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Thread: Haslett praises players' effort
Haslett praises players' effort
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
A former NFL linebacker and a give-no-quarter coach, Jim Haslett nevertheless isn't devoid of emotion. He choked up briefly Monday when discussing his players' effort in Sunday's wrenching 17-16 loss to San Francisco.
"They played hard. I felt bad for them. They wanted to win the game. They were flying around and they were into it," Haslett said, then paused for a few seconds to gather himself before continuing. "It's a shame we didn't win, because we really did give the game away. We should've won the game."
Despite dominating the ***** for three quarters, the Rams squandered a 13-point lead in the final 4 minutes 3 seconds. A 3-yard touchdown pass to longtime Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce made it 16-10, then quarterback Shaun Hill hooked up with wideout Josh Morgan for a 48-yard score with 1:05 left.
After winning their first two games after Haslett replaced Scott Linehan, the Rams (2-13) head into Sunday's season finale at Atlanta on a nine-game losing streak. Still, Haslett said the players' unswerving commitment has been "gratifying."
"They gave everything they had" Sunday, he said. "We are what we are, but I will say this: They played their hearts out, every single guy on that team. I didn't see one guy not playing hard to try to win the game. ...
"Most people in this league, a lot of teams in this league, those guys aren't playing like that with this record, with the condition that we're in. So, I commend them on that. I think that's something that you can take to the future.
"But obviously you've got to have better players in certain areas for us to win games. Trying hard is commendable, but you've still got to win games."
One veteran player estimated after the game that 95 percent of the Rams want Haslett back in 2009. Knowing that he has such widespread support "makes me feel better when I come to work," Haslett said. "Will it pay off? I don't know. That's something I can't worry about."
Haslett explained that he tries to "treat those guys the way I would want to be treated when I played. I tell them the truth. I'm up front with them."
Running back Steven Jackson "gutted it out" Sunday, Haslett said, rushing 32 times for 108 yards despite a balky hamstring. Jackson "looked like he was OK" Monday, Haslett reported.
The knee injury that sidelined tight end Daniel Fells early in the second quarter has been diagnosed as a bone bruise.
Guard Jacob Bell is scheduled for an MRI exam to determine the extent of the hamstring injury he suffered late in the first half. If he is unable to go Sunday, rookie John Greco will get his first NFL start, even though his performance in Bell's stead vs. the ***** was "not as good as we would've liked," Haslett said after reviewing the game film.
"He struggled the last couple of series, and it hurt us a little bit. But if you're going to play young guys, you're going to have to live through some of the growing pains," Haslett said. "He gave up a sack and a quarterback hit. And then on the infamous draw that you guys keep talking about, it was a blitz and he should've picked up the guy."
The play in question came with 25 seconds remaining and the Rams at the Frisco 45-yard line. Jackson was stuffed for a 3-yard loss. On the next snap, quarterback Marc Bulger's pass for wide receiver Donnie Avery was intercepted, ending the Rams' hopes.
Still, Haslett defended the draw-play call. "If Greco gets his block, Steven will probably get to the free safety," he said. "With the ball being at the 45, you only need 7 or 8 yards for a field-goal attempt. You have enough time, with two timeouts. So I thought it was a pretty good call."
Haslett fined reserve running back Antonio Pittman $25,000 and inactivated him Sunday for skipping Saturday's walk-through. ... Tuesday normally is the players' day off, but the team will practice today and take Christmas Day off.
Re: Haslett praises players' effort
When's the last time Haslett or any of his coaches took the blame for a loss?
Yeah let's blame the rookie for missing a block on a play that shouldn't have even been called. Not even a hint of a question about Al Saunders play calling? PLEASE!!!!
-12-23-2008 #4HornIt Guest
Re: Haslett praises players' effort
Did I miss something? Did they just lose to the dynasty Patriots or the pathetic ***** on Sunday?
Haslett says they have most of the players in place already. Have the QB and RB, need a couple O-lineman and most of the defense is his anyway. So how does that reconcile with losing to a bad football team at home when you're up by 13 points halfway through the 4th quarter?
The story changes every week. Whatever it has to be in order to keep the stink off of Jim Haslett.
-12-23-2008 #5CaliGirlRamsFan Guest
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