Peep Show

Updated: December 31, 2003, 11:26 AM ET
By By Darrell Trimble | ESPN Insider
Pennington
Pennington
New York Jets: After a disappointing season on both offense and defense, the team fired defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell Tuesday but kept offensive coordinator Paul Hackett on the payroll. According to the New York Post, that doesn't sit well with some of the players on the team who feel that Cottrell got a raw deal while Hackett got a free pass because Golden Boy QB Chad Pennington went to bat for him. CB Ray Mickens on Monday publicly defended Cottrell and wondered aloud why Hackett wasn't facing the same intense scrutiny while Cottrell was left flapping in the wind, saying, "Ted is always the focal point of the criticism, but nobody talked much about Hackett, because Chad has stepped up for him." Such an action could somewhat erode Pennington's leadership base and cause discord in the locker room next season.

St. Louis Rams: The numbers are in and they aren't pretty. In last Sunday's 30-20 loss to Detroit QB Marc Bulger looked lost in a see of Honolulu Blue as Lions defenders blitzed mercilessly. But actually, the Lions only blitzed 14 times, they were just very effective when they did. In those 14 blitzes, Bulger and backup QB Kurt Warner combined to complete only two of eight passes for 30 yards. (Bulger completed the passes, for gains of 25 and five yards to Torry Holt, on the Rams' first touchdown drive.) The Lions also got all four of their sacks on blitzes. "They came out, and once they had some success with the blitz, they continued to try and do it and they got pressure," OT Orlando Pace told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It's just one of those deals where you've got to pick those things up." During the regular season, the Rams yielded 43 sacks, tied for the fourth-highest total in the league, with most coming on blitzes. During the second half of the season the Rams have done a much better job of picking up extra defenders, but going into the playoffs is no time to suffer a relapse.

Washington Redskins: With the Fun and Gun now the Done and Gone, the club has begun compiling a wish list for a new head coach. Not surprisingly, the list, which currently consists of three names, has nary a college coach on it. VP of football operations Vinny Cerrato announced Tuesday that Jim Fassel, Dennis Green and Ray Rhodes are the top three in the Redskins crosshairs. "We like their head-coaching experience," Cerrato told the Washington Times. Rhodes may have the inside track because of his track record in Washington. He spent the 2000 season as the team's defensive coordiantor and led the collection of high-priced, free-agent talent defense to the NFL's No. 4 ranking. Rhodes also spent time with Cerrato in 1991 and 1994 in the San Francisco 49ers organization.

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