Linehan comes to the Rams after one season as the offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins. Under Linehan, the Dolphins went from 29th in the NFL in total offense in 2004 to 14th in 2005, which includes going from 31st in rushing to 12th. The Dolphins' finished the season with six consecutive victories, improving their scoring from 16.2 points per game in the first 10 games, to 26.0 during the season-ending streak.
The Dolphins’ offense in 2005 had 26 plays of 25 or more yards, including seven pass plays of more than 50 yards, which tied for the NFL lead. The Miami offensive line also blocked for the running game to average 4.3 yards per carry, good for fourth in the AFC and eighth in the NFL. The line also allowed only 26 sacks, which tied for the fourth-lowest total in the NFL.
Under Linehan in Miami last season, WR Chris Chambers earned his first Pro Bowl selection, the first by a Dolphins’ wide receiver since Irving Fryar in 1994. Chambers had a career-year that saw him make 82 receptions (tied for sixth in the AFC, tied for 13th in the NFL) for 1,118 yards (third in the AFC, 12th in the NFL) with 11 touchdowns. On Dec. 4 against Buffalo, Chambers had NFL season-highs with 15 receptions for 238 yards. Dolphins’ QB Gus Frerotte also had the best season of his career last season, posting a 9-6 record in the 15 games he started. He completed 257 of 494 passes for 2,996 yards with 18 touchdowns.
Prior to his season in Miami, Linehan was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach for the Minnesota Vikings for three seasons (2002-04). The Vikings’ offense ranked fourth in the NFL in 2004, including second in the league in passing. The 2004 season followed a 2003 campaign that saw Minnesota’s offense lead the NFL, finishing fourth in both passing and rushing. Under Linehan’s tutelage in 2003, QB Daunte Culpepper had one of the best passing seasons of all-time, posting the fourth-highest single-season passer rating (96.4) in NFL history.
Linehan’s first NFL season was 2002, as he directed the Vikings to become the second-ranked offense in the NFL, leading the league in rushing. Prior to his arrival in Minnesota, the Vikings scored 290 points in 2001, following that up with 390 in 2002, 416 in 2003, and 405 in 2004.
Linehan, known for running a balanced offensive attack in both Minnesota and Miami, has helped five players earn Pro Bowl selections. While in Minnesota, RB Michael Bennett, C Matt Birk, QB Daunte Culpepper, and WR Randy Moss all earned at least one Pro Bowl berth, while WR Chris Chambers earned his first selection last season in Miami.
Prior to his NFL experience, Linehan coached collegiately for 13 years. In his 13 years in the college ranks, Linehan’s teams played in seven bowl games, won five conference titles (one Pac-10, two Conference USA, and two Big Sky), and advanced to the NCAA I-AA playoffs in each of his four seasons at that level. His teams suffered only one losing season, going 4-7 at UNLV in 1991. Five of his quarterback protégés at the college level went on to be drafted by NFL teams – Louisville’s Chris Redman and Dave Ragone, Washington’s Brock Huard and Marques Tuiasosopo, and Idaho’s Doug Nussmeier.
His final collegiate stop was as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Louisville for three seasons (1999-2001). During his time there, the Cardinals went to three straight bowl games and became the first Conference USA team to win consecutive league championships. A Louisville quarterback earned Conference USA Player of the Year honors in each of his three seasons with the Cardinals, as Dave Ragone took home the 2000 and 2001 award, while Chris Redman earned the 1999 honor, also winning the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award that season.
Linehan came to Louisville after five seasons at the University of Washington (1994-98) where he served as wide receivers coach (1994-95), offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach (1996-97), and offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach (1998). In his five seasons with the Huskies, the team advanced to four bowl games and won the 1995 Pac-10 title.
Prior to his time at Washington, Linehan served as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Idaho, his alma mater for two seasons (1992-93), one season as the UNLV quarterbacks coach (1991), and two seasons as Idaho’s wide receivers coach (1989-90). While coordinating Idaho’s offense and coaching their quarterbacks, Doug Nussmeier earned the 1993 Walter Payton Award for NCAA Division I-AA Player of the Year, also earning Big Sky Player of the Year honors in 1992. Idaho led the nation in scoring (47.5 points per game) and total offense (532 yards per game) in 1993.
Linehan played quarterback for Dennis Erickson’s Idaho teams from 1982-86. In 1985, the Vandals won the Big Sky Championship and earned Division I-AA playoff appearances in three straight seasons (1984-86). Linehan signed as a rookie free agent with the Dallas Cowboys in 1987 before a shoulder injury ended his playing career.
Born in Sunnyside, WA, Linehan is married to Kristen, and they are the parents of three sons, Matthew (11), Michael (9), and Marcus (5).
LINEHAN’S CONFERENCE/NFL OFFENSIVE RANKINGS, 2002-05
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