Blog Entry

Monday Musings

Posted on: September 29, 2008 10:51 am


With Scott Linehan out as coach of the St. Louis Rams and Jim Haslett in as interim coach, a lot of speculation is on whether Haslett is the right man for the role.

The answer is yes.

I've always believed Haslett got the shaft in New Orleans when he was fired as coach of the Saints, and deserved another shot to be a head coach. This isn't the ideal situation, but Haslett has faced many challenges before as a coach.

He was the man who coached the Saints in their season without a home when Hurricane Katrina displaced them.

Many of the Saints players I talked to back them credited Haslett with getting them through those tough times. They marveled at his work ethic and passion for the job, doing the trivial things to help get them through, such as finding a dog sitter for one player's dog. He lost 20 pounds that season, yet kept his team playing hard. I visited him in San Antonio that year and he couldn't believe all the little things he had to do just to play games on Sunday.

They practiced on a high- school field and fans gathered to watch. Hoping to get some privacy, Haslett told the staff he wanted to put up something to keep the fans from watching. Don't do it the fans told him. Why, he asked?

"The gangs will take it down," he was told.

He practiced without it. How many coaches would handle that?

Haslett cares. He cares about his players and he cares about the game. He will bring that same type of drive and dedication to being the interim coach of the Rams. The players there like him -- a lot. During their workouts this summer with the Titans, I spoke to Rams safety O.J. Atogwe and he raved about Haslett. You could see the respect the players had for Haslett after the practice as they came over to him seeking advice and counseling.

Haslett's defense has struggled in a big way this year, but that's because it lacks players, not a good leader.

If Haslett can turn this team around in the final 12 games, he deserves a chance to be the head coach next season and beyond. If he does get that chance, it's time for the Rams to help him with a proper personnel department. Jay Zygmunt, who makes the personnel decisions, really isn't a football man. Word is Haslett and Zygmunt don't get along since Haslett is such a strong-minded coach.

The Rams are a mess. Here's betting that Haslett gets them playing better. If so, the Rams might have their next coach,

One thing's a certainty: Nobody will outwork him.

Quick hits

---They said Derrick Brooks was done. He heard it, too. But Brooks, one of the league's classiest players, showed Sunday he's far from done. He had three interceptions and a forced fumble in the Bucs' victory over Green Bay. At 35, he can still play. "I know it's still in me," Brooks said. "I still have a lot of football in me, contrary to what some believe." He's not as swift as he once was, but that's to be expected. But Brooks can still play at a high level.

---Tampa Bay's passing game is way too horizontal. It's time the threaten more down the field. It's painful to watch a quarterback throw 5 yards to a receiver on third-and-15 and ask the receiver to do the rest. For all his reputation as an offensive wizard, Jon Gruden sure seems to have trouble throwing the ball down the field.

---What's not to like about watching the New Orleans Saints play? Drew Brees has thrown for 1,343 yards in four games. That puts him on a pace for 5,372 yards. That would break the single-season record of 5,084 yards set by Dan Marino in 1984.

---If you're looking for an early-season Pro Bowl left tackle take a look at Khalif Barnes of the Jacksonville Jaguars. To open the season, Barnes has been matched up against Kyle Vanden Bosch, Aaron Schobel, Dwight Freeney and Mario Williams. All four of those players have been to the Pro Bowl in the past two seasons. They've had 60 sacks in the past two seasons. Barnes gave up one in the four games, that a bad blown cut-block on Vanden Bosch. It couldn't come at a better time for Barnes, who is in the final year of his contract.

---Nobody can block Albert Haynesworth of the Tennessee Titans. He has five sacks from a down tackle spot. That's sensational. He's on a pace for 20. That would break the record for sacks by a defensive tackle, which is 18. Keith Millard set that record in 1980 with the Minnesota Vikings.

---The Tampa Bay offensive line, one of the better young units in the league, has gone two games without allowing a sack. They do have a quick passing game, which makes it hard to get to Brian Griese, but that's still impressive. The last time a Tampa Bay line went two weeks without giving up a sack was in 2005.

---Even though he fumbled a punt Sunday night, it's clear that Eagles rookie DeSean Jackson is a budding star. He can fly. When he came out of Cal last spring, the word on him was he was a diva. Even so, I ranked him high on my list of receivers. I loved the kid, even though he was small. Now he looks like a steal for the Eagles. Speed kills, guys. No track speed. Football speed. Jackson has it.



Category: NFL
Tags: Jim Haslett

Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: September 30, 2008 10:54 am

Monday Musings

Cmon prisco, D. Brooks had 1 interception and 1 forced fumble, not three int's.  Mario Williams has never made a pro-bowl (though he should have last year), you have that all those four players have made the last two pro-bowls! 

Since: Mar 10, 2008
Posted on: September 29, 2008 8:47 pm

Monday Musings -- Has-left the building

C'mon Prisco.  With all due respect to what happened after Katrina, we are in a "what have you done for me lately" society.

Rams ar 3-17 since start of last year.  All of there coaches should be fired.

Their defense absolutely sucks.  There is no excuse for making Hasbeen the interim coach.  That would be like these sorry banks and mortgage companies firing the CEO's and replacing them with the CFO's.

Hasbeen's best years are behind him (very early 2000's).  Feeling sorry for the guy becuase of the Katrina experience is not warranted.  If that were acceptable, Aaron Brooks should be a starting QB in the NFL today.

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: September 29, 2008 3:02 pm

Monday Musings

Are you kidding Prisco??  Jim Haslett has been part of the problem with the Rams..The Saints saw the low-level of coaching knowledge in Haslett  and made an intelligent  move by firing him!

Get Billick,Schottenheimer,Cowher(I doubt he will coach until 2010 but I would still try!) ANYBODY but Haslett!!

Since: Sep 13, 2008
Posted on: September 29, 2008 2:54 pm

Haslett Haslett Haslett...

Pete, I like your view on Haslett.  He is a good choice to replace the uneffective Linehan.  Even though I think that it wasn't all Linehan's fault evn though he did bench Bulger for the aging Green.  Alot of the blame has to be put on the offense for not utilizing Jackson more.  On another note, watch for the AFC Champ game: Bills vs Titans..

Josh S.

Since: Jun 24, 2007
Posted on: September 29, 2008 1:24 pm


Pete I'm glad to hear your perspective on this.  I usually get excited about change on my team - at the potential for change for the better - but after all the promise Scott Linehan seemed to offer, I'm a bit more pessimistic these days.  I hope Haslett can right the ship in St. Louis.

Since: Nov 11, 2006
Posted on: September 29, 2008 12:31 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Sep 29, 2008
Posted on: September 29, 2008 12:18 pm

Monday Musings

Haslett sucks. This is the same guy who wanted Tebucky Jones. Who parted ways with Marc Bulger and Jake Delhomme, so that Aaron Brooks would continue to start. Shaft my arse.

Since: Sep 9, 2006
Posted on: September 29, 2008 12:08 pm

Monday Musings

I wouldn't be suprised to see Jackson take the O-ROY this year, over one of the young QBs.  Jackson has definitely been a playmaker for the Eagles and his "rushing" abilities last night, just adds to his value for that team.

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: September 29, 2008 11:23 am

Monday Musings

Drew Brees needs more respect! Thanks for pointing out his "awesomeness" Prisco. He threw for most of those yards without number one receiver Colston and Jeremy Shockey playing injured and with most of the running backs injured. He's a brilliant QB who can read defenses and avoid the sack. He's a shoe-in as one of the leagues top three QBs this year.

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