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Looking back at the Josh McDaniels hire
, St. Louis Rams Examiner
The St. Louis Rams made a bold hire for their open offensive coordinator position as they go outside the Andy Reid coaching tree to hire one of the hot coordinator names in the NFL. Josh McDaniels will become the new offensive coordinator for the Rams after their former one, Pat Shurmur, left to become the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. The move is one that has brought some praise and raised some eyebrows not only throughout the entire St. Louis area but the entire NFL.
The route for McDaniels to come to St. Louis is a bit of a surprise on a number of levels. McDaniels appeared to have been the first candidate that the Rams had talked too and looked like he was their guy before the weekend started. Then things started to change early in the week when there were reports of McDaniels talking to Seattle and the Rams showing interest in some other candidates as well. Then out of the clear blue sky McDaniels was named the guy on Tuesday evening.
While we truly don’t know, and probably never will, it seems pretty clear that it was a part of intense negotiations by both sides. The Rams were making him an offer that didn’t seem high enough for McDaniels agent so there were leaks coming from that side saying that there were some other interested parties in the coach’s work. Meanwhile the Rams leaked some names so that McDaniels might get nervous that the Rams might go a different direction. Either way it appears both sides wound up getting a satisfactory deal.
I think the biggest shocker in the McDaniels deal is that the Rams went out and got one of the hot candidates in the NFL to lead the offense in 2011. They spent a lot of money and chose not to play it safe and hire someone from the Reid system. Brad Childress would have been an obvious choice and no one would have batted an eye. Steve Spagnuolo has been nothing but conservative and Childress is someone that he has a comfort with. We don’t know if Childress would have been a better choice or not because I believe that both were very viable candidates with similar pedigrees.
If we are to believe that Spagnuolo did hold his thumb down on Shurmur, which by all accounts is correct, then the choice of McDaniels is interesting. How is Spagnuolo going to handle having someone who is as strong willed as McDaniels working underneath him? Is Spagnuolo going to be worried that the offensive coordinator is going to be gunning for him and will go off the reservation and do whatever he wants? For a coach that has to have his “own” equipment manager and team doctor working for him it doesn’t seem like he would want someone he can’t control underneath him.
It is also surprising that the Rams would hire a guy who clearly does not have much interest in the “four pillars.” McDaniels is a guy who clearly had his hands all over the spying incident in London against the San Francisco *****. Not to mention that he was in New England the same time that the spying was going on up there. McDaniels clearly comes from the background of using any means necessary to win games.
As well McDaniels brought about a caustic work environment in Denver as the Head Coach. This is a coach that reportedly brought his entire coaching staff into the owner’s office after a loss and berated all of them in front of the owner. What kind of a coach would do something like that? Certainly someone that does that is not team first and a guy you couldn’t count on when things got tough. The one thing above all others that I can get behind Steve Spagnuolo on is that you need to have good chemistry and you want to have good people around you. It sure doesn’t seem that McDaniels fits that profile. Maybe Spagnuolo doesn’t really adhere to that behind closed doors anyway, but it seems like there is a definite disconnect between those two things.
One other thing that makes me wonder in the McDaniels hiring is what role did the new owner have in the move? Did Stan Kroenke tell Steve Spagnuolo that if we are going to invest this sort of money in an offensive coordinator then we are going to hire the person with the highest potential to work, not the coach who you are comfortable with. As well it would make sense that if McDaniels was that guy then the only way that he would come to St. Louis is if he had some autonomy in what he did with the offense. Thus it brings up a fair question. Did Kroenke just do what John Shaw did back in 1998 and tell his head coach that we are bringing in an offensive coordinator who needs to have control of that side of the ball?
No one in 1998 knew for sure that Dick Vermeil was told that he had to give Mike Martz full control of the offense, but as history would later tell us that was in fact what had happened. Maybe Kroenke decided that the head coach needs to focus on what he knows best (defense) and focus on coaching the entire team instead of dabbling in offensive game-planning? I believe that the McDaniels hire may have been exactly that.
No one can truly say that McDaniels was the absolute best guy to handle the Rams offense in 2011 or that he is the best person to deal with the growth of Sam Bradford, but it is clear that the Rams went out and got one of the top five guys available in most NFL experts’ eyes. The move is certainly something that has garnered some buzz about the St. Louis Rams in 2011. History will tell us whether this is the start of something grand or the end of Steve Spagnuolo.
Re: Looking back at the Josh McDaniels hire
My guess is that Spags is done.
Re: Looking back at the Josh McDaniels hireI think the biggest shocker in the McDaniels deal is that the Rams went out and got one of the hot candidates in the NFL to lead the offense in 2011. They spent a lot of money and chose not to play it safe and hire someone from the Reid system. Brad Childress would have been an obvious choice and no one would have batted an eye. Steve Spagnuolo has been nothing but conservative and Childress is someone that he has a comfort with. We don’t know if Childress would have been a better choice or not because I believe that both were very viable candidates with similar pedigrees.
Re: Looking back at the Josh McDaniels hire
After what I just seen with McDaniels, Spags can take McDaniels and Devaney with him.
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