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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    New Coach Will Need Rams' Help

    By Bernie Miklasz

    It was an intriguing move by Rams owner Chip Rosenbloom, to go public with his insistence that money won't be an obstacle in the hiring of the team's new head coach.

    In an interview with Post-Dispatch football writer Jim Thomas, Rosenbloom said there were "no constraints" in the coaching search being conducted by general manager Billy Devaney. And if Devaney concludes that the right coach would cost $6 million a year in salary, then Rosenbloom would make the hire.

    Hmmm ...

    If this is the case, then where are all of the big names on the Rams' candidates list? Shouldn't they be dialing up Bill Cowher, Mike Shanahan, Marty Schottenheimer, Mike Holmgren?

    Shouldn't the Rams be pushing hard for an interview with this year's "hot" assistant, New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo? And if money is no object, then the Rams obviously must be willing to outbid several teams for Spagnuolo.

    I'm being a little facetious here.

    The truth is, it's going to be difficult for the Rams to make a splash with their hire.

    That's why I'm surprised Rosenbloom took the risk of raising the fans' expectations.

    Chip has moved onto a slippery slope. Put it this way: After telling your fans that money is not a problem, and that you are willing to go out and get "the best guy," then how could you possibly bring Jim Haslett back?

    If Haslett is the selection, Devaney would look silly. Because I'd assume that many fans would have this kind of reaction: "Wait a minute. You gave Devaney the freedom to spend whatever is necessary, to do whatever is necessary, to find the best coach in America for the Rams, and your decision is to bring back the guy with a 10-game losing streak?"

    Good luck with those PSL renewals.

    Rosenbloom has raised the stakes in his own coaching search. And fans will be disappointed if a "name" coach doesn't arrive in St. Louis to save the day.

    Well, I'm not in that camp. I'm taking a pragmatic, realistic view. This isn't the type of situation that reels in a big fish. The team is for sale, which creates uncertainty. And the GM already is in place, which doesn't appeal to big-ego coaches who want total control of personnel.

    And I'm not hung up on football celebrities, either.

    Sure, big coaching names have moved to other jobs and done well. But for every successful Bill Parcells turnaround story, there's Mike Ditka in New Orleans, George Seifert at Carolina, Steve Mariucci in Detroit, Nick Saban in Miami, Jimmy Johnson in Miami.

    Devaney has enlisted Bobby Beathard to help with the coaching search. In 1981, as Redskins' GM, Beathard hired Joe Gibbs as coach. I was living in the Washington area, and the reaction to the Gibbs hire could be summed up in one word: WHO? Gibbs proceeded to win three Super Bowls in a Hall of Fame career.

    Do you think Miami fans were jacked up when the Dolphins hired Tony Sparano after last season? Sparano won 11 games this season; "big names" Saban and Johnson never won that many as Dolphins coach. I'd never heard of Mike Smith when Atlanta hired him; he took the Falcons to the playoffs this season. Another playoff team is Baltimore, with their rookie head coach, John Harbaugh.

    Of the 12 coaches in the NFL playoff field this season, only three had prior head-coach experience before ascending to their current positions. That's just one of the reasons it's foolish to automatically condemn the hiring of a low-profile coach if the Rams go that way.

    There is no magic formula here. Big names work; big names go bust. No-name coaches fail; no-name coaches are shockingly successful. If the Rams hire an assistant, you just have to hope that Devaney was successful in identifying an emerging leader. And if that person turns out to be Winston Moss, Rex Ryan or Todd Bowles, then we'll see the right stuff from them, soon enough.

    The best thing the Rams can do for their coach is provide better players and make more intelligent decisions with the salary cap. If the Rams continue to make a mess out of personnel, a celebrity coach would be helpless to make a difference. Conversely, if the Rams consistently score well in the draft and free agency, then a no-name coach will prosper.

    More than anything, organizations win. And the Rams must build a better organization around their coach, or he'll be doomed to failure. No matter what his name is.

  2. #2
    Curly Horns's Avatar
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    Re: New Coach Will Need Rams' Help

    Music to my ears, bernie!

    I have to wonder why Chip had to go public about the money side of the search for a head coach. Seems to me the best course would have been to let the process play out and answer questions accordingly when a new head coach was in place.

    I agree that the new head coach is going to need all the help he can get in the form of a well functioning organization. The Rams organization has been dysfunctional for far too many years.

  3. #3
    UtterBlitz's Avatar
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    Re: New Coach Will Need Rams' Help

    That's great to see that Devaney has brought in Bobbie Beathard. I always believed in his abilities to find talent.

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