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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    By Howard Balzer
    Thursday, October 02, 2008

    The NFL confirmed by email today that even though coach Jim Haslett's contract refers to him as head coach, in the eyes of the league he is still considered an interim coach. That means the Rams will have to interview a minority "candidate" after the season, even if the team desires to bring Haslett back form 2009 and beyond.

    In an email, the NFL source asked me, "Do you want a Rooney rule or not?"

    I responded with this: "Of course, I like it and it's good. But here's my point: A team makes a change like the Rams, with 12 games to play. The coach turns things around, the team plays well, and let's say, however unlikely it may be (but maybe not in the average NFC West), they win the division and are in the playoffs. There is excitement, enthusiasm, and the team wants to reward the coach with a 'permanent' contract. But they then have to wait until after the season ends to conduct an interview with a minority that everyone knows is being done only to comply with the rule. Suppose minorities turn the team down? In this situation, it doesn't make sense. A team should be able to rehire its interim coach.

    "In normal situations, teams looking for a coach would interview others in addition to a minority. In this situation, they would likely interview only a minority, simply to meet the guidelines. That defeats the purpose of it."

    The source responded: "There would be nothing to prevent a team from making its interim coach the full-time coach."

    To which, I responded: "I realize that. But they couldn't do it until they interviewed a minority. So, they would be doing that interview simply to fulfill the requirements of the rule, rather than considering the person for the job."

    Time To Get In Shape

    To say the Rams have had troubles in the second half and fourth quarter over the last 20 games would be a massive understatement. It's not necessary to repeat the sobering numbers again that indicate how totally dominated the team has been in the second halves of games.

    Well, coach Jim Haslett believes he knows why it has happened, and he is aiming to do something about it. It's no coincidence the team did serious running after practice Tuesday and Wednesday, with the Wednesday running a much longer distance than in the past.

    When asked by the assembled media about the running after practice Wednesday, Haslett said, "There is a reason why we haven't played well in the fourth quarter and I don't know what it is but I am not going to let conditioning be a part of it. We are going to condition Monday and Wednesday during the season."

    That was the politically correct answer. Later, Haslett acknowledged he believes the team isn't in as good condition as possible, and attributes a large part of the fourth-quarter problems to a lack of conditioning.

    "We didn't run enough in training camp and we haven't run enough during the season," he said. "Too many games are decided in the fourth quarter, and we have to be better."

    He alluded to even young players getting tired running down the field on kick coverage. "That shouldn't happen," he said.

    Linebacker Chris Draft agreed that the conditioning has to be better. "When you're a small and fast team like us, it's even more important that we can maintain the intensity for four quarters," he said. "A half step can make the difference between making a play and giving up a big play. If you're better conditioned, you'll be in better position to make plays."

    A STRANGE RULE

    The NFL's Rooney Rule has been an important mandate that has created more opportunities for minorities to be considered for head coaching jobs in the NFL. However, a part of the rule as it relates to interim coaches makes no sense.

    Imagine this scene, however unlikely: It is the day after the 2008 season. In an improbable comeback from an 0-4 record, the Rams have rallied to win the NFC West and are headed to the playoffs with a home game in the Edward Jones Dome.

    Before beginning preparations for the game, owner Chip Rosenbloom wants to reward Haslett with a new contract, cementing his position as the team's head coach. However, Rosenbloom is stopped in his tracks by the Rooney Rule. Why? Because the rules say, that even if a team wants to bring back the interim coach, they can't do it until a minority is interviewed.

    Of course, it probably wouldn't take a playoff berth for the team to want to bring back Haslett. If the team wins some games, plays competitive football, especially on the road, for the final 12 games, it would make sense to want to keep Haslett. And, of course, they still would. But to delay the process for a meaningless interview is insane.

    How absurd. The league would force a team to stage a sham interview to fulfill the Rooney Rule requirements. What coach would want to waste his time in such a charade?

    We'll see if it ever gets to that point. But it's not out of the question that it will. The NFL would be wise to allow interim coaches to be hired without other interviews.

    What's further interesting in the Haslett situation is that his restructured contract apparently refers to him as "head coach," not "interim head coach."

    When the Rams sent out a press release early Monday morning, the word interim was written several times, including within a quote from Rosenbloom. However, negotiations didn't conclude with Haslett until 10:30, even though the announcement of his naming had been made. Haslett clearly had leverage to have things the way they wanted them, including not being considered an interim coach.

    The question is whether that language in his deal would mean the Rams wouldn't have to interview anyone else if they wanted to rehire Haslett after the season.

    An NFL source confirmed the rule to me late Wednesday afternoon in an email, but when I then asked about Haslett technically not being an interim coach, I did not receive a response. It's possible the league is checking how that particular situation would be handled.

    SIMPLY NOTING

    *Wide receiver/kick returner Dante Hall did not practice Wednesday because of a minor hamstring injury. He is expected to be on the field when the Rams return to practice Monday. ... There has not been a decision yet on whether tight end Randy McMichael will be placed on injured reserve. ... The release of running back Lance Ball from the practice squad occurred because Haslett feels the team has enough running backs for practice and has more of a need for a wide receiver. A wideout will likely be added to the practice squad by Monday.

    *Haslett's son Chase, a sophomore at Clayton High School, will be the starting quarterback Friday night because of an injury to the regular starter.


  2. #2
    CaliGirlRamsFan's Avatar
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    Re: Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    Nice post.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Visit myspace.com/polejox

  3. #3
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    Re: Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    So "interview a 'minority'" and then keep Haslett! Hopefully Coach Haslett will find some winning ways.

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    Re: Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    This is so silly. If Haslett turns this team around and it's painfully obvious he's going to get the job- then I would be offended if I were one of those minority canidates getting called in for a interview just to fill the quota. Maybe some guy will do it just for interview experience- who knows?

  5. #5
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    Re: Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    Ooooooorrrrrr, we just find some minority in Haslett's very distant ancestry. Then he IS a minority candidate! Whoo hoo!

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    That whole rule is BS to begin with. I don't believe 'minorities' need any special help to compete - they're quite capable on their own, look around the league. I would be offended if I was being favored because of race or similar, heck I'm still offended by it as it is. What a grand plan it is, fixing racism by applying more racism in the opposite direction. Real genius, and if the world was a set of equations on a piece of paper it might even work.

    That's my rant for the day, I've used up my quota now

  7. #7
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    Re: Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    I think its saved by the Bell, I DON'T WANT HASLETT AS HEAD COACH. To think we almost locked up Haslett. The rule was needed back in the day, but it needs to be edited for today.

  8. #8
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    Re: Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    Lets hope this turns out to be a problem. If we have to worry about minority candidates because Haslett has done such a good job, that means we turned this season around to a certain extent and we are in pretty good shape.

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    Re: Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    If the miraculous scenario somehow transpires, why not just <ahem> "interview" a minority(we're all talking about "black", right?) from his current staff? That way it fills the requirement and it's actually serving the one's involved. If this whole thing did have to play out, I would love it if they chose a non-black minority just to shine a light on the absurdity of the situation.

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    Re: Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    I think all teams should be forced to interview a woman also.

    And a Dane (take me take me take me)

    And a one armed dwarf

    On a serious note, I think the minority rule is outdated. People with all kinds of heritage are doing well in the NFL. And I would hate being in a job interview only because I have a certain heritage, for me thats also a kind of racism. It just keeps the gap between white people and minorities alive.

  11. #11
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    Re: Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    As a libertarian I love this story. Illustrates the absurdity of quotas. How many gay, lesbian and transgendered coaches will they be interviewing? Latino, Chinese, Arab?

    lol..

  12. #12
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    Re: Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    The real problem here is the fact that we are already talking about bringing Haslett back as a head coach... a little too optimistic for me.

    But yeah this is like reverse racism and seems slightly old for this day in age.

  13. #13
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    Re: Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Howard Balzer
    Thursday, October 02, 2008


    Linebacker Chris Draft agreed that the conditioning has to be better. "When you're a small and fast team like us, it's even more important that we can maintain the intensity for four quarters," he said. "A half step can make the difference between making a play and giving up a big play. If you're better conditioned, you'll be in better position to make plays."

    A STRANGE RULE

    The NFL's Rooney Rule has been an important mandate that has created more opportunities for minorities to be considered for head coaching jobs in the NFL. However, a part of the rule as it relates to interim coaches makes no sense.

    .
    On the second statement that don't make any sense. If the Rams do bring back Haslett why would anyone want to interview for a job they know they were not going to get. On the first statement about Chris Draft I find that a little odd you get paid millions of dollards and they are not in shape, now thats on the players.
    :ramlogo:

  14. #14
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    Re: Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    Quote Originally Posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
    That whole rule is BS to begin with. I don't believe 'minorities' need any special help to compete - they're quite capable on their own, look around the league. I would be offended if I was being favored because of race or similar, heck I'm still offended by it as it is. What a grand plan it is, fixing racism by applying more racism in the opposite direction. Real genius, and if the world was a set of equations on a piece of paper it might even work.

    That's my rant for the day, I've used up my quota now
    Sorry but this is not racism it's selectsism. It's so funny to me when white people or any other people who are concidered the majority make statements like you. It's exactly why there needs to be a rule like that in place is it flawed yes but it needs to be there. I'm for that interview and the end of the season why. Because a lot teams would just fire a coach and hire the coach they wanted during the season.

    I don't want to hear any arguments because unless you've grown up Black or Irish, there's no way you could even begin to understand. I don't believe in being a quota, and I wouldn't take the interview personally, but without that rule there wouldn't be as many black coaches in the NFL, as there is right now.

  15. #15
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    Re: Update: NFL Confirms Rams Would Have To Wait

    I don't believe in being a quota, and I wouldn't take the interview personally, but without that rule there wouldn't be as many black coaches in the NFL, as there is right now.
    Can we really say that? Without the Rooney rule there wouldn't be as many black coaches? Personally, I think guys like Dungy, Edwards, Smith, Lewis, and Tomlin are there because they're pretty good coaches; not because of some silly interviewing protocol.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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