By Jim Thomas
Wednesday, Jan. 07 2009
The timing may have been odd. Then again, the Rams had to interview Jim Haslett
for their head-coaching job sometime.

According to league sources, that interview took place Monday in Los Angeles.
Because Haslett is a finalist for the job, team owners Chip Rosenbloom and
Lucia Rodriguez took part in the interview, as well as general manager Billy
Devaney and senior adviser John Shaw.

Meanwhile, the Rams have requested and received permission to interview New
England offensive coordinator-quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels. As of early
Tuesday evening, no date for the interview had been set. Only 32, McDaniels has
become a hot property because of his work with quarterback Matt Cassel this
season following Tom Brady's season-ending knee injury.

In the ever shifting landscape that is the Rams' coach search, the team
apparently also has switched gears and expressed renewed interest in New York
Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

The window for interviewing candidates with a first-round bye has passed, but
Devaney knows Spagnuolo well, so perhaps the Rams didn't feel a need for a
preliminary interview. In any event, the Rams now must wait until the Giants
lose in the playoffs before they can interview him.

In another development Tuesday, sources close to Miami assistant head
coach-secondary coach Todd Bowles said Bowles will interview with the Rams next
week. Bowles is scheduled to interview in Detroit today and Denver on Thursday.
As previously reported by the Post-Dispatch, the Rams received permission to
interview Bowles over the weekend.

There were unconfirmed reports Tuesday that the Rams also had requested
permission to speak with Tampa Bay assistant coach Raheem Morris. If so, that
would represent another change in the Rams' search paramaters, because league
sources told the Post-Dispatch three days ago that the team was not interested
in Morris. Morris told reporters in Tampa Bay on Tuesday that he was unaware of
any interview planned with St. Louis.

Devaney could not be reached to comment.

As for Haslett, he's hoping to come back as head coach after taking over for
the fired Scott Linehan one month into the 2008 season. After winning their
first two games under Haslett, the Rams finished the season with 10 straight
losses. But the team was noticeably better down the stretch. Four of the Rams'
final five games were decided by four points or less, with the Rams unable to
hold late leads against Seattle (Dec. 14), San Francisco (Dec. 21) and Atlanta
(Dec. 28).

Nine days into the offseason, only one other Rams coaching interview is known
to have taken place. And that was a preliminary interview with Green Bay
assistant head coach-linebackers coach Winston Moss on Saturday. Former New
York Giants head coach Jim Fassel is scheduled for a preliminary interview in
St. Louis on Thursday.

Only Devaney, former NFL personnel executive Bobby Beathard and Rams director
of player personnel Lawrence McCutcheon sit in on the preliminary interviews.
Club ownership participates only in interviews involving finalists.