title. They haven't won one since. Whoever loses this game, Rod Marinelli or Mike Nolan, immediately goes on the hot seat.

GAME: St. Louis at Seattle

TIME: 4:05 ET

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Everyone is whipping on the Rams' offensive line. WR Torry Holt ripped into them yesterday and there is no question they better protect Marc Bulger (10 sacks in two games) a lot better. Yes, Seattle is hurting on offense, but their front seven can put pressure on Bulger and their success or lack of it should be the key to the game. St. Louis must improve on third down; it has converted just three of 24 this season. Seattle added two more receivers to its injury-ravage corps this week, with former Seahawk Koren Robinson (knee) probably being a reserve and ex-Bronco Keary Colbert will start at flanker and Billy McMullen the new split end for the unproductive Courtney Taylor. RB Julius Jones will get his second consecutive start and work primarily behind LT Walter Jones, who has a bad hip, and LG Mike Wahle. Rams DE Leonard Little (hamstring) is expected to miss his second consecutive game.

CZAR'S SCOOP: Bulger has five career 300-yard passing games against Seattle and Seahawks OLB Julian Peterson has 9 ½ sacks in his past 12 games against St. Louis. Ron Bartell will start for the benched Tye Hill at cornerback. Hill, a former first-round pick, has horrible ball skills. Seattle WR Deion Branch caught multiple passes for the first time in a practice since having knee surgery, though he is out for Sunday's game. Rams president John Shaw didn't make the trip to Seattle. The Rams want to get RB Steven Jackson untracked, but there have been few holes for Jackson, who missed most of training camp holding out for more money.

Other games

Miami at New England: The Dolphins have lost seven of their last 10 games and they must run better (they have averaged 61 yards rushing in first two games) to stay with the Patriots. Of course, Miami OLB Joey Porter has ripped new Patriots starter Matt Cassel. Dolphins QB Chad Pennington's arm strength has hurt Ted Ginn Jr.'s game and don't be surprised, if the game is lost, if rookie QB Chad Henne takes the field. Pats RB Laurence Maroney (shoulder) is expected to play.

Cincinnati at N.Y. Giants: The Bengals are 0-2 and have been outscored, 41-17. They are last in pass offense (105.5 yards) and 31st in total offense (184.5). Nothing is working. Chad Ocho Cinco fingered the offensive line this week. QB Carson Palmer, who had a career QB rating of 90.1 entering the season, has had games of 35.3 and 41.3, his two worst ratings of his career, to start the season. The unbeaten Giants figure to pound the Bengals into submission with their running game.

Houston at Tennessee: Maybe All-Pro defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth still has a concussion based on his criticism of Houston QB Matt Schaub this week. Here was Haynesworth's rant: "I think he's (Schaub) just scared of us. Maybe next year he won't play against us, he'll just sit that game out." Haynesworth believes that Houston's backup QB Sage Rosenfels is much better and said it's too bad Sage didn't get Schaub's $48 million contract. Regardless, this is a huge game for the Titans, who have playoff aspirations. Schaub didn't take offense to Haynesworth's criticism, chalking it up to his personality and competitive spirit. For the record, Schaub was knocked out of both Tennessee games last season and Rosenfels almost pulled out a win in one of them. Two years ago, he did come off the bench to beat the Titans.


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Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 21, 2008

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Frank Walker Name: Frank Walker
Position: CB
Age: 26
Experience: 6 years
College: Tuskegee
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