Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Jim Haslett Was Not Exactly a "Hot" Coaching Property

Okay, this is a relatively petty argument, but one that has been bugging me for some time. It goes something like this.

When talking about the Redskins "staff" under Mike Shanahan, I have been less than enthralled with the resumes and caliber of the OC and DC. As I casually mentioned to my colleague and afternoon co-host on ESPN980, Andy Pollin, "well, we have a UFL coach and the head coach's kid for our coordinators. Not exactly a Hall of Fame tandem."

Andy can't take exception to the "coaches kid" jab, because, well, it's true.

The Jim Haslett moniker of "UFL coach" however, really rankles him - for some reason.

The point I was trying to make, and somehow keep failing with Andy, is that Haslett, once let go by the Rams as interim HC, was basically at the end of his coaching career. Which, while sad for him, is a reality for many coaches who "have their run" in the highest league in the land.

Not wanted by any other NFL team as a coordinator, Haslett had to accept the lowly gig in the fledgling UFL. When I point this out, Andy gets very pointed and defensive, saying "how do you know he didn't have offers to be a coordinator elsewhere in the NFL? Maybe he wanted to be a head coach again, and CHOSE the UFL instead."

Child, please.

I tried to impress upon Andy that the NFL, is, well, the NATIONAL....FOOTBALL..... LEAGUE..., and being a coordinator in that league is pretty damn good. Or, as Larry David would say, "pretty... pretty... good."

Only a blithering IDIOT, would turn down a DC job in the NFL, to take  HC job in the UFL for surely half the price, and with absolutely zero stability (see: league, folded).

Andy, however, rises with indignance when I say that, and fires back.... "and you KNOW this... BECAUSE...???"

Well, here's the show stopper, at least in my mind. From the Orlando Sentinel, by way of courtesy of e-mailer Jeremy Floam...
He became the St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator in 2006 and stayed there until last year. He took over as interim head coach when head coach Scott Lenihan was fired after Game 4. 
Haslett led the Rams to two straight wins, but then the team lost the final 10 games and Haslett was not asked to return. 
He was out of football and didn't know what to do with himself. "I was probably driving my family crazy. You go 16 years of waking up a four in the morning every day and working until 11 at night and then suddenly, you're doing nothing." 
He was considering the defensive coordinator job with Green Bay, also had another couple of opportunities with other teams as an assistant head coach, but nothing quite worked out. He was indeed, jobless. Until the UFL came along. "I figured, what the hell ... why not?"
Boom. Roasted.

"What the hell, why not?"
-Jim Haslett

Back to you, Andy.....


  1. Czabe,

    How much longer do you think the defense can go around looking as inept as they have the last couple weeks (and all of last year) until you start hearing the drumbeat for his job? I know everyone wants to give him a pass for last year because he did not have the 'personnel' to run 'his system' but I feel the mark of a good coach is using the players to the best of their abilities.....not jamming his system down their throats. A good example of that is the fact that we were all subjected to a whole year of watching Andre Carter flounder at outside linebacker while tight ends torched him.

  2. From the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, 15 Jan, 2009:

    "Haslett has to decide whether he wants to move his family from St. Louis. There's always a possibility he will decide to take the year off or that he could be retained by the Rams as defensive coordinator. But the leading candidates for the Rams job are defensive-minded coaches, so it's unlikely he'll be back.

    It doesn't appear that Haslett has any other offers to be a defensive coordinator. The interview with McCarfthy was believed to be his only one other than with the Rams for the head coaching position."

    UFL Fo' Life!

  3. Yes but Shanny's decision to go with the 3-4 defense effectively reduced the set of coaching candidates suitable for the DC position at that time. Was there a better 3-4 DC available at the time? Probably yes but still a large number of "better" coordinators were probably filtered out because they were 4-3 guys. Conversely the seasoned 3-4 DC candidates of the world effectiviely have a reduced set of teams that are able to employ them (only teams that run a 3-4 scheme). That's effectively 2/3 of the league that aren't even going to consider Haslett just based on his being a 3-4 guy. So while Haslett was clearly not in high demand, his list potential suitors was not as high just based on defensive scheme experience.