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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Haslett lucky to still have a job

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    Monday, Sep. 29 2008
    And the "winner" is . . .

    Jim Haslett. The Rams defensive coordinator will replace deposed head coach
    Scott Linehan for the rest of this season. He got the nod over Al Saunders,
    Rick Venturi and Henry Ellard, three other potential choices for Rams
    owner-for-now Chip Rosenbloom.

    Haslett is an OK choice for this difficult job. This is not a great or terrible
    choice, just OK.

    He has the experience and fiery temperament to lead this team to a more
    respectable finish this season. On the other hand, his defensive unit has
    under-achieved.

    Haslett, alone, must take responsibility for the dreadful performance of that
    group. He is lucky to still have a job, much less a better one.

    His status has been a popular topic here at STLtoday.com for the past few
    weeks, while we all waited for Rosenbloom to finally pull the plug on hapless
    Linehan.

    Many fans weren’t interested in Haslett's potential as Linehan’s short-term
    successor. Fans wanted him to catch the same cab that awaited the head coach.

    The Rams defense wasn’t buying whatever Haslett was selling this season. Again
    and again, the group collapsed. Physically, tactically and emotionally, his
    defense was unprepared to succeed.


    So what can we expect him to do with the team as a whole?

    I have generally defended Haslett over the years, given his previous success as
    a defensive coordinator in Pittsburgh and his solid work as head coach of the
    New Orleans Saints. Unlike Linehan, he has the personality to lead a team.

    We all remember the great Saints-Rams battles when Haslett and Mad Mike Martz
    were at the helm of those teams. New Orleans played tough, physical football.
    Haslett was a coach Rams fans loved to hate.

    The Saints beat the Rams 31-27 in a memorable playoff game following the 2000
    season. That was the first playoff victory in New Orleans history and Haslett’s
    work earned him NFL coach of the year honors.

    His tenure in New Orleans ended with a 3-13 finish in 2005, when Hurricane
    Katrina displaced the team. That disaster threw the entire organization into
    disarray. Chaos enveloped the whole operation.

    So in that sense, Haslett is prepared for this job. Once again, he works for an
    organization enveloped by chaos.

    There is a huge leadership vacuum at the top of the Rams organization.
    Rosenbloom is the owner-for-now. He insists he isn’t actively selling the team,
    but he has a broker listening to bids.

    Longtime Rams executives John Shaw and Jay Zygmunt appear headed toward
    retirement. Shaw has been an absentee president and Zygmunt’s power grab became
    a costly fumble for this franchise.

    The “organization,” such as it is, is in the market for a strong new president
    with a strong football background. Rosenbloom has already done some shopping.


    On the team, meanwhile, all sorts of issues exist. The Haslett-Linehan rift was
    just one problem. Linehan’s exit fixes that, but there is more to do.

    Quarterback Marc Bulger broke off his relationship with Linehan after getting
    benched. Now Haslett has to get this guy’s head back into the game -– or cut
    him, if Marc plans on pouting for the rest of his life.

    Bulger has behaved like a 17-year-old whose dad took away his car keys. His
    teammates must shake their head sadly at that display.

    Now that Haslett has more control of personnel matters, he must reconfigure his
    defense so it can play his system. Tye Hill’s sprained knee and Linehan’s
    cashiering of Fakhir Brown left the team woefully thin at cornerback.

    Haslett must do something about that during the next two weeks. Since his
    nemesis is gone, he has no more excuses. He can run his defense as he sees fit.

    Until last week, Linehan was slow to address poor play or poor attitudes among
    the veterans. We assume Haslett will have no such reluctance. For better or
    worse, this team will have more assertive head coaching.

    This is a big opportunity for Haslett. If he can coax some wins out of this
    group, he will revive his own head-coaching prospects. His reputation took a
    beating during the last 20 games as the Rams degenerated into the laughingstock
    of the league.

    If Haslett can get anything from a team that has lost 17 of 20 games, this
    organization and others will take notice.

    Let’s hope for his sake -– and the sake of long-suffering fans -– he makes the
    most of an opportunity he really didn’t earn.


  2. #2
    gap Guest

    Re: Haslett lucky to still have a job

    Maybe it is the conspiracy streak in me, but I believe Haslett gave Linehan enough rope to hang himself.

    I was only able to watch the first two games of the year, so I don't have a full view, but I think the defense played fairly well. Don't get me wrong, there were some bad spots, but they spent more than half the game on the field. Not many defenses will look good when they spend more time on the field than the offense.

    In the Giants' game, the major break downs were the long ball stikes. That was like four or five plays. Other than those plays, the Rams win that game, even with the pathetic play on the Offense. IMO, all of those plays should have been called back for offensive holding. A couple of times, Long should have asked the OL for his jersey back, yet there was no flag.

    Don't get me wrong, putting the wrong players on the field to make the head coach look bad is not good, and should not be rewarded, but when the head coach is taking away players that you believe will help your scheme, then what else is left?

    Let's give Jim a chances to show what he can do. Hopefully he will be able to put the players he wants on the field, and they will reward him with inspired play.

    gap

  3. #3
    Fortuninerhater's Avatar
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    Re: Haslett lucky to still have a job

    I'd like to know how you go from the leader of the worse Defense in the league to calling all the shots. Only in this confused organization, where nobody knows whether their coming or going.

  4. #4
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    Re: Haslett lucky to still have a job

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    Monday, Sep. 29 2008
    And the "winner" is . . .

    Quarterback Marc Bulger broke off his relationship with Linehan after getting
    benched. Now Haslett has to get this guy’s head back into the game -– or cut
    him, if Marc plans on pouting for the rest of his life.

    Bulger has behaved like a 17-year-old whose dad took away his car keys. His
    teammates must shake their head sadly at that display.

    Now that Haslett has more control of personnel matters, he must reconfigure his
    .
    Bulger wants to be a leader hum.......... this is how you lead?
    :ramlogo:

  5. #5
    Chris58's Avatar
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    Re: Haslett lucky to still have a job

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    I'd like to know how you go from the leader of the worse Defense in the league to calling all the shots. Only in this confused organization, where nobody knows whether their coming or going.
    I agree with you but I see the wisdom. He has some continuity with the players and the organization; he is a quick solution which is beneficial because we only have two weeks until the next game; and he is temporary because when the Rams clean house, up to and including ownership, the new regime will want to bring in their own guys. Hopefully, Haslett won't be in the picture when that all happens.

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    Re: Haslett lucky to still have a job

    [QUOTE=RamWraith;249886]By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    Monday, Sep. 29 2008

    Quarterback Marc Bulger broke off his relationship with Linehan after getting
    benched. Now Haslett has to get this guy’s head back into the game -– or cut
    him, if Marc plans on pouting for the rest of his life.

    Bulger has behaved like a 17-year-old whose dad took away his car keys. His
    teammates must shake their head sadly at that display.

    Marc's reaction to his benching has bothered me more than his sub-par performance this year. It's made me doubt that he really is the QB for this team.

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    Re: Haslett lucky to still have a job

    [QUOTE=Chris58;249943]
    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    Monday, Sep. 29 2008

    Marc's reaction to his benching has bothered me more than his sub-par performance this year. It's made me doubt that he really is the QB for this team.
    I hope he is not having a Vince Young brake down to the benching getting his feeling hurt. It's hard to lead if you have thin skin.
    :ramlogo:

  8. #8
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    Re: Haslett lucky to still have a job

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    I'd like to know how you go from the leader of the worse Defense in the league to calling all the shots. Only in this confused organization, where nobody knows whether their coming or going.
    Haslett has the most HC experience and he's expendable which is the most important point, that's how.

    There is no point in hiring Ellard as HC as some have suggested because there needs to be changes all the way up to the top at the end of the year and I don't think Chip wants to put Ellard in a situation that he can't even begin to fix. I know I don't want Ellard in this situation, just for his own good because I like him. I have always liked Ellard and that's exactly why I don't want to see him as interim head coach. He doesn't deserve to take the fall as interim HC of this mess.

    The way it is now there is still a posibility that Ellard could stick around next year if there is a full regime change. That probably wouldn't happen if he was named interim HC.

    So as long as we keep moving forward by getting rid of Zygmunt and hopefully Shaw retires things could be looking up.
    BRUUUUUUUUUUUCE


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    Re: Haslett lucky to still have a job

    linehan had nothing to do with the worst defense in the league Haslett did. Henry Ellard Saunders or someone else could have been the hard nosed leader to inspire the troops. Haslett was a good coach for a year, so the arguement he has qaulity headcoaching experience is bs to me. Haslett is a terribel choice I don't like it at all. Is it possible to repalce an interm with another interm?

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