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Defensive coordinator search will now begin
Team has already contacted Jim Bates
BY STEVE KORTE
ST. LOUIS - Newly hired St. Louis Rams coach Scott Linehan said hiring a defensive coordinator is his top priority.
"In my mind, there is no one person who is more important than another, but he is the most important priority right now," Linehan said of finding the right defensive coordinator. "Once we get the coordinators done, I'd like to address a couple of other positions. It won't take long, but we'll do the due diligence to get the right people."
Linehan has contacted former Green Bay Packers defensive coordinator Jim Bates, 59, about being his defensive coordinator.
Last season, Bates took over a Packers defense that ranked 25th among the NFL's 32 teams in 2004, and restored it to respectability.
The Packers ranked seventh in total defense last season despite being put in a lot of bad situations by offense and special teams units that led the NFL in turnovers with 45.
Other potential defensive coordinators include former Minnesota defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, former Buffalo defensive coordinator Jerry Gray, former New York Jets defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson, former New Orleans head coach Jim Haslett and former Houston head coach Dom Capers.
Linehan said having a defensive coordinator who has been a head coach in the NFL would be a plus, but not a requirement.
"That's always a benefit, but that's not the No. 1 criteria to him being an effective coordinator," Linehan said.
Linehan said that a coach's preferred defensive scheme will be a factor in the hiring process for a defensive coordinator, but it will not be the most important factor.
"When you're looking at any kind of personnel, whether it is a player or a coach, you want to get the best," Linehan said. "There is a lot of things that factor into being the best. Competency for one. Is he going to fit in with the staff, and is the chemistry going to be good? I think those things all have to factor in as well as whether it is a 3-4 or 4-3 or a 5-2-4. (alignment)."
As an offensive coach, Linehan knows that it's important for him to have a strong defensive coordinator. He also plans on letting the defensive coordinator handle the defensive coaching.
"The reason you hire coaches is so that they can do the job you hire them for," Linehan said. "I'm going to be involved just so I'm informed. I'm not going to be one of those guys who is sitting here saying, 'Hey (use) this blitz and I really think you should play corners with bump in this situation."'
Though he'll call the offensive plays, Linehan said he would hire an offensive coordinator so that he doesn't have to spend all of his time with the Rams' offense.
"I will have a very competent offensive coordinator who knows the system as well as I do," Linehan said. "I have to make the transition and establish right away that, 'Hey, I am going to call plays,' but my job is to be the head coach and make the decisions that a head coach needs to make."
Linehan said he was planning to talk with the assistant coaches left over from Martz's staff.
"I don't know a lot of them that well, but I'll give them an opportunity to visit with me, and if it's time to move on, we'll let them know at the time," he said.
Re: Defensive coordinator search will now beginOriginally Posted by RamWraith
Re: Defensive coordinator search will now beginOriginally Posted by RamsFanSamRamsFan16