Rams defensive coordinator says 'No more flubs'
Haslett says his own penalty came from frustration
BY STEVE KORTE
ST. LOUIS --
As Brett Favre's pass floated through the air to wide receiver Greg Jennings standing alone with no St. Louis Rams defenders within 20 yards of him, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett stood on the sidelines waiting for an explanation for the blown coverage.
The 44-yard touchdown play was one of those proverbial back-breakers, turning a 20-14 lead into a 27-14 advantage and paving the way for the Packers' 33-14 win over the Rams on Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.
"I couldn't wait to hear what the hell went on it," Haslett said. "When I saw it hanging up there, I knew what happened."
Haslett said cornerback Ron Bartell called a sort of audible on play, causing a misunderstanding that led to Bartell and free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe covering Donald Driver and no one covering Jennings even though the Rams were in man-to-man coverage.
"It was a miscommunication, something that should never happen," Haslett said. "Ronnie called (a switch), we call it an Iowa. I wish O.J. wouldn't have given him the OK or shaken it off like a pitcher. He was supposed to lock on to his guy. He tried to pass it off. It was poor communications. It was a shame because it gave up a play that should never, never happened. We had a free hitter (Corey Chavous) to Brett. We would have got the sack. They should never have made the call. They know it. They were both wrong.
"It's not going to happen again because I'm not going to let them do it again."
The play spoiled an otherwise good performance for the Rams' defense, which limited the Packers to 52 rushing yards and would have limited Favre to 192 passing yards if not for the mixup on the touchdown pass to Jennings.
"I thought the running game was outstanding," Haslett said. "We had the one run get out, and it was because (defensive end) James (Hall) twisted his ankle again. But, overall we tackled well. We did a lot of good things. It's disappointing, the couple of plays. We had the bubble screen where we didn't tackle, the one run and the deep ball. The deep ball just kind of muddies the whole thing. Besides that, they didn't do much to us. It's a great offense, great quarterback, really good receivers. That one play muddies the whole thing."
Haslett received a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for going out onto the field to protest a 10-yard pass interference penalty on Atogwe in the fourth quarter.
Haslett seemed more than mildly chagrined about getting the penalty.
"It won't happen again," Haslett said. "I didn't say anything. I kind of threw my game plan and almost ripped my shoulder out. I shouldn't have done that. You tell the players to be accountable for their actions, and we get a 15-yard penalty. That can't happen anymore. It was probably more out of frustration than anything because of the way the game was going. I thought we had a chance to win the game in the middle of the third quarter. After that one play and a couple calls, things kind of slipped away. It won't happen again."
-Pro Bowl invitations
The NFL will announce the NFC and AFC squads for the 2008 Pro Bowl at 3 p.m. today during a special NFL Total Access show on the NFL Network.
Wide receiver Torry Holt has the best chance to represent the Rams at the NFL's annual all-star game.
Holt, who has been chosen to six Pro Bowls, is fourth among wide receivers in the NFC in receiving yards with 1,055.
Other Rams who could garner some Pro Bowl consideration are free safety O.J. Atogwe, who is tied for second in the NFC with seven interceptions, middle linebacker Will Witherspoon, who has seven sacks this season, and punter Donnie Jones.
There's also a chance the Rams could get shut out in Pro Bowl voting for the first time since the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
Backup running back and special teams player Travis Minor suffered a high ankle sprain against the Packers.
Minor will miss the rest of the season. Linehan said the team probably would keep Minor on its active roster rather than place him on injured reserve this late in the season.
Of the three players who sat out the game against the Packers with Packers, Linehan said safety Hanik Milligan (knee) was the closest to returning and tackle Rob Petitti (concussion) was the furthest from returning.
Linehan said kick returner Brandon Williams (sprained ankle) has a chance of playing against the Steelers.
Linehan said he hadn't seen quarterback Marc Bulger, but he assumed he came out of his first game after missing two games due to a concussion with no problems.
"He had no problems at all afterwards," Linehan said. " I'm assuming he's fine."
Re: Rams defensive coordinator says 'No more flubs'
Minor will "miss the rest of the season".
I'm sick and tired of this!
Hopefully we have all the injuries out of our system and will rebound next season with minimal injuries.