|ESPN.com: NFL||[Print without images]|
New Orleans hasn't had a winning season since 2002, and this year was marred before it even began. Katrina hit New Orleans less than two weeks before the regular season, and the Saints ended up playing four home games in Baton Rouge, La., three in San Antonio and one "home" game against the New York Giants that irked the Saints players because it was played in New Jersey.
Regardless of whether the circumstances contributed, the Saints finished tied with Green Bay as the worst team in the league in turnover margin. The Saints had 24 more turnovers than their opponents.
They also allowed seven returns for touchdowns on turnovers or blocked kicks without getting one of their own.Haslett coached against the Rams twice a year when the Saints and Rams were both in the NFC West. The Saints' playoff win over the Rams in 2000 ended St. Louis' quest for a second straight Super Bowl title. Linehan said it wouldn't bother him if Haslett used his spot with the Rams to get back into head coaching. "He gets another head coaching job, that's a good thing," Linehan said. "That means we've done well. My job is to hire a good staff under Jim so that we can promote from within." Linehan said Haslett convinced him he wanted to get back into coaching at any level. "He's a football coach and wants to go to the best place available," Linehan said. "He's a great fit." As a former head coach, Linehan said Haslett can help with advice. "I don't know that many people have gone through the ups and downs of a head coach like Jim has, especially last year," Linehan said. "People know how grueling and tough that year was for the organization and he's really held it together." Haslett broke in as an NFL coach working with linebackers with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1993 before his first stint with the Saints in 1995-96. He was the defensive coordinator his second year with the Saints and for three seasons with Pittsburgh from 1997-99. John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.