I'll wager you, right now, a ice cold glass of InBev-owned Budweiser beer that Jim Haslett will be the Rams head coach next season. I'm not saying I agree or disagree with that move (more on that later), just telling you what my gut is telling me.
But what if he's not? Rams Gab has a run down of some potential candidates today.
Wait, stop. Before we go any further with Rams head coach talk, we have to preface the discussion with the simple fact that changes have to happen higher up in the organization. The franchise and its erstwhile owners, Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez, need to bring in committed, experienced leadership with winning expectations to get the right personnel on the field year after year and instill a sense of pride and accountability. Each and every coach will fail here if that doesn't happen. Fortunately, all indications are that Rosenbloom et al intend to do just that, so on with the coaching jibber jabber.
There's no need in me repeating the list, so I'll tell you the horse I'd like to see win the job: Jim Schwartz, the Titans defensive coordinator. I like his approach to the game, an appropriate one focused on adaptability in play calling and even in how he handles players. There's a great profile of Schwartz that appeared in the NY Times a few weeks back. It's worth a read. He's earned a reputation as a stats guy, but that's a faulty label. He's a stats guy only in the sense that he believes in thorough preparation. Check out this bit from the article about his game-management:
Schwartz, a former college linebacker, calls the defensive signals from the sideline rather than the press box, so he can look at his players and gauge their physical feedback.
Wonder what he'd make of the Rams players heading to the sidelines this season?
Of course, the Rams are in a tough spot, and bringing on a rookie head coach might not be the best fit for a franchise with such pressing issues. That's one reason I think they'll leave Haslett in place and concentrate on getting it right in the front office and with the players. Either that or bring in a veteran guy like Schottenheimer. The team fired its last rookie head coach not quite three months ago.
I guess we'll know something soon enough.
What are the odds of Jim Haslett returning as head coach next season?
Very good - who else wants this mess (23 votes)
Slim - he's too close to the past (26 votes)
Out of the question - not if they want to sell tickets (32 votes)
81 total votes