With the St. Louis Rams imploding over the first three games and all of the issues surrounding this team it is easy to lose focus on the Washington Redskins coming to town on Sunday. The Rams desperately need a win and face the reality of going from 0-3 to 0-7 in a hurry. On the other side of the field there will be someone who will have something ready for the Rams to stop them from getting their first win. It is a person who will have a direct effect on the outcome of the game and will be ready to exact some revenge on the Rams. That person is former Rams Head Coach and current Redskins Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett.
We forget how close Jim Haslett was to becoming the next head coach of the St. Louis Rams following the ridiculous Scott Linehan era. Haslett took over as interim head coach and won his first two games while injecting some life into a horrible roster. He even had it in his contract that if he got the team to six wins then he would become the head coach. Ultimately he didn’t get there, the Rams lost the next ten games and any chance of Haslett retaining the head coaching position went out the door.
Haslett may not be remembered fondly in most parts of Rams fans minds because of the losing streak, but that does not take away from the fact that the guy is an excellent coach and a great defensive mind. Let us not forget that Haslett got the New Orleans Saints to become a playoff contender, which is something the franchise had great difficulty becoming. He also was the greatest pain in the side of “The Greatest Show on Turf” team. The Saints were not afraid to take it right to the Rams and he created a lot of problems when other teams couldn’t figure the Rams out.
Haslett was also was one of the most vocal critics of what was going on inside of the Rams franchise. He knew the mess that was Scott Linehan and Jay Zygmunt and tried to fight against that. Ultimately he couldn’t win because he didn’t have the power, but he was not afraid to voice his displeasure about the shenanigans going on at Rams Park both on the record and off of it. Haslett knew exactly how bad the situation was and I believe he could have been a great Rams coach, if it were not for the public relations hit the organization would have taken had they gone with Haslett instead of going in a new direction and ultimately with Steve Spagnuolo.
After leaving the Rams, Haslett went to the UFL and went undefeated in the regular season. Then he took over an awful Redskins defense in 2010 and now has them ranked in the middle of the pack in the early stages of 2011. Between his time in New Orleans and his time after the Rams there is no question that the guy can flat out coach. We also know from his time in New Orleans that he has a long memory and now that he has some horses in Washington we can expect Haslett to exact some revenge on Sunday against the team that took a pass on him.
After watching the Redskins get after the Cowboys on Monday night I can only imagine what he has in store for the Rams. Haslett was bringing eight players and playing man to man against the Cowboys receivers. What do you think he is going to do against Brandon Gibson and Austin Pettis? The Rams offensive line is in shambles and Sam Bradford is getting happy feet. Haslett is going to try and capitalize on both of those things early an often on Sunday.
You can certainly understand why Jim Haslett did not become the head coach here in St. Louis. You can even wonder about what might have happened had Haslett become the head coach instead of Steve Spagnuolo. What you won’t have to worry about is if Haslett will come after the Rams on Sunday. The guy can coach and he likes to make the quarterback’s life miserable. Haslett has a great opportunity to show the Rams how wrong they were after the 2008 season.
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