From The Other Side

It's been a brutal month for Coach Jim Haslett and the Rams. The team entered November coming off three straight solid outings, two of which were wins. They went into the Nov. 2 game against Arizona knowing a victory would bring them to within one game of the first-place Cardinals. After taking an early 7-0 lead over Arizona, that game and the next three have been total nightmares.

In each game, the outcome was virtually decided by halftime. It has left Haslett scratching his head, as he tries to find a way to win and achieve a reported mandate of owner Chip Rosenbloom that the team win two games in the final part of the season for him return as the team's head coach for 2009 and beyond.

The day before last week's game against Chicago, Haslett met with Rosenbloom and co-owner Lucia Rodriguez (Rosenbloom's sister).

Haslett told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "We talked about the future of the team. We talked about the present. We talked about the offseason. We talked about a lot of different things. Why we have the record we have. We talked about the players. We talked about the people in the building.

"It was a good meeting. It was a chance to get to meet Chip and Lucia. I thought it was very productive. I don't know where it's going to go from here."

As for the apparent need for two wins, Haslett said, "I think Chip got on the table what he expects. And hopefully we can fulfill that. We're going to try."

Asked Wednesday at his normal press conference about the published reports of the necessary two wins, Haslett said, "I never said that. Obviously, you'd like to win some games, so it would make ownership and the fans and everybody feel a little better about yourself, but we'll do the best we can. I'm going to do whatever I can to win games. ... I told players we have to win games, not for me, not for the coaches, win games for yourself because really the only people you have are in that room.

"The whole world's against you right now, so why not buck up together, play as a team, be together on the same page, work hard, do the things you have to do for the next month, and let the cards fall and see what happens. I think that's the most important thing."

As the Rams prepare for Miami this week, they are hopeful of having running back Steven Jackson and left tackle Orlando Pace back in the lineup, as well as quarterback Marc Bulger.

Jackson has hardly played since injuring his quad muscle against Dallas on Oct. 19. That was the team's last win. Pace missed last week's game because of a knee injury, while Bulger was knocked out of that game with a concussion on the first possession.

All practiced for a second straight day Thursday. Bulger passed a neuropsych test and Jackson worked after being shut down all last week.

Haslett said Jackson "took limited reps but he took more reps than he has taken in five weeks. We scripted the reps out that we needed to see and we will give him a little more tomorrow based on how he feels. Hopefully, there is not a setback and Friday we will do short yardage and goal line and he should be OK. We will see how he is tomorrow."

Haslett hopes getting some players back can at least produce better starts and at least competitive games.

"It's a bad cycle," he said. "You've just got to keep working at it, keep pushing along, and hopefully we'll come out of this. I think everybody's frustrated. That's why you see some of the things going on."

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