The St. Louis Rams are conducting a search for a new head coach and the reality is the best candidate is right there in their building.
It's Jim Haslett.
Give the man the job. The players want him. They even put together a petition asking the team to hire him. That's bizarre, but noteworthy.
Word is new general manager Billy Devaney likes him. So why not just pick Haslett? He had success in New Orleans as their head coach and it only really went bad when he had to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Nobody could have succeeded in those conditions.
If he takes over in St. Louis, he’ll change the way they play to a more run-oriented, physical team. Don't go through with the charade. Give Haslett the job.
He knows when to push and pull with the players. Don't think that petition means he's lovey-dovey with his players. He'll get on them.
He fined running back Antonio Pittman $25,000 when he missed a walk-through the night after his birthday party.
---The NFL's All-Pro teams will be announced soon and I have a pet peeve. I hate that they don't break down the offensive line spots to left and right. I guarantee you there will be two left tackles named to the All-Pro team. That's stupid.
Do you play that way?
The All-Pro tackles should be Tennessee's Michael Roos on the left side and Denver Ryan Harris on the right side. It is true there are many more quality candidates on the left side, and Denver's left tackle Ryan Clady is a better player than Harris, but do it the right way.
I wish they would change that.
---Will Mike Shanahan be working in 2009? You bet. He will get a job somewhere -- if he wants it. I respect Shanahan greatly as a coach. But the team that hires him needs to make sure he doesn't have personnel say.
---The Jaguars are giving final personnel say to new vice president of player personnel Gene Smith. That is the right thing to do. Smith needs to have that power. There should be no more dividing up that power.
---I like the idea that New England Patriots vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli is ready to leave the team. It's his time to cash in big time. He's ready to show that he can do it without Bill Belichick. I don't personally know Pioli, but other personnel people that I do know speak highly of him. They say he's ready for the chance to rebuild a team. He will have his choice. The Browns want him. The Chiefs want him.
---One name on the Chiefs list of potential candidates that is interesting to me is Eric DeCosta, the director of college scouting for the Baltimore Ravens. He's a sharp talent evaluator, which you need to turn things around. Another name that should be on that list is Steve Keim, the Arizona Cardinals director of player personnel.