By Jodie Valade, The Plain Dealer

Bedford grad and St. Louis Rams lineman Rodger Saffold believes Pat Shurmur is good fit for Cleveland Browns

BEDFORD, Ohio — At Bedford High School, a hulking offensive lineman held court with awestruck teenagers who barraged him with questions about how he went from Cleveland to the St. Louis Rams.

Across town, Rodger Saffold's offensive coordinator was contemplating a move from St. Louis to the place that produced the offensive tackle, talking to the Browns about their open head coaching position.

Saffold, who completed his rookie season with the Rams on Sunday, returned to the school from which he graduated in 2006 to speak to students about the importance of education.

At the same time, Saffold's offensive coordinator with the Rams, Pat Shurmur, was talking to Browns president Mike Holmgren about what type of head coach he could be.

A good one, Saffold believes.

"He's the kind of guy who really tries to motivate his players and fight through adversity," Saffold said. "He takes you back to the simple game so you can understand completely the schemes before you start getting technical. That's something you really need."

Saffold started all 16 games for the 7-9 Rams during his rookie season, allowing just two sacks while protecting rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, the top overall draft choice. After watching Shurmur motivate St. Louis' offensive unit throughout the season, Saffold saw that the coach could be a good fit with his hometown Browns.

"He's really loyal to the fans and he's just the type of guy people would trust in," Saffold said. "If he did come, everybody will love him. He'll fit in just fine."

Then Saffold hesitated.

"I kinda want him to stay with the Rams," he said, "but if this is the place where he's supposed to be, he'll be great."