Rams Owner/Chairman Chip Rosenbloom

September 29, 2008



(Opening remarks)

“First of all I would like to say; this is a sad day because we lost Jack Faulkner last night who I have known since I was eight years old. I feel, he is apart of the Rams family, our family and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I can’t overstate the significance that he has played in the history of the Rams. We lost one of the great connections to our past and so, sorry to his family. I just wanted to say that.”



“I wanted to talk a little bit about Scott Linehan. Scott lost his job and he is a good and decent man, an honorable man. He came to speak with (President) John (Shaw), (Owner/Partner Chair, Community Outreach) Lucia (Rodriguez), and I last night. And after the talk with (Owner/Vice Chairman) Stan (E. Stanley Kroenke), Lucia and John and (President, Football Operations/General Manager) Jay (Zygmunt), we made the decision that a good man had to lose his job today. He took 100-percent of responsibility for the failures of this organization. But we are all comparable; we all share in the responsibilities of losing games. That includes other coaches, that includes the players, that includes the administration, that includes the ownership. I feel that Scott will have a future because I think under different circumstances he will be successful. I really would like to say, that the kind of pressure that he has been under has not been reasonable, just from a humane level. My heart goes out to him and his family. You all know him as a kind, decent and honorable guy and when he walked into that hotel room yesterday, he took 100-percent responsibility and put no blame on anybody else in the organization, in any category, at any position, on any of his players. I think we should all inspire to be men like Scott Linehan. That is what I like to say about Scott and now I would like to introduce our new head coach Jim Haslett. Jim coached successfully for six years in New Orleans. He was a fantastic player. I think we have the elements of success in our future. I think that, after meeting with Jim, he is the man that can turn this team around. I think that the community deserves a team that wins and I think that Jim Haslett is the man to do it. Without any further ado, I would like to introduce Jim.”



Head Coach Jim Haslett

September 29, 2008



(Opening remarks)

“I would like to thank (Rams Owner/Chairman) Chip (Rosenbloom) and (Owner/Partner Chair, Community Outreach) Lucia (Rodriguez), and (President) John Shaw, and (President, Football Operations/General Manager) Jay (Zygmunt), for this opportunity. This is not really the way you want to become a head coach, at someone else’s expense. I thought that Scott (Linehan) did about as good a job as you can get, he tried everything and obviously it didn’t work out. I feel for him and his family and I wish him nothing but the best of luck. With that being said, on this side of the ball, we are going to do the best we can to try to get this team turned around. I have not talked to the players yet. I met with a few guys today and we are going to meet tomorrow for the first time and when we do, we will have a plan and hopefully we can get this thing turned around and in the right direction. With that being said, I am sure there are a lot of questions.”



(On the expectations of the Rams for the rest of this season)

“I look at the team that we played yesterday and tried to compare personnel and coaching and everything that goes along with that and I did not see a big difference in talent level and everything. They have a couple things we don’t have right now and that is things we have to get. They have great confidence, they have great swagger, they have poise, they think they can win and right now we are not at that level. For us to get at that level, obviously winning a couple games helps but doing some different things and playing fast, hopefully that will get us over the hump. We did some good things on defense and we got a lot of yardage on offense but we just did not score any points and that is things we have to fix.”



(On the first thing he wants to tackle as head coach)

“The first thing I want to tackle? Well, I want to tackle, there’s a lot things, but I’m going to try to meet with all the players over the next couple days. One, talk about the practice schedule, No. 2, talk to the coaches, try to get what I believe it’s going to take to get his team turned around. I have some ideas on both sides of the ball and special teams, so we’ll address those and then we’ll go from there.”



(On if QB Marc Bulger will return to the starting lineup)

“I’ll sit down with the offensive staff and decide what’s best for this team. I think Marc’s a heck of a football player. I think he’s one of the top quarterbacks that’s played. If you look at his numbers over the years he’s in the upper echelon of quarterbacks. But that’s something that I’ll sit down with the offensive staff and then we’ll decide what’s best for this team, for next week and the future.”



(On if he is the same head coach as he was in New Orleans)

“Well this kind of sprung on me at about 1:15 in the morning today, so obviously I took a lot in the six years I was down there I think I always believed, I always thought a second time head coach, if you look at the track record, are better coaches because of the experiences they went through the first time. And I went through the last year (in New Orleans) the ultimate experience with the hurricane (Katrina) and being displaced and all that. So the issue we’re in right now is not really, I mean that’s nothing compared to that. I do think that a first-year head coach, it’s hard and a first-time head coach is hard. I think there’s a lot of things that have to go into it, you learn a lot on the way. And obviously every coach, sooner or later in their lifetime is going to get fired, but I learned a lot and I went through a lot and I learned a lot and there’s some things that if this thing could work out and be long term then there’s a lot of things you could take into it. If you look at the track record with the Tony Dungys and those type of people, they’re always better the second time around.”



(On what he knows now that he didn’t know before from a head coach perspective)

“There’s a lot of things. You learn things about players, how they react to situations, game-time decisions. Probably the biggest thing, you know, how you would handle things. There’s a number of things, I have a list. I really haven’t had time to sit down and think about everything right now, but I think there’s a number of things.”



(On if he considers this an audition for opportunities down the road)

“You like to think so, but right now I’m worrying about this year. Coaches live year-to-year anyways, so I’m going to try to worry about this year and these next 12 games and try to win some games. Hopefully we can turn this thing around. In this division you never know. I don’t know the offensive players as well as I know the defensive guys, but I’ve been around the offensive guys, I do know the makeup of most the guys in the locker room and I think they do have a thirst and they want to get this thing right and we’re going to do the best we can at it. I promise you they’ll play hard, I will say that. They will play hard or they’re not going to be here and we’re going to give it everything we’ve got and we’ll try the mistakes to a minimum. We’ll try to keep the mental errors to a minimum, but they will play hard that’s one thing I will promise you.”



(On if under the circumstances he considered whether or not he wanted to take this job)

“We talked, I think it was about 1:15 (a.m.). (Owner/Chariman) Chip (Rosenbloom), I got the phone call, so I kind of got startled and I was laying in my bed to be honest with you, so there was questions. I wanted some answers. I asked him questions to see if I got the right answer whether it’d be right or wrong and I just wanted to (know) how things worked and different things because I’m not sure of the inner workings of the organization. When you run the defense you don’t worry, you know, Scott (Linehan) handled all that. All the things were answered and that’s why I’m here.”



(On if he had certain personnel requirements before he took the job)

“The personnel will be decided by myself, (Executive Vice President/Player Personnel) Billy (Devaney), and then all these other cap ramifications will come down through (President Football Operations/General Manager) Jay (Zygmunt). So if Billy and I want to make a move obviously Jay has to ratify because there’s always cap consequences, so if there is a situation the three of us will handle it.”



(On if he will continue to run the defense)

“No, Rick Venturi is going to run the defense. Mike Cox is going to move to coaching linebackers from the assistant secondary coach and then Todd Downing will help out the secondary. So, we’re a little bit short on defense, but it’s nothing we haven’t done before.”



(On if he signed off on CB Fakhir Brown’s release)

“I sign off on anything that the head coach thinks makes us better and at that time he thought that would make us better and so I go for it. So, whatever at the time he thought and whoever made those decisions thought that it would make us a better team, I’m all for it.”



(On if he wants to re-sign CB Fakhir Brown)

“I think he’s a good football player.”



(On if he thinks he can instill the same kind of fire in the players in St. Louis that he did in the players in New Orleans)

“Well, I’m going to try. There’s teams I had in New Orleans, when we played the Rams all those years, we had really good offensive and defensive lines, then in the back end we had guys that played hard and tried hard and were smart. Same thing with running backs, same thing with wide-out, really we only had the one wide-out, Joe Horn, but again they thought that they could up here and physically beat the Rams up every year. Whether we could or we couldn’t that’s how they played. We’ll try to get my personality into them as fast we can if that’s the way you want to look at it. I do like guys that are tough and hard-nosed and like to play the game.”



(On if he can instill the fire in the players like he did in New Orleans)

“We’ll try. Those teams I had in New Orleans when we played the Rams all of those years, we had really good offensive and defensive lines. But in the back end, we really had guys that played hard and tried hard and smart. Same thing with running backs, same thing with wideouts. We really only had the one wideout in Joe Horn. Again, they thought that they could come up here and physically beat the Rams up every year. Whether they could or couldn’t, that’s how they played. We’ll try to get my personality into them as fast as we can, if that’s the way you want to look at it. I do like guys who are tough and hard-nosed and love to play the game.”



(On if that personality can spill over to the offense)

“I hope so. I thought I saw it on defense yesterday. I saw on every clip I watched today and this morning at 4 A.M., there was 10 guys in the picture. We did a great job running the ball and I think that will spill over to the offense because they’re going to demand it from them.”



(On how he can instill the swagger Buffalo had into this Rams team)

“A win would help, obviously. I think they have to have a belief in themselves. They have to belief they can get this job done. At one point in the game it was 14-13 and we threw the pick and could kind of see it was going down. Well, they threw a pick too and they stopped it. That’s something you have to work on. Obviously, winning a couple of games helps, but that’s something that we’re going to have to keep talking about and learning and trying to get them to not worry about mistakes, because they happen. In the NFL, one thing about the game, there will be mistakes made. Something bad will happen every game, but that’s the National Football League. How you overcome it, how do you handle adversity, how do you handle crowd noise on the road, how do you handle a fumble, how do you handle things. Right now, we are not going that very well, but we’re going to work on that in the next couple of months and try to fix that because adversity does hit in the NFL. Injuries or something.”



((On the first change he plans on making)

“We’re going to talk about everything upstairs. I haven’t really sat down and said I’m going to change this guy, that guy, schedule. I haven’t done anything like that yet. I’m going to meet with the staff later today and we’ll talk about a few things.”



(On what his message will be to the players tomorrow)

“We’re going to get this ship right. We’re going right the ship and we’re going to try and win some games and we’re going to pull out all the stops and do whatever we have to do to win. Anything that will make a difference. We’ll do whatever we have to do to win a game.”



(On if this team has enough talent)

“I think this team has enough talent. I watched the team that we just lost to yesterday and I don’t see much of a separation of talent level and they’re 4-0. I think sometimes, obviously, great talent helps in this league, immensely in any league, college football. There’s a little presence to themselves, a little swagger, a little of that goes a long way in this league also.”



(On if he thinks RB Steven Jackson is a leader in the locker room)

“I think Steven is a leader. The more he’s around and the older he gets, he’ll be a better leader. He’s a heck of a football player, evident by the way he runs and he can do everything. He can do almost anything you want. I think he needs to step up a little bit more, but I think he will too.”



(On if this is good timing, given the bye week, to assume his responsibilities as head coach and fix the problem)

“Or it will linger, one of the two. It probably is at this stage. It’s probably why, if usually there’s a change, it’s a good time. We’ll get some things done tomorrow and Wednesday and then I’m not going to change the schedule. They’ll be off Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and get back to work Monday. I think we’ll have a good spirited practice tomorrow and then come out and get ready for the game next week.”



(On if he views himself as better suited for head coach than defensive coordinator)

“That’s up to you. You’re very, I don’t know how to say it, opinionated. I’ll let you figure that one out.”



(On if he has been satisfied with the defense so far)

“Come on. The first three games we played poorly. I thought we played pretty well yesterday, held a team down, gave up a couple of big plays, but for the most we did what we wanted. I thought the guys played hard. That one turnover. We had about three of four more chances for turnovers we didn’t get. I thought they played the best game of the year and that’s something we can build on. They had fun, they were running around jumping on piles, like I said. The first three games, no. You know the answer to that, we didn’t play very well.”



(On how frustrating and disappointed he was with the defense in the first three games)

“It’s frustrating because I thought we had a chance to come out and win a couple of these games playing against good football teams. I think the three or four best teams in the league are all in the same division. We still have one or two of them to play. We didn’t play well. I thought we could have played better against them and obviously we didn’t. It was, really, a lot of things we did and it wasn’t a lot of things they did. They have good football players but we didn’t play well. We didn’t do the right things.”



(On how eager he was to get a second head coaching job)

“I was eager to try to win to try to save our jobs here more than anything. My family is here, with the kids, they like it here and they want to stay here. Not for me so much, but for my family and all of the coaches’ families and Scott (Linehan). Obviously, we let him down and as players and coaches, we didn’t get it done and that’s why I’m standing here right now.”



(On if he had a chance to speak with Scott Linehan)

“I have not. Like I said, Scott talked to the team for about 10 minutes today and did a great job, outstanding job. That’s it.”