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Rams Notebook: Haslett has had his fill of questions
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Tuesday, Nov. 28 2006
Grilled often in recent weeks about the Rams' continuing difficulties against
the run, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett finally ran out of patience when the
subject was broached again.
"I'm sick of talking about the friggin' yardage, OK?" Haslett said Monday. "I
pick up the paper every week, and I read about the yardage we've given up. It
is what it is. We haven't done well. ... But you know what? We're ninth in the
league in pass defense. We've given up four touchdowns in the last three games.
I never see you guys write that.
"We're fourth in the league in turnovers; we got three turnovers (Sunday). You
don't write that stuff. You always write the negative stuff. Well, write some
positive stuff once in a while. Give the guys credit."
The timing of Haslett's outburst was curious. It came a day after the Rams
dropped a spot ""to last — in the NFL in run defense (154.8 yards a game).
They yielded 171 yards in a 20-17 victory over San Francisco that snapped a
five-game losing streak.
During that skid, the Rams were gouged for a whopping 185.8 rushing yards a
game and gave up more than 100 yards to four different men.
Before Monday night's contest between Green Bay and Seattle, the Rams stood
25th in total defense (344.1 yards a game), including a No. 10 ranking vs. the
pass (189.3), and were 25th in scoring defense (23.0 points a game). Their
plus-11 turnover margin was second in the league.
Haslett is in his first season here after spending the last six as head coach
of the New Orleans Saints. Haslett previously was a defensive coordinator for
the Saints and Pittsburgh.
"We're fighting as best we can to stop the run, and we're going to keep working
at it. That's all I can tell you," Haslett continued.
Green moves up
A trade here, an injury there, and suddenly Brandon Green is the Rams'
first-team right defensive end. Rookie Victor Adeyanju, who had started the
last nine games there, suffered a broken right forearm Sunday and "is
definitely out for the next two to three ballgames," coach Scott Linehan
Green was on the inactive list for three of the first five games. He moved onto
the game-day roster when Anthony Hargrove was traded to Buffalo in mid-October.
"Brandon had a very good game (vs. the *****), actually his best game so far
this year," Linehan said. "He was getting to the ball. The very last pass of
the game, he pressured the quarterback and forced a hurried throw" that was
intercepted by safety Oshiomogho Atogwe.
The 6-foot-3, 264-pound Green played in all 16 games last year, with one start.
Claude Wroten, normally a defensive tackle, also got in some snaps at end
Sunday. Plus, Linehan indicated that Eric Moore, a defensive end signed as a
free agent Nov. 14, would suit up Sunday vs. Arizona. He was inactive the past
Kacyvenski is out
The only other significant injury Sunday was a concussion that will keep
special-teams performer Isaiah Kacyvenski on the sideline against the
Cardinals, and perhaps longer.
"He made the tackle on the kickoff team, and you could tell right away that it
affected him," Linehan said. "Like always with those, you've got to be
ultra-conservative. He'll be week to week."
Kacyvenski also suffered a concussion Nov. 12 at Seattle.The rest of the injury
Quarterback Marc Bulger (ribs), fullback Madison Hedgecock (ankle), cornerback
Tye Hill (thigh), center Richie Incognito (foot), tight end Joe Klopfenstein
(concussion), fullback Paul Smith (hamstring), guard Adam Timmerman (ribs),
linebacker Will Witherspoon (hamstring) and Wroten (hamstring).
All should be ready to go by Sunday, Linehan said.