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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Devaney unveils plans for search

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    Tuesday, Dec. 30 2008
    The great Rams Coaching Search is underway -– and fans can gain comfort in what
    they have learned so far.

    Rams general manager Billy Devaney is leading the coaching search, which lends
    credibility to the process. Billy is a football lifer.

    He built a nice career by evaluating people well. He got this far by digging
    deep, remaining thorough and gaining fresh perspectives. He doesn’t believe he
    invented or re-invented the sport.

    To that end, he is calling on his mentor, former NFL executive Bobby Beathard,
    to aid the evaluation. Beathard is one of the sharpest team executives to come
    down the pike.

    Lawrence McCutcheon, a fixture in the Rams organization, will also assist the
    process. Like Beathard and Devaney, he has earned a strong scouting reputation.
    Unlike those two, McCutcheon also played the game at the highest level.

    “These guys have great judgment,” Devaney said Tuesday. “These guys can help us
    pick the right guy.”

    In addition to those two, Devaney will also seek counsel from broadcaster (and
    Pro Football Hall of Famer) Dan Dierdorf and commentator (and former Rams star)
    Marshall Faulk.

    “These guys are going to be, more or less, sounding boards for me,” Devaney
    said. “I value their opinions. They care about the Rams. They want to do what’s
    best for the Rams organization. Both of them have welcomed this with open arms.”

    Beathard, McCutchon, Dierdorf, Faulk -- that is a heavyweight group. I
    seriously doubt that a guy like Scott Linehan could fool all those men.

    Linehan was a fine assistant coach, a good guy but definitely NOT a commanding
    leader. That was painfully obvious from the first time we saw this guy speak in
    public.

    Devaney has set 11 criteria to grade candidates this time around. “Actually, it
    might be leadership and 10 other categories,” Devaney said. The new coach, he
    said, “needs to be the leader in our building. He needs to change the
    atmosphere inside our building.

    “This leader, whoever it is, has to reconnect with our fan base.”

    Devaney and Co. will settle on good candidates. That WILL happen. They will
    make good judgments. They will reach a consensus on what’s right for the Rams.
    They will identify potential difference makers.

    “There are no egos involved, that one guy is making the decision,” Devaney said.

    Then Chip Rosenbloom and Co. must follow the recommendation of these football
    men. Fans can only hope that will happen, because former team president John
    Shaw will sit on the final jury with Rosenbloom, Lucia Rodriguez and Stan
    Kroenke.

    Some goofy things have happened during Shaw’s earlier coaching searches. It’s
    hard to say which was his worst call, hiring Rich Brooks or Linehan.

    Devaney’s task is to make sure such unqualified candidates don’t make the final
    cut. Already, the field is taking shape.

    We know interim coach Jim Haslett is a finalist, since he shares Devaney vision
    for transforming the football team. But Haslett’s inside knowledge doesn’t
    necessarily give him the inside track.

    Devaney notes that Baltimore hired outsider John Harbaugh as coach, over
    well-respected Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan. And he notes that the
    Falcons hired Mike Smith instead over Emmitt Thomas, the team’s interim coach.

    Both hires worked out well because both men brought fresh perspectives to their
    new organizations.

    We know Packers assistant coach Winston Moss will get a look from the Rams this
    week, because the Rams have already gained permission to chat with him.

    We know Rex Ryan wouldn’t require an introductory interview, since Devaney, a
    former Falcons executive, was in on Ryan’s interview last season in Atlanta. If
    Devaney and Co. believe he has what it takes, he will join Haslett in the next
    round.

    Devaney is unlikely to recommend a premium priced candidate like Bill Cowher,
    who might command $8 million to $9 million a year. Right now the Jets are
    trying to woo him with those large dollars.

    The new Rams GM will search out the up-and-coming assistant coaches and
    coordinators. He will seek candidates who are natural fits for this
    organization.

    And he would love to get the new guy in place by the third week of this month,
    before all the top assistant coaches around the league sign on elsewhere. He
    doesn't want the new guy to have second-tier aides.

    “I really think we’ll end up with a guy that will excite people,” Devaney said.
    “This is going to change the culture in our whole building, which is sorely
    needed.”


  2. #2
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    Re: Devaney unveils plans for search

    Why is John Shaw involved? I remember Chip saying Shaw would have nothing to do with personnel decisions anymore.

    I warned everyone (and received negative rep from a few of you because of it), but the fact is John Shaw is still in Chip's ear and always will be. We can only hope that Chip listens to the right people and not to Shaw.

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    Re: Devaney unveils plans for search

    Quote Originally Posted by ScottD413 View Post
    Why is John Shaw involved? I remember Chip saying Shaw would have nothing to do with personnel decisions anymore.

    I warned everyone (and received negative rep from a few of you because of it), but the fact is John Shaw is still in Chip's ear and always will be. We can only hope that Chip listens to the right people and not to Shaw.

    Good question ScottD. I agree. As we no longer have to worry about Ziggy, we should likewise no longer have to be concerened about Shaw interfering with these type of top team decisions, particularly now with the HC position.

    No Zig, no Shaw. Let's do it right!

  4. #4
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    Re: Devaney unveils plans for search

    It sounds like they're going about this the right way. We've all talked about the dysfunction of having accountants and lawyers making the decisions in the front office, and this time it sounds like a bunch of football guys, most of whom actually played in the NFL.

    On a side note, I find it interesting that we seem to be seeing a shift in hiring towards the up-and-coming position coach. Harbaugh, a defensive backs coach for the Eagles before he became HC of the Ravens, is one good example. Also, Jim Zorn was a quarterbacks coach and Tony Sparano was an offensive line coach. Of the four rookie head coaches last season, only Mike Smith had so much as held the title of coordinator.

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    Re: Devaney unveils plans for search

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    Tuesday, Dec. 30 2008
    “I really think we’ll end up with a guy that will excite people,” Devaney said.
    “This is going to change the culture in our whole building, which is sorely
    needed.”
    I wonder what that spells for Haslett, I guss it could be look at in another way, Haslett could excite people into anger.
    :ramlogo:

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    Re: Devaney unveils plans for search

    Quote Originally Posted by eldfan View Post
    I wonder what that spells for Haslett, I guss it could be look at in another way, Haslett could excite people into anger.
    How can Rams fans get excited if we're not willing to even spend x amount of dollars? I find it funny that an NFL team is on some sort of "budget", yet practically claims we're getting a gem...


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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