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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Haslett just didn't make Rams final cut

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Friday, Jan. 16 2009
    The day after the Rams lost at Atlanta 31-27, completing a 10-game losing
    streak that brought their 2-14 season to a close, Jim Haslett was asked whether
    he regretted taking over as interim head coach after Scott Linehan was fired
    four weeks into the season.

    "I really don't, because I love coaching and I like being around the players,"
    Haslett said. "The guys worked hard. Obviously, we were short in a lot of
    areas, but they put everything out there that they could to win."

    Haslett also realized that his time with the team might soon be over. "There
    will be changes made one way or another to get the football team better," he
    said.

    Ultimately, it was decided that the Rams' best chance at getting better is with
    someone else as head coach. Haslett, one of five finalists, was informed
    Thursday that he was out of the running.

    The Green Bay Packers have interviewed Haslett, 53, for the defensive
    coordinator's job under Mike McCarthy who worked on Haslett's staff in New
    Orleans.

    Haslett grew up in western Pennsylvina, where he was a 160-pound quarterback
    and defensive end at Avalon High, and a four-time NCAA Division II All-American
    at Indiana (Pa.) University.

    The Buffalo Bills selected Haslett in the second round (No. 51 overall) of the
    1979 NFL draft. They moved him to linebacker, and Haslett was named the
    league's defensive rookie of the year.

    He spent eight seasons in Buffalo and one with the New York Jets before
    retiring in 1987 and turning to coaching. After seven seasons as an assistant
    for three different teams, Haslett was hired in 2000 as the Saints head coach.
    The team had slogged through six consecutive losing seasons, including a 3-13
    campaign in 1999.

    In his first season, Haslett guided the Saints to a 10-6 record and the NFC
    Western Division title. They knocked off the wild-card Rams 31-28 in the
    playoffs, the first postseason win in franchise history.

    The Saints never again achieved double-figure wins under Haslett, but they also
    posted only one sub-.500 record 7-9 in 2002 and were 42-38 overall in five
    seasons before Hurricane Katrina struck in late August 2005. The Superdome was
    badly damaged, the team relocated to San Antonio and didn't play a true "home"
    game all season.

    After a 3-13 finish, Haslett was fired. Just over a month later, Linehan hired
    him to run the Rams defense.

    In Haslett's first year here, the team improved from 30th in the 32-team NFL in
    total defense to 23rd. In 2007, the Rams moved up two more spots, to 21st. But
    this past season they fell back to No. 28. Before taking over for Linehan,
    Haslett was coordinator for four games and then gave way to Rick Venturi.

    The choice of Haslett as interim head coach was greeted with enthusiasm in the
    locker room. "'Has' brings energy, a realistic attitude, a guy who's going to
    shoot straight, and a guy who we can win with," rookie defensive end Chris Long
    said at the time.

    Despite an ugly 0-4 start under Linehan, the Rams did win with Haslett and
    right away. They prevailed 19-17 on Oct. 12 at Washington, then pounded Dallas
    34-14 the next Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.

    Midway though the fourth quarter vs. the Cowboys, running back Steven Jackson
    suffered a thigh injury. Haslett later kicked himself for not getting Jackson
    out of the lopsided contest.

    The team's top ballcarrier would miss nearly all of the next five games, and
    the season turned sour again. After a narrow loss at New England, the Rams were
    pummeled by a combined 143-35 over the following month.

    Jackson returned Nov. 30, and the Rams were competitive again. They failed to
    win, but four of their last five losses came by a total of 12 points.


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Haslett just didn't make Rams final cut

    Those who hesitate? The late decision to take Steven Jackson out of the Cowboys game is what cost Haslett his shot at the headcoaching job?

    What a shame.

  3. #3
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Haslett just didn't make Rams final cut

    That is a shame indeed. That shallacking of the 'boys almost propelled us to winning IN Foxboro even without Jax. That was why I absolutely backed Haslett for those three weeks, because he had the whole team believing again. I hope whoever we pick can do the same for the whole season.

  4. #4
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    Re: Haslett just didn't make Rams final cut

    not only did the jackson injury cost haslett his job, it really sent our season down the tubes.
    we had a real chance of turning things around at 2-4, could've even won the west.
    just proves that keeping jackson healthy should be as high a priority as anything else.

  5. #5
    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Haslett just didn't make Rams final cut

    In Haslett's first year here, the team improved from 30th in the 32-team NFL in
    total defense to 23rd. In 2007, the Rams moved up two more spots, to 21st.
    With all the persistent blather about how this defense is the "worst ever " and "my high school team could score on these guys", it's nice to see that in his time where he was strictly dedicated to the defense, he actually made progress.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  6. #6
    HornIt Guest

    Re: Haslett just didn't make Rams final cut

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    With all the persistent blather about how this defense is the "worst ever " and "my high school team could score on these guys", it's nice to see that in his time where he was strictly dedicated to the defense, he actually made progress.
    I wouldn't call it progress myself. The larger picture does not reveal progress IMO.

    The defense under Marmie in his 2 years was arguably better than the defense under Haslett in his 3.

    Under Marmie in 04 and 05 they were 17th and 30th in yards allowed respectively. 25th and 31st in points allowed. They averaged 24th in yards allowed and 28th in points allowed during that period.

    Under Haslet in 06, 07 and 08 they were 23rd, 21st and 28th in yards allowed respectively. 28th, 31st and 31st in points allowed. They averaged 24th in yards allowed and 30th in points allowed over that period.

    It is difficult to find progress or any semblence of success there. When you average 30th in points allowed over a 3 year period, I think the argument that my high school team could score on these guys, while maybe an exageration, makes a salient point.

    I'm not sure about worst ever. I still think the 00' defense may have been the worst single season Rams' defense ever. But over a 2 or 3 year stretch, I think it's hard to argue against the Haslett defense for the Rams being the worst Rams defense ever.

  7. #7
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Haslett just didn't make Rams final cut

    I was pretty upset when I watched Jackson playing in the fourth quarter. He could've done a better job. But that kind of happens when youre winning for a change. Emotion and excitement take over. Unfortunately, an injury occured to our best player.

    I wish the Haz the best of luck. He had us excited for a few games of the season and had the team playing good for a change.

    I hope the next guy can start that attitude the day he comes in.

  8. #8
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    Re: Haslett just didn't make Rams final cut

    I have seen a lot of hatred on the board for Haslett. Yet everyone that spews that hatred was also leading the charge against the crappy FO we have had. While I am not saying Haslett should remain our HC, he did take a pile of crap and do more than put lipstick on it. I wish him well in his future endeavors. Will I cheer for him against the Rams? No. I just won't blame him for our woes...
    This space for rent...

  9. #9
    moloch41 Guest

    Re: Haslett just didn't make Rams final cut

    Quote Originally Posted by HornIt View Post
    I'm not sure about worst ever. I still think the 00' defense may have been the worst single season Rams' defense ever. But over a 2 or 3 year stretch, I think it's hard to argue against the Haslett defense for the Rams being the worst Rams defense ever.
    I agree- and just the most boring, unimaginative, passive defenses I have seen. He was routinely outcoached by OC's in the second halves of games. I'm not sorry to see him go at all. Do I blame him for all the team's woes? No, but he's just a big a part of them as anyone else.

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