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An ugly night in St. Louis

Pitiful, pathetic, insufferable...

I didn't even see the game, but those were the first three words that came to mind after reading the box score and watching the highlights.

Given that it turned into another (expected) rout, the most interesting aspects of the game happened off the playing field. Perhaps the most disturbing, is rumor that Haslett will leave after this season. A fan claims to have heard, during the game, the NFL Network broadcast team mention that Haslett would not return this season, claiming that he and Linehan would rather not work together.

Is it true, there's been no confirmation as of this morning. However, it's not unreasonable to think that there's tension in the coaching ranks given that Haslett's a former head coach and has a decent sized chunk of the remaining Rams fans calling for him to replace Linehan.

Lapses by the defense really hammered the nails into the Rams coffin last night, but the punt on 4th and 6 in the fourth quarter will be the rallying cry for those wanting Linehan's head. I think I might have re-joined that demographic too. Why on earth would a 3-11 team NOT go for it? What do they possibly have to lose?

And then came the real highlight for Rams fans, Torry Holt on the sidelines giving Linehan a piece of his mind. That makes three players publicly expressing some discontent with their head coach, and when something's gotten so rotten that Torry Holt looks like the Randy Moss of old (well, maybe not that bad) there's a problem. The players, the superstar players, have not issued a vote of confidence in their coach, quite the opposite actually, and that should fuel speculation that Shaw's vote of confidence may be revisited after another embarrassing Rams loss on the same day Holt's former teammate, the great Marshall Faulk, had his number retired - the one thing the Rams have done right this season.

Not surprisingly, the post game chat with Jeff Gordon at the PD was filled with questioners bashing Linehan and calling for him to burned at the stake, figuratively of course. One of Gordon's responses really stand out though:

I wouldn't be shocked to see Shaw reverse his field. This was ugly tonight.

The booing Shaw and Jay Zygmunt took during Faulk's ceremony was entertaining to say the least, and for all the crap Rams fans have taken, we showed the world that we're pretty savvy to the direction our team's taken. If the ticket sales don't send a message, then surely that will. But there might be encouraging developments on the horizon, according to Brian Burwell.

But there are signs (actually very teeny tiny ones) that Shaw might be finally getting the message. Privately, he is starting to ask the right questions, and inching toward the right conclusion, which is that the way the Rams do business is not working.

We'll see.

Other notes:

  • Alex Barron drew another drive killing penalty. A holding call with the score 17-14 led to a three and out possession. Pittsburgh scored on their ensuing possession. The guy may well have talent, most anyone in the NFL does. In his fourth season, though, he still hasn't put it together, despite having every chance in the world to do so.
  • Jonathan Wade had a bad game, getting exploited on almost every Steelers throw. Up and down performances from a rookie shouldn't be all that surprising. LaRon Landry he ain't. Without Tye Hill sidelined with injury, he wouldn't even be starting this week. Still, he's shown us plenty of potential out there too, and if he can build on his experience this season, he should be a solid contributor going forward.
  • The Rams were forced to pass throughout a good chunk of the second half and with the team on the ropes the Steelers defense got relentless in their punishment. But still, it's irksome to see that Steven Jackson only had 12 carries. I can't complain about Linehan's play calling because I don't understand it.
  • On the TD pass to Washington in the first quarter, the corner back - I'm pretty sure it was Wade but the video is fuzzy - let him go right on by. Witherspoon stayed in the middle to cover the receiver on that route, but Wade totally missed Washington and Chavous was left on his own with him in the end zone. Is it my own bad read, or do the Rams have trouble reading plays sometimes? I remember the highlight runs that Norwood made against the Rams, the defense, usually with the box stacked, failed to react fast enough to an outside run, a task that would have likely fell to the d-back(s).

Ok, that's enough for now. I'm going to go forget about the game for awhile.