Haslett Rattles Saints Again

Jim Haslett

Jim Haslett struck again Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

No, this wasn’t about Haslett inexplicably sticking with an injured Aaron Brooks over Jake Delhomme with a playoff berth hanging in the balance. This was about a Jim Haslett defense once again rattling and confusing the Saints’ offensive unit.

On November 11, 2007, Haslett, who was fired by the Saints after the 3-13 “Katrina season” of 2005, led a dismantling of the Saints high-flying offense as the St. Louis Rams’ defensive coordinator.

“It really felt strange, being in the dome, period, after everything the dome went through and after everything the city went through,” Haslett said after the 37-29 drubbing.

The Rams were 0-8 entering that game. The Saints, battling back from an 0-4 start, dropped to 4-5 with the loss. Tell me if the following quotes from that 2007 game sound familiar…

“To me, the guy that makes the whole thing go is the quarterback,” Haslett explained. “We figured we’re not going to let the quarterback sit back there and pick us apart. We were going to take some chances, come after him and try to disrupt him.”

Haslett guessed that he called blitzes on about 16 of the first 18 plays the Saints ran.

“Defensively, I think they had a plan for us. They executed that plan very well,” Brees said. “They did a great job of getting pressure and their offense really helped the defense out by staying on the field.”

Brees finished with 272 yards and two touchdowns, but most of it came while New Orleans ran a hurry-up offense in a belated comeback attempt that finally ended when the Saints failed to recover an onside kick with a half-minute remaining.”

Those same quotes could apply to Sunday’s game. Jim Haslett, now the Redskins’ defensive coordinator, was back in the Superdome making yet another statement against the team that threw him out.

Haslett’s unit held the Saints to 358 total yards and the Redskins dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 39:10 to the Saints’ 20:50. In 2007, the Rams’ D held the Saints to 308 total yards and held the ball for 39:42 to the Saints’ 20:18. The Redskins, like the Rams of 2007, forced the Saints into long down and distance situations all afternoon, which adversely affected the running game. In 2007, the Saints ran the ball 11 times for 43 yards. Against the Redskins on Sunday, the Saints ran 10 times for 32 yards.

There’s no question the Saints played a terrible team game. The defense gave up 40 points to an offense led by a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start. Penalties — 12 of them for 107 yards — stalled several offensive drives. But don’t discount the Haslett Factor. Whether he’s winning the club’s first-ever playoff game or giving Drew Brees fits, Haslett knows how to bring it. Now that its “been brought” this season, the Saints won’t have to face Haslett’s defense again unless the Saints and ‘Skins meet up in the playoffs. The Redskins just may be there.

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Comments

  1. I agree with you that the eagles shluod win these game, but it is also possible for them to lose to bad teams (see Tuesday night Vikings game last year), and it is possible that some teams on the schedule may be better when we play them than we think they are right now (like the Jets). I actually think (hope) that you are probably right, I just think it is too unpredictable to know for sure. Who would have thought that last year we could shut down Peyton Manning’s Colts, and then not be able to stop Joe Webb’s Vikings a few weeks later?

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