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Thread: Haslett Era Begins
Haslett Era Begins
By Howard Balzer
Monday, September 29, 2008
No one knows how long it will last, but for at least the next 12 games, Jim Haslett is in control of the Rams. What will happen, no one knows. But in terms of leadership, the team is in better hands.
It doesn't matter how Haslett's defense has performed. People that get hung up on that aren't looking at the big picture. What Haslett brings is leadership and personality to a team sorely in need of a transfusion.
Haslett found out at 1:15 a.m. Monday morning that he had been selected to be the interim coach, replacing Scott Linehan.
Asked whether he considers this an audition for the job "permanently," Haslett said, “You like to think so, but right now I’m worrying about this year. Coaches live year to year anyways, so I’m going to try to worry about this year and these next 12 games and try to win some games. Hopefully we can turn this thing around. In this division you never know. I don’t know the offensive players as well as I know the defensive guys, but I’ve been around the offensive guys, I do know the makeup of most the guys in the locker room and I think they do have a thirst and they want to get this thing right and we’re going to do the best we can at it.
"I promise you they’ll play hard, I will say that. They will play hard or they’re not going to be here and we’re going to give it everything we’ve got. They will play hard; that’s one thing I will promise you.”
The Rams are in their bye week, and Haslett will meet with the team for the first time as a group Tuesday. Asked what his message will be, he said, “We’re going to get this ship right. We’re going to right the ship and we’re going to try and win some games and we’re going to pull out all the stops and do whatever we have to do to win. Anything that will make a difference. We’ll do whatever we have to do to win a game.”
When Haslett was asked about the talent level of the Rams, he talked about the Bills. Haslett said, “I look at the team that we played yesterday and tried to compare personnel and coaching and everything that goes along with that and I did not see a big difference in talent level. They have a couple things we don’t have right now and that is things we have to get. They have great confidence, they have great swagger, they have poise, they think they can win and right now we are not at that level.
"For us to get at that level, obviously winning a couple games helps but doing some different things and playing fast, hopefully that will get us over the hump. (Yesterday) we did some good things on defense and we got a lot of yardage on offense, but we just did not score any points (in the second half) and that is things we have to fix.”
Haslett will work closely with executive vice president/player personnel Billy Devaney regarding any potential changes to the roster. Haslett is hopeful of bringing back cornerback Fakhir Brown, who was released last week by Linehan, more as a shot at Haslett than for performance. President of football operations-general manager Jay Zygmunt will have little say except for instances when a personnel move would impact the salary cap.
Brown has been contacted by Washington, Houston and Tampa Bay, and put off the Redskins when he was contacted by Haslett Monday morning. "He's a good football player, and he's good in the locker room," Haslett said.
Haslett wouldn't commit to a decision about who the quarterback will be when the Rams play the Redskins on Oct. 12. Linehan replaced Marc Bulger with Trent Green for Sunday's game against Buffalo.
“I’ll sit down with the offensive staff and decide what’s best for this team," Haslett said. "I think Marc’s a heck of a football player. I think he’s one of the top quarterbacks that’s played. If you look at his numbers over the years he’s in the upper echelon of quarterbacks. But that’s something that I’ll sit down with the offensive staff and then we’ll decide what’s best for this team, for next week and the future.
"I have my own views, but I'll talk to Al (offensive coordinator Al Saunders) and see what he thinks."
Ironically, Haslett was in his first year as the Saints' head coach in 2000 when Bulger was selected by New Orleans in the sixth round of the draft. Bet on Bulger being under center for the next game.
*With Haslett taking over as head coach, Rick Venturi, the assistant head coach and linebackers coach, will become the defensive coordinator. Assistant secondary coach Mike Cox will coach the linebackers, while defensive quality control coach Todd Downing will assistant secondary coach Ron Milus.
*The injury situation isn't good following Sunday's game. Tight end Randy McMichael suffered a potentially serious ankle injury. The Rams were awaiting test results before knowing how long McMichael will be out. That was also the case with cornerback Tye Hill, who injured his knee Sunday, and might need surgery. Linebacker Will Witherspoon suffered a shoulder injury. Wide receiver Dane Looker was said to be OK after suffering a concussion Sunday.
*With 12 games remaining in the season, the Rams are two games behind division leaders Arizona and San Francisco. Both have 2-2 records.
Re: Haslett Era Begins
GO JIMMY, kick A$$ and take names !!!!
Maine -and out of the ashes rise ...The Breakfast Club !
Re: Haslett Era Begins
"It doesn't matter how Haslett's defense has performed. People that get hung up on that aren't looking at the big picture. What Haslett brings is leadership and personality to a team sorely in need of a transfusion"
I couldn't disagree more with the first part of this sentence. I'm just curious how Jim's "personality and leadership", which hasn't worked on the defensive side, now suddenly will work with the entire team?Faithful Rams fan since 1968
Re: Haslett Era Begins
I'm not sure I believe that, though. I think it's sheer optimistic moxie- something we're in dire need of.
Re: Haslett Era Begins
Brown just got cut last week- what has been the excuse for the lousy defense the past 2+ yrs? Like someone said, if he can't fire up the defense to play well for more than a half every 4 games or so- what makes you think he can fire up the whole team? I also think he's at a disadvantage- I like that he says players won't be there if they don't want to play- but I'm sure many of them are looking at him as a lame duck coach and feel that his powers are limited.
I've been one of his biggest critics, but I'm hoping he has more success as a HC than he has as a DC. I'm tired of getting blown out and just being horribly uncompetitive. Also, I think it's a positive that he's not calling the defense anymore. Hopefully Venturi will turn up the pressure and blitz more than 3 times a game. At this point- can it really get any worse? If we continue to lose, the Rams will have no choice but to clean house (which I hope they do anyway)- so we can only go up from here- we've hit rock bottom already.
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