NFC West: Jeff Sagarin

Mailbag: Rams need defined structure

December, 3, 2008
12/03/08
5:26
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Justin from parts unknown writes: Hey Mike, Well the Rams season is/has been over so let the preparation for next season begin. Have you heard any rumblings about who the Rams are looking at for the HC? Please tell me that they are not still thinking of bringing back Haslett!

Yes, he has been put into a pretty bad situation, BUT... his D hasn't stopped anyone in 3 years! I am hoping that the new ownership cares enough about keeping fans to start with a clean slate at HC. Please throw us some names of people so that we have something of a bright spot during this nightmare of a season.

Mike Sando: Owner Chip Rosenbloom has made clear his dissatisfaction. He seems sensitive to the fans' concerns and complaints. He seems to share those concerns and complaints. For that reason, I expect sweeping changes during the offseason. Anyone associated with the last few seasons, on or off the field, could be at risk.

Ownership probably hasn't made up its mind on a course for next season. I do not have a list of likely candidates for the head-coaching job. Haslett will presumably get a chance to state his case. It's clear the Rams have personnel problems on both sides of the ball. Ownership knows it, Haslett knows it and the fans know it.

The question is whether you blow up everything or most things. Once you start fresh, it's important for players to know who is in charge and who is accountable to whom, from the front office on down. The Rams' current setup falls short that way. Rosenbloom has an opportunity and and obligation this offseason to set up the organization the right way.

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Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Nicholas from New York writes: hey mike, long time reader, first time writer. do you think that tim ruskell needs to worry about his job up in seattle?

I really don't like how the nfl has so much turnover. I believe continuity is what makes great franchises but i cannot ignore some of his mistakes over the years... Hutchinson's loss i will never forgive. the past years would have been radically different if we held on to him. signing alexander to a huge deal ... drafting tiny corners in a league dominated by big recievers ... trading a #1 pick for a small reciever with pedestrian speed who cannot stay on the field. Sure, julian petersen and lofa tatupu and patrick kerney were good, but all of them are small which contributes to them getting worn down in gritty games.

signing like 8 backs in the offseason and paying them all wayyyy tooo much ... please stop the bleeding ... i hope holmgren can stay around and be the gm after he retires this year. he is the best thing to ever happen to this franchise!

Mike Sando: I don't think Tim Ruskell needs to worry about his job right now. I will attempt to provide some balance to your thoughts, which are naturally born of frustration.

All of your points make sense if the team is 1-4. Then, we must ask why the team is 1-4. If we think the injuries at receiver and quarterback are the difference between 1-4 and, say, 3-2, then we need to revisit the premise. I personally think an offense without such a drastic injury situation would have been enough for Seattle to win the home games against the 49ers and Packers, but not enough to reverse the other unfavorable outcomes.

The stability thing works both ways. Everyone wants stability, but if Shaun Alexander had gotten away, fans would be ripping Ruskell for failing to keep the league MVP. Even if Alexander had left and gotten hurt elsewhere, people would make the case that Alexander would have continued to flourish in the Seattle system. This would have been a reasonable point. The decision on Alexander had risks either way.

Five or six years ago, no one was emailing me to suggest Mike Holmgren should remain GM. I was getting a lot of email suggesting he should be fired as GM and even fired as head coach.

Let's wait to see what happens next season. If the team tanks, we'll have some more answers.

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