" D " Fense
Having the talent without the right leader spells problems.
In my opinion the Rams of 2006 have enough talent on the defensive side of the ball and now have the Defensive Coordinator to lead them. Let me get into some stats going back to 2001, the last time the Rams played in the Superbowl.
2001 season ( still sick over the way that season ended )
The Rams defense ranked 5th overall, 3rd vs the rush and 19th vs the pass.
2002 season - Rams defense ranked 13th overall, 14th vs the rush and 12th vs the pass.
2003 the defense slipped to a rank of 16th overall, 20th vs the rush and 12th vs the pass.
2004 dropped another rung to 17th overall and finally 2005 took a nose dive to 30th overall and 15th out of 16 teams in the NFC.
Don't take me wrong, I'm not saying the Rams need the #1 defense in the NFL.
The Rams need to be in the top 10 overall rankings. We all know this team can and will produce on offense. Having a respectable defense will allow the offense to play the game the way the Offensive Coordinator and Head Coach scripted the game plan. Also removing the high risk plays and dangerous situations the QB has had to deal with.
Welcome Mr. Jim Haslett, New Defensive Coordinator of the 2006 St. Louis Rams.
Haslett has 23 years of NFL experience under his belt both as a player and coaching at various levels. His most recent stint was the Head Coaching position of the New Orleans Saints, which he held for 6 years. Haslett has been most successful assisting or leading defenses. I'm not going to go into his years as a player but will educate us all on his defensive prowess.
Back during the 1993-94 seasons Haslett was the linebackers' coach for the Raiders, both of those seasons the Raiders defense ranked in the top 10 overall. He went from the Raiders to the Saints as the linebackers coach in 1995 and became the Defensive Coordinator in 96. The Saints defense improved from 22nd overall to a rank of 13th for the 96 season. He then went to the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1997-99 as the Defensive Coordinator. In 1997 the Steelers had the #1 ranked defense vs the run and the team made it to the AFC Championship Game.
Let me say it again; Welcome Mr. Jim Haslett to our team.
In my opinion after learning of Hasletts coaching history and observing his actions on the sidelines as the Head Coach of the Saints I'm totally sold on this guy. His fiery and aggressive attitude will bring the toughness and tenacity to the Rams defense that has been lacking. It's obvious to me that Hasletts niche is on the defensive side of the ball. Especially as the leader ( Defensive Coordinator ). Let's face it the Rams defense has plenty of talent and now it's up to Haslett to bring it all together. Haslett will motivate and kick butt when it's called for. All of us Rams fans are going to be in for a very satisfying season. I'm a realist " SUPERBOWL " not out of the question in 2006 , probably unlikely - but watch out for 2007 !
Re: " D " Fense
I'm still not sold on our secondary. When healthy, Butler and Fisher would struggle at times. Chavous is getting up there and the backups are very young.
If this front line doesn't perform up to its talent, then this secondary is going to get torched again.