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Haslett says winning streak is due to players bonding
Claims its not about X's and O's
BY STEVE KORTE - Belleville News-Democrat
ST. LOUIS -- Coach Jim Haslett said the St. Louis Rams' surprising two-game turnaround has more to do with the players bonding and believing in themselves than any coaching schemes.
"It's not about X's and O's," Haslett said Monday.
The Rams (2-4) shocked the Washington Redskins 19-17 last week, and then pummeled the Dallas Cowboys 34-14 Sunday.
Haslett said he's not surprised by how the Rams have played since he replaced fired coach Scott Linehan three weeks ago.
"I don't think anything surprises me in this league," Haslett said. "I think the guys have bought into what we are trying to do. They feel good about themselves, and they're taking ownership in their team. You've got to like that.
"I like what Marc Bulger has done. I like what the defense has done. They are doing a lot of things together. I like what I see."
Haslett said Bulger has assumed more of a leadership role with the Rams.
Haslett said Bulger had a party Sunday night for the Rams' offensive players at his house.
That's where wide receiver Derek Stanley went Sunday night when he checked himself out of the hospital after being admitted for observation in the wake of a concussion he suffered against the Cowboys.
"I think Marc has really stepped up his game, more off the field than on the field, in the little areas that you don't see," Haslett said. "He is kind of taking over the team, being the leader on offense. He is the guy who talks to the team on Saturday. He is in command."
Bulger has played better the last two games, but so has the Rams' offensive line, the defense and the special teams.
The Rams had 180 rushing yards on offense, three sacks and three interceptions on defense and another good day on special teams against the Cowboys.
"The game plan was to run the ball and try to get big plays," Haslett said. "Try to take our shots and get a couple of big plays with Donnie (Avery). We had a couple big plays with Torry (Holt). We kind of thought if we could get four big plays, we could win the game.
"And on defense, we wanted to try to stop the run, which we did except for one play, and try to get some turnovers."
On Sunday morning, Haslett delivered a pregame speech to the Rams with the simple message to have fun and ignore all the hype surrounding the Cowboys.
"I have been around the league long enough -- I played in the league and I've coached in the league -- that you get a feel for the guys and what they're thinking and what they're going through," Haslett said. "All I said to them yesterday was it was not (about) who we were playing. It's still a game. Go out and have fun, don't worry about the team you are playing. Don't read all the hype and all the bull you read about this team -- America's team, and all that. Play hard, and good things will happen to us."
The Rams are currently in second place in the NFC West ahead of San Francisco (2-5) and Seattle (1-5).
The first-place Arizona Cardinals (4-2) must play on the road against the Carolina Panthers (5-2) this Sunday.
So there's a chance the Rams' Nov. 2 game against the Arizona Cardinals could be for first place in the NFC West.
Haslett said he wasn't aware of where of the Rams stood in the NFC West race.
"I really don't even know the records in the league right now because I know we're not in the mix," Haslett said. "So, I'm not really worried about it."
Next up for the Rams is the New England Patriots, who took a 3-2 record into their game against the Denver Broncos on Monday night.
"This is going to be a great challenge, a team that has X-amount of Super Bowls, and to go on the road and play that kind of football team with a great coach, we'll see where we at after this game," Haslett said.
Haslett said he planned to watch the New England-Denver game on television.
"I'll watch the game tonight, I watched the game last night," Haslett said. "It's the only business in the world where that you work all day and you can go home and watch it at night and still enjoy it. A dentist doesn't do that. A surgeon doesn't do that. They don't go home and watch somebody do operations."
Re: Haslett says winning streak is due to players bondingSo there's a chance the Rams' Nov. 2 game against the Arizona Cardinals could be for first place in the NFC West.
-10-21-2008 #4Registered User
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Re: Haslett says winning streak is due to players bonding
Nope! He was outside in the cold, teeth chattering!
Party: Hey I was looking out the window is that Coach Lenny?
Response: Yeah, he looks cold and wet.
Party: Should we let him in, or at least offer him a warm blanket?
Response: Nah, ignore him. Pass another beer! Whhoooaa!LA RAMMER
It's Jim not Chris
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