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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Haslett hiring shows that Linehan is in it to win

    BY BERNIE MIKLASZ
    POST-DISPATCH SPORTS COLUMNIST
    Tuesday, Jan. 24 2006

    Scott Linehan passed his first real test as the Rams’ head coach by thinking
    big instead of small in hiring former New Orleans Saints head coach Jim Haslett
    as his defensive coordinator.

    Linehan’s choice revealed much about Linehan.

    This is certain: Linehan is in this job to win.

    That’s nice to know. Young head coaches can be terribly insecure. They often
    feel the need to show everyone they’re in charge, and part of that is settling
    for low-profile, yes-men assistants who won’t pose a threat.

    Linehan obviously feels secure and confident. He’s more ambitious than
    cautious. It’s reassuring that Linehan didn’t shy away from hiring a strong
    personality like Haslett. Linehan doesn’t have Haslett’s NFL experience or
    profile, but that didn’t intimidate him into settling for a meek or mediocre
    defensive coordinator. (See: Larry Marmie).

    Linehan wants to win, and he wants to implement a philosophy -– or as he calls
    it a “belief system.” So Linehan quickly recruited a defensive coordinator who
    shares his let-it-rip approach to football.


    When introduced as the Rams’ head coach on Friday, Linehan stressed that he
    wanted the same energy and zeal on defense as offense. Linehan may have a
    notably successful offensive background, but wants the defense to be an equal
    partner, rather than an afterthought.

    By bringing in Haslett, Linehan backed up that pledge.

    Jim Haslett is no one’s lackey. Linehan and Haslett spent part of the weekend
    in South Florida, checking each other out, and concluded that they were a
    match. As an offensive play caller, Linehan likes to attack and make defenses
    uncomfortable. As a defensive mind, Haslett likes to press the action and make
    offenses squirm. Linehan and Haslett have “edge” to their football
    personalities, so this appears to be a fit.

    “By nature, Jim is an aggressive person,” Linehan said. “He’ll be selling what
    we want to sell as a team. You want to have the exact same message for the
    offense and the defense.”


    Linehan’s offensive coordinator, Greg Olson, didn’t distinguish himself in
    Detroit, where the Lions’ offense sputtered. But if we are to blame Olson for
    quarterback Joey Harrington’s developmental inertia, then we must give Olson
    credit for the fine performances other QBs turned in while under Olson’s watch.
    That list includes Jon Kitna, Drew Brees and Jeff Garcia.

    Besides, Linehan will conduct the Rams’ offense. He just needs an extension of
    himself -– someone who thinks the same way and can help with the details -– and
    Olson is qualified for that role.

    But back to Haslett . . .

    What a fun twist of fate. Remember how Haslett was the anti-Mike Martz? Haslett
    was a despised figure around here, back when the Rams and the Saints were
    cooking up a boiling rivalry that produced some marvelously entertaining games,
    and plenty of woofing.

    Haslett and Martz were always going at it, yapping and posturing, with Haslett
    springing several upsets in their coaching matchup. Haslett, of course, once
    ridiculed Martz’s “bullcrap plays” after the Saints upset the Rams in 2003.
    Haslett and Martz eventually became friends, and Haslett put in a good word for
    Martz when the Saints sought a new head coach.


    Haslett is tough, intense and passionate, and the game of football makes him a
    little crazy in the head. In other words: just what you want from the guy in
    charge on defense. From the time he played linebacker in a decorated career
    with the Buffalo Bills, and until now, Haslett looks like a guy who desperately
    wants to smack someone, or at least gnaw on a facemask.

    For two years now, the Rams have been soft, weak and largely ambivalent on
    defense. Haslett will rouse them from their sleep. The unit may be short on
    talent, but no defender will lay down on Haslett. He’ll kick ‘em in the
    posterior, and get them going. Haslett has the kind of linebacker street cred
    that commands respect among defensive players.

    Haslett angles to be a head coach again, but he won’t do it at Linehan’s
    expense. But Linehan understands that he will benefit from Haslett’s hunger and
    determination to show he’s worthy of a second chance to be a head coach. And
    what better way to prove it than to lock in as the DC in St. Louis, join with
    Linehan to raise the Rams up, and increase his coaching stock?

    “It’s a win-win,” Linehan said. “I told Jim, ‘You come here, help us implement
    our style of football, we do bigger and better things, and you become a head
    coach again. If not (a head coach), we continue working together, doing great
    things.”

    Some Rams fans already are whining because Haslett had some disappointing
    defenses in New Orleans. First of all, he was the head coach, not the defensive
    coordinator. No. 2, he was working for Tom Benson, one of the worst franchise
    owners in sports, and a real cheapskate.

    The Saints weren’t the brightest in area of personnel, either. Haslett always
    seemed to be swimming against the tide in New Orleans. And last year, Haslett
    had to push through the devastating impact of Hurricane Katrina.


    It was an impossible situation for the Saints. But before the horrific natural
    disaster pushed the Saints out of New Orleans and into an itinerant existence,
    Haslett had a winning record as their head coach. Only Jim Mora did better as a
    HC in Saints history.

    Before that, Haslett was the heralded defensive coordinator for Bill Cowher in
    Pittsburgh. He has a more-than-qualified resume'.

    More than that, Haslett’s sharp elbow of a personality is just what the Rams
    need on defense. Equipment man Todd Hewitt will have to work a little harder,
    to remove those extra blood stains.


  2. #2
    chiguy's Avatar
    chiguy is offline Registered User
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    Re: Haslett hiring shows that Linehan is in it to win

    Good lord, I should hope that's why he is in it.

  3. #3
    sbramfan is offline Registered User
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    Re: Haslett hiring shows that Linehan is in it to win

    Ya gotta be in it, to win it!

  4. #4
    Yodude's Avatar
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    Re: Haslett hiring shows that Linehan is in it to win

    Haslett hiring shows that Linehan is in it to win
    ....so, what you're saying is that Linehan is not in it to lose! Wow, what a revelation.

    Thank you, Bernie, for another chance for the common fan to see the mind of a total moron at work.
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

  5. #5
    OldRamsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Haslett hiring shows that Linehan is in it to win

    THE NORM "AR" : I think he does what to make a difference , I would like to think that all H.C's what win to win in the nfl ... I believe he was talking about the moves he was making to make that happen (just a guess)

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