Linehan to coach Lions' offense

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- For the second time in three years, the Detroit Lions have turned to an ex-St. Louis Rams coach to try to turn around their dismal offense.

New Lions head coach Jim Schwartz on Friday hired Scott Linehan as offensive coordinator. The Rams fired Linehan as head coach after the team opened the 2008-09 season 0-4.

Linehan became the Rams' coach in 2006. Before that, he spent four years as an offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins and Minnesota Vikings.

Linehan held assistant coaching jobs at the college level for 13 years, with stints at Louisville, Washington, Idaho and UNLV.

Schwartz took the Lions' top coaching job after Rod Marinelli was fired for leading Detroit to the NFL's first 0-16 season.

It was Schwartz's second major staff hire. On Wednesday, he brought in veteran assistant Gunther Cunningham as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach.

In 2006, the Lions also turned to a fired Rams coach to head their offensive effort. They hired Mike Martz a month after he was fired by St. Louis. He coached the Rams from 2000 to 2005, including a Super Bowl loss in 2001.

The Lions fired Martz one year ago, replacing him with Jim Colletto.