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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams should finally make right choice

    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Dec. 14 2008
    There are no guaranteed perfect formulas for picking a head coach in the NFL.
    It's an inexact science that can just as easily unearth a hidden gem like a
    young Joe Gibbs or produce a glittering, star-studded failure like a Bobby
    Petrino.

    While the process is both fickle and frustrating, the odds for failure go up
    dramatically when left in the hands of non-football men whose greatest
    decision-making instincts are to hold wet fingers in the air to see which way
    the winds of public sentiment are blowing.

    Too often in the past, the St. Louis Rams have been a franchise that has too
    many wet fingers in the wind.

    There's a very good reason this 2-11 franchise has descended to the sorry state
    of NFL laughingstock. Wet fingers in the wind. This organization has been
    victimized by unaccountable accountants and bumbling lawyers who act as if
    they're judging an "American Idol" popularity contest rather than the serious
    business of searching for an NFL head coach. Instead of relying on smart
    football people who make decisions based on their gut instincts, football
    expertise and due diligence, Rams ownership has left the job in the hands of
    team president John Shaw, whose repeated blunders somehow never stick to him.

    I don't know what Rams owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez have in mind
    as they decide who will be the head coach for the '09 season. But the first
    thing they ought to do is remind Shaw that his only duties over the next few
    months should involve discovering complicated inheritance tax solutions, and
    explaining delicate NFL owner protocols. The heavy lifting on the football side
    of the business should be left in the hands of de facto general manager Billy
    Devaney and the rest of his staff. And that should include deciding who the
    next head football coach will be.

    I can't believe that Rosenbloom and Rodriguez will make the mistake of allowing
    Shaw to be a part of the process again. Shaw is part of the failed collective
    along with general manager Jay Zygmunt as the chief culprits who created the
    mess that this franchise has become, and no amount of revisionist history can
    separate Shaw's fingerprints from the forensic evidence.

    Just use this as a random example:

    It was under Shaw's leadership that the Rams came up with this list of
    finalists the last go-round: Scott Linehan, Cam Cameron (fired in Miami after
    one year with a 1-15 record) and Ron Rivera (who went from a "hot" coordinator
    to a run-of-the-mill position coach).

    After that trio, why on Earth would anyone trust his instincts ever again?

    Yet now apparently Shaw's instincts are to gather a new list of unusual
    suspects for a new head coaching search and kick interim head coach Jim Haslett
    to the curb, mainly because Shaw thinks Haslett won't be a popular decision
    with the disgruntled fan base. That statement alone ought to tell Rosenbloom
    and Rodriguez everything they need to know about Shaw's judgment (as if his
    already lousy career body of work wasn't enough).

    Picking a head coach isn't about doing what's popular.

    It's all about just making the right decision.

    How popular was the hiring of Mike Smith in Atlanta last year? How about the
    hiring of Mike McCarthy in Green Bay a few years ago? I was working in
    Washington, D.C. the day the Redskins hired a little-known assistant coach from
    San Diego named Joe Gibbs. Believe me, there was no rush to the ticket offices
    in D.C. after that press conference.

    I don't care if Jim Haslett isn't a popular choice in the Internet chat rooms,
    blogs and sports talk radio call-ins.

    To me, he remains a smart choice and the right choice. He has a plan and he has
    the presence and obvious profile of a natural leader in one of the most
    difficult jobs in sports. Give him two years to work with Devaney and bring in
    his kind of players tough guys, smart guys, talented, passionate football
    players who will play Haslett's type of football.

    Don't judge him on the hot garbage that the Shaw-Zygmunt collective stuck him
    with. Shaw can blame the bad personnel decisions on Mike Martz, Linehan or
    Zygmunt. But he's the genius who gave all of them the power to make the
    countless horrendous draft picks and failed free-agent decisions that have
    wrecked the Rams.

    I don't blame them. I blame the man who hired and empowered them.

    That was John Shaw.

    And by the way, coaches don't affect ticket sales. Winning does. In 1998 when
    the Rams were coached by Dick Vermiel, they averaged 53,889 fans in the Edward
    Jones Dome. One year later, the attendance rose to 65,241.

    So what happened? The Rams were 4-12 in '98 and in 1999, they were 13-3 Super
    Bowl champs.

    In New Orleans in 1999, the Saints averaged 51,268 spectators to the Superdome
    in Mike Ditka's last year as head coach. A year later, in Jim Haslett's first
    season as head coach, the Saints drew 63,039.

    So what happened in New Orleans? In '99, the Saints won three games. In 2000,
    the Saints won 11 football games, won a division title and reached the playoffs.

    You don't build a successful football organization like it's some trendy
    political campaign that relies on voter polls to let you know what you should
    think. It doesn't matter how unpopular Haslett may or may not be. If the real
    football people in the building like Devaney believe that Haslett can do the
    job, Rosenbloom and Rodriguez ought to be smart enough to trust those instincts.

    Don't be popular.

    Be right.


  2. #2
    jkramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Rams should finally make right choice

    I am not sold on Haslett but I would not object to it either,I think our options are very limited and because of that he may very well be the best choice.

  3. #3
    Falconator Guest

    Re: Rams should finally make right choice

    why again is Haslett a smart choice? what again has Jim Haslett ever done that makes him a smart choice? He had ONE good season with the Saints - that's it! They got worse after that season and he lost the locker room.....

    Rams played well during Hasletts first two games as interim head coach for Rams and have lost every game since.........sounds to me like he starts strong and finishes weak.

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams should finally make right choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconator View Post
    why again is Haslett a smart choice? what again has Jim Haslett ever done that makes him a smart choice? He had ONE good season with the Saints - that's it! They got worse after that season and he lost the locker room.....

    Rams played well during Hasletts first two games as interim head coach for Rams and have lost every game since.........sounds to me like he starts strong and finishes weak.
    I agree Falconator, Haz may on the surface say the things he needs to say to give the impression that he has a plan to right the ship and lead this team out of this funk, but he has not shown results. He may have motivated this team in the beginning to their 2 wins but since has allowed them to sink back to where they were under Linehan, and IMO they are worse now than they were then. The players are running this organization now instead of the other way around and it will take a strong coach and FO to turn this bunch around. Sorry but Haz just isn't that guy.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5
    ManofGod's Avatar
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    Re: Rams should finally make right choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconator View Post
    why again is Haslett a smart choice? what again has Jim Haslett ever done that makes him a smart choice? He had ONE good season with the Saints - that's it! They got worse after that season and he lost the locker room.....

    Rams played well during Hasletts first two games as interim head coach for Rams and have lost every game since.........sounds to me like he starts strong and finishes weak.
    Very good point!

  6. #6
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    Re: Rams should finally make right choice

    Quote Originally Posted by jkramsfan View Post
    I am not sold on Haslett but I would not object to it either,I think our options are very limited and because of that he may very well be the best choice.
    I think this is very true

  7. #7
    SFCRamFan's Avatar
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    Re: Rams should finally make right choice

    Clean house. Haz will keep the same D scheme and D coord. That is unacceptable. It is time to wipe the slate clean and start all over.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    SJax, a developing quarterbacks best friend...

  8. #8
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    Re: Rams should finally make right choice

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconator View Post
    why again is Haslett a smart choice? what again has Jim Haslett ever done that makes him a smart choice? He had ONE good season with the Saints - that's it! They got worse after that season and he lost the locker room.....

    Rams played well during Hasletts first two games as interim head coach for Rams and have lost every game since.........sounds to me like he starts strong and finishes weak.
    Wow! ..... Someone with some common sense. Could not have said it
    better my self.

  9. #9
    RANDYRAM Guest

    Re: Rams should finally make right choice

    How about picking a coach that like D Vermill has been to a super bowl! That knows what it takes to get there and has enough common sense to get other coaches that have been there also!
    (In 1999) This is not talked about much? The Rams had the most coaches with super bowl experience in the NFL that year! And that in it's self is one of the biggest factors other than talent of the players that should be conceterd when picking a coach!
    So if this team wants to get back to winning it should keep this at the top of their list
    when picking a new coach!!
    As far as J Haslett gos he has done nothing but have one OK season LIKE ie (Bennett) and has nothing to offer! nota zilch zippo! SHOULD NOT CONCETERD.jmho
    Last edited by RANDYRAM; -12-14-2008 at 11:25 PM.

  10. #10
    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams should finally make right choice

    I echo the sentiments of the others on this thread; Jim Haslett hasn't done anything to show me he is the guy who can restore respectability to this franchise. Between blowouts, meltdowns, lack of halftime adjustments lack of execution and generally uninspired play, why exactly is Haslett the guy who should be coaching this team next season? Where is this great body of work that tells us he should be the guy? No, he is not solely responsible for the mess that has been dumped in his lap, but he bears some of the blame.

    I do agree with Burwell that John Shaw should have absolutely no say whatsoever on who runs this team next season. That guy couldn't fix a bowl of cereal.

  11. #11
    NY RAMFAN's Avatar
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    Re: Rams should finally make right choice

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDYRAM View Post
    How about picking a coach that like D Vermill has been to a super bowl! That knows what it takes to get there and has enough common sense to get other coaches that have been there also!
    Answer . . . Because they don't want to come to a loosing franchise not committed to win games
    sad but true

  12. #12
    Truth's Avatar
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    Re: Rams should finally make right choice

    I agree with Burwell that Shaw and Ziggy should be banned from EVER making any decisions again that can in any way affect the Ram Organization. After that, he lost me. I know he has a man crush on Haslett. But please, don't blame the fanbase. We've won 2 games this season. The timing was right. We caught Washington sleeping, and our team was excited about dumping Linehan. Dallas was just beginning their mid-season T.O. dump. After that, we had one more game that was competitive before we wet ourselves. I just don't see those amazing leadership skills that Burwell boasts for Haslett.

    If we sign Haz, fine. But if he turns out to be the bust that many think he will be, I'd like to see Burwell write an article apologizing to the Fans he's so busy insulting.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

  13. #13
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    Re: Rams should finally make right choice

    Haslett is a solid choice for the fact he knows what it takes to get the job done... Haslett's Saints were always a tough opponent when we played them no matter what... He knows what it takes to get the job done there just isn't enough talent on this team to compete yet

  14. #14
    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams should finally make right choice

    I could never solve Rubik's Cube.

    So one day I decided to take it apart & force the issue. All I was left with was a bunch of plastic doohickeys tangled in elasticated bands.

    That's what our team has become.Each week another piece of the puzzle is twisted out of shape and the tangle gets worse.

    Just as I had to do with my actual Cube, it's time to get some money & buy a new toy that can actually function.

    I made the switch to a book of crossword puzzles & never looked back.

    Who will control the money & decide what will work for The Rams ?
    We've already heard that Devaney will likely be GM but the purse strings will be held elsewhere.

    That's the key. Not Haslett or Bulger or any other piece of Shawgmunt's broken toy. Maybe that person will feel some pieces are salvageable. Maybe not.

    Personally, I sold the pieces of my broken toy as slingshot ammo to the neighborhood sadistic punk. Fortunately, he was also an idiot who didn't realize that square plastic doohickeys don't fly straight & hit nothing of consequence with them. Except his own dog who bit him so that worked out ok.

    I'm not applying for the job; just saying that I know holding out our broken brainteaser of a team to daddy Haslett and saying" Make it go." isn't the answer. Sure, my dad would have flipped me a few bucks to buy another Rubik's Cube but that wouldn't have solved the puzzle, especially since he'd tried himself many times & failed.

    Maybe Haslett is the package of socks that you are disappointed to receive on Christmas morning but will be useful . Maybe he's the book on macrame that you re-gift to your boss' wife. Dunno.

    But there's a mystery box at the back of the tree:

    TO: Ram Nation
    FROM: Chip

    I wonder what's in it?

    Maybe a membership to the Sound Football Decision of The Month Club?

    Please,pleeease, pleeeeeze, Santa...
    Last edited by Azul e Oro; -12-15-2008 at 06:41 AM.

  15. #15
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    Re: Rams should finally make right choice

    Quote Originally Posted by ManofGod View Post
    Very good point!
    That also goes along with the way his Def. has always seemed to lay down in the 2nd half of games since he's been here.

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