Rams Need Tougher Defense, With or Without Robinson

I do not know enough about football in general or the Rams in particular to say for absolute certain that Coach John Robinson should be fired.

I do know that Robinson has coached more games and won more games than any coach in Ram history.

I do not know how many of those games the Rams won because of him and how many they won in spite of him.

I do know that Robinson had the Rams within one game of the last Super Bowl.


I do not know what in the world went wrong with this season’s stink-bomb Ram team.

I do know that Robinson has had a longer run than most NFL coaches without producing a winner.

I do not know how often a team has to win to be considered a winner, seeing as how the coach took a 71-50 record into this season’s opening kickoff.

I do know that Robinson is popular with an awful lot of people in a business that has a lot of awful people.

I do not know if the people who employ Robinson are given a bum rap simply because they are not as publicly popular as Robinson.

I do know that Robinson knows football.

I do not know if the people who employ Robinson know football, although that might not be a necessity if they know how to hire the right people.

I do know that there are people who think it would be a dirty shame for Robinson to be fired, people such as Matt Millen of the San Francisco 49ers, who said after Monday’s game at Anaheim that firing the coach would be the Rams’ “worst organizational joke ever.”


I do not know if Ram management would bring in someone new who would make us forget John Robinson in about 15 minutes.

I do know that the coach has to answer for a team that doesn’t win.

I do not know if the Rams didn’t win because the players let down Robinson, because management let down the players or because the coach didn’t know how to get enough out of the players.

I do know that Kevin Greene is a wonderful defensive football player who wants to be paid what he is worth.


I do not know how responsible Greene should feel for the Rams’ poor start because of his late start.

I do know that Jim Everett is an above-average quarterback who is hardly the biggest problem the Rams have.

I do not know that Everett is so good that the Rams can continue to avoid drafting quarterbacks, leaving Everett feeling unchallenged for his job.

I do know that the Rams went a little farther last season thanks to extra effort.


I do not know how the Rams or their fans felt about guys who veered out of bounds Monday rather than fighting for the first-down marker three or four more yards away after pass completions on third down.

I do know that the same coach whose record was 11-5 last season is being accused by some of being the stumbling block keeping the Rams from the Super Bowl.

I do not know how much of it was Robinson’s fault that the Rams no longer have Eric Dickerson or Greg Bell, or that the compensation they received for Dickerson didn’t put them over the top.

I do know that you don’t become the San Francisco 49ers overnight.


I do not know how many more overnights these underachieving Rams need.

I do know that John Robinson is not one of those loony, cartoony coaching characters along the lines of Mike Ditka, Buddy Ryan, Sam Wyche or Jerry Glanville.

I do not know if the laid-back, lovey-dovey Rams might do better if some semi-crackpot Ditka-Ryan type came to town and put the fear of God into them.

I do know that anybody who believes Bill Walsh is willing to go from being a San Francisco folk legend to the coach of San Francisco’s arch-enemies is living in a dreamy fog and ought to take a 20-second reality timeout.


I do know that, from a personal standpoint, I would immensely prefer to see the Rams win with John Robinson than without him.

I do not know if they can or will.

I do not know how the Rams feel about it.

I do not know how Ram management feels about it, because Ram management is as mysterious as Agatha Christie and as difficult to read as Umberto Eco.


I do not know if firing John Robinson is the answer.

I do not know that it’s not.

I do know that it has been my well publicized but possibly idiotic opinion over the years that when a football team doesn’t win, you ought to give some thought to getting rid of the players.

I do know that the fans ought to stop thinking the Rams are the only team that drafts the wrong players, because the draft has been driving every NFL team crazy for years.


I do know that the Dodgers have proved that free agents want to live out here, so what say the Rams go out and buy a few?

And I do know that what the Los Angeles Rams need most is what the 49ers, Giants, Bears, Redskins and other Super Bowl powers have won championships with--more guys who can play defense.

I do not care who coaches them. Just get them.