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Thread: Rams can't afford to waste time
Rams can't afford to waste time
By Bryan Burwell
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Wednesday, Jan. 14 2009
As the ever-changing coaching landscape rapidly shifts all around them, I like
the idea that the most important decision makers within the Rams organization
have huddled up in Los Angeles this week in an effort to bring some quick
closure to the pursuit of their new head coach.
If it upsets more than a few delicate parochial sensibilities that the St.
Louis Rams are conducting interviews for their head coach in Los Angeles, then
you're clearly missing the big picture. Let's not quibble over the small stuff
like where the owners have chosen to conduct these interviews. This isn't real
estate; it's football. When you're in a mad dash to hire a head coach,
location, location, location doesn't matter nearly as much as urgency and good
In case you haven't noticed, there's a lot of competition in the NFL job market
for the best and brightest head-coaching candidates. Like bad plays on
Broadway, jobs are opening and closing in a hurry. Denver, Indianapolis,
Seattle and Cleveland already have found their men, leaving the Rams to
scramble for the prime contenders with the Lions, Jets, Raiders and perhaps the
Kansas City Chiefs soon enough.
So if it hastens the process of whittling down the list of five finalists to
The Chosen One by running them all out to Chip Rosenbloom's upscale Hollywood
neighborhood to facilitate his multi-tasking needs (news flash: the man does
have a successful movie-making business to run), all the better. This is the
kind of news that should be celebrated because after too many years of acting
with little urgency, Rams ownership seems to have empowered general manager
Billy Devaney to push this process as though his hair is on fire, and that's a
Devaney has done a superb job of keeping his ultimate intentions under wraps,
but I love the idea that within a span of 72 hectic hours, he will have
presented everyone on his wish list to ownership. So it stands to reason that
by the weekend, Devaney should have his man.
He said he wanted to have a coach in place before the start of Senior Bowl
week, and the practices for the Senior Bowl begin Monday in Mobile, Ala. For
any number of practical reasons, the Rams should be holding a major news
conference within the next 48 hours. I would hope that since this is Devaney's
first significant decision as the new general manager that he wouldn't want to
lose his first preference simply because some other team's general manager was
able to cut in front of him in line.
But that could happen anyway, even if Devaney is allowed to act fast. The Jets
are said to be zeroing in on Steve Spagnuolo and Rex Ryan, and newly hired
Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli could be hot after Spagnuolo too, if, as
expected, he fires Herm Edwards.
Rosenbloom maintains that money is no object, but Devaney has also said that
he's not stupid. The low-budget success stories of Atlanta, Baltimore and Miami
last year resonated with a lot of NFL owners. Devaney said a few weeks ago that
it would be hard to justify to owners why they should spend $6 million on
anyone when Mike Smith, John Harbaugh and Tony Sparano have shown that
anonymous low-cost coaches are better bargains.
So now the fun really begins.
Who does Devaney really want?
If history is a guide, then we might want to remember how things went in
Atlanta last year when Devaney helped with the Falcons' coaching search. While
the Falcons failed to land several of the big names on owner Arthur Blank's
original wish list, they ended up with relative unknown Mike Smith, whose name
generated little buzz when he was hired. But Smith was one of the "meat and
potatoes" football guys that Devaney helped identify, and Smith turned into a
gem for the Falcons.
So what happens if Ryan or Spagnuolo is attracted to the big money in New York?
If Devaney has done his job thoroughly, then the Rams shouldn't feel like they
are settling on his backup. A year ago, "settling" gave Atlanta and Baltimore
Smith and Harbaugh, who transformed those teams from losers to playoff
On pure name recognition, Spagnuolo and Ryan seem to be the most eligible men
on the list, while Dallas offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and Jim Haslett
are the most controversial. That leaves us with the most intriguing name on the
list, Minnesota defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who interviewed with
ownership on Tuesday. We haven't heard much about him, but Frazier comes from
two pretty impressive defensive coaching trees, having played cornerback for
Buddy Ryan on the 1985 Super Bowl Chicago Bears and having learned more X's and
O's coaching under Tony Dungy. Wouldn't it be something if Frazier turned out
to be as good a coach as another defensive back from that Bears secondary —
Tennessee's Jeff Fisher?
Re: Rams can't afford to waste time
I love the Jeff Fisher analogy. I'm rooting for LF. I think we'll get him.
-01-14-2009 #4keith m. klink Guest
Re: Rams can't afford to waste time
just get him in and lets start rippin down some positions and buildin a contender already !
Re: Rams can't afford to waste time:ramlogo:
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