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Haslett Let Down?

Standing up in front of an audience and admitting you played bad, screwed up, got ambushed, etc. is a tough assignment. Whether you're trying to deny some concerns you had about a co-worker of yours and some underage pages or attempting to explain how your defense allowed 30+ points and let the league's leading candidate for MVP run wild all over (Hulkomaina style) you for 200+ total yards, it ain't easy. No sir.

Nevertheless, Rams defensive coordinator, Jim Haslett, stood up and let the bright spotlight of accountability light him up as he explained the Rams defense's rather, uh, poor performance last Sunday against the Chargers.

Let's deconstruct the spin.

"It was disappointing. It's disappointing because it kind of blind sided me. I didn't think we'd play that bad. We actually had very good practices all week. So it kind of catches you off guard."

There are a couple of meanings flitering around between the lines here. First and most obvious, is Haslett's kinder, gentler admission that the defense just isn't all that good, but he thought that maybe, just maybe, they had come up with enough schemes to keep the LT at about 180 total yards. Second and more disconcerting, is the allusion to the fact that maybe he's not all that surprised after all, and this statement, distilled from more honest ones behind closed doors, has a tinge of pleading in it, pleading for a second chance.

"They did some different things we haven't seen, and we just didn't adjust to it very well."

No you didn't. Did someone not study the tape meticulously enough to know what they might do? Did you not anticipate the Rams' (numerous) weaknesses on defense and plan for those to be exploited? Apparently not.

I'll admit, I didn't follow Haslett closely throughout his coaching career, so I really don't know what to expect. He's not heavily profiled like Bill Parcels, so there's not an easy resource to read up on his coaching philosophy. For me, the jury's still out, but I'm not overly excited about what I see.