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  1. #1
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    Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    01/11/2009

    The longer the Rams' head coaching search continues, the harder it is to handicap just who is the brightest apple gleaming in general manager Billy Devaney's eyes.

    Over the past six days, the Rams GM has held audiences with men with extensive head coaching experience (Jim Haslett, Jim Fassel) and chatted with a coaching wunderkind (New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels) as he carefully scrutinized their presentations and evaluated their organizational visions.

    But you have to wonder if the most important job presentations of the weekend will be the very vivid ones Devaney sees on the television. Is it possible that nothing speaks louder to an anxious general manager looking to hit a home run in his first official head-coaching hire than the sight of hot defensive coordinators such as Baltimore's Rex Ryan, and the New York Giants' Steve Spagnuolo showing off their X's and O's under the bright playoff lights?

    Imagine what fun it will be when Devaney sits down Sunday with Ryan, fresh off Saturday's gritty and defense-dominated 13-10 victory over Tennessee in the AFC semifinals. In the midst of his interview, Ryan will be able to easily refer back to the vivid images of his aggressive defense.

    He will be able to conclusively show Devaney the sort of wild-eyed, big-hitting, blitz-heavy defense he prefers. Ryan will be able to use Saturday's game as the perfect visual that compares and contrasts his more hostile defensive philosophy to the more cerebral brand Schwartz fancies. And it doesn't hurt to have the sound of Dan Dierdorf (a Devaney consultant) on a freshly burned DVD gushing with praise of Ryan's defense, as the CBS network cameras repeatedly zoomed in on his face.

    It's safe to say that we're about to begin the most critical week of the Rams' coaching search. The preliminaries probably will be done with Sunday's official interview with Ryan. And if Devaney wants to keep true to his hope of having a man hired before the Senior Bowl, this is the week when the field will be narrowed to two or three promising finalists.

    And now it seems that we're getting a much better idea of what direction Devaney's search is going. And if there are any prospective candidates out there who think the process is rigged in Haslett's favor, they might want to take a look at this: In an interview with New York sports radio host Mike Francesa last week, did Devaney tip his hand about the way this search is going?

    When Francesa asked Devaney about whether Spagnuolo had been interviewed, the Rams' GM sounded as if he already had given the Giants' defensive coordinator a free pass into the finals.

    "'Spags?'" asked Devaney. "He's one of the best. We haven't sent in a consent form for 'Spags' yet, but we go way back. He's a good friend of mine."

    Translation: "I interviewed him last year. I know him personally. We've already talked plenty and I love him. He doesn't need an interview. All he needs is a contract offer."

    Francesa followed with a question about another "friend," Jim Haslett.

    Q: "I know Haslett's a friend of yours. (But) is he a serious candidate?"

    A: "Umm I would say yeah, I would say he's probably a serious candidate who will get serious consideration. But like I've said all along, friendship aside, it's the old (Marquette basketball coach) Al McGuire thing where he had Allie, his son, playing and some kid came up to him and said, 'I should be playing as much as your son. I'm just as good.'

    "Al said, 'You don't understand. I love my son. You have to be better.' Well I feel the same way. I like Jim, but I love my family and I want to make the best decision for the Rams regardless."

    Translation: "I haven't promised Haslett a thing. And if I think bringing him back shortens my life span as a new GM in the eyes of the owners even by one hour, 'Haz' is a dead man walking."

    I don't really know what's on Devaney's mind, but I do know this: He has put together a darned good list of candidates. McDaniels and Minnesota defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier are intriguing because of where they come from and who they could end up becoming. McDaniels is one of Bill Belichick's prized Jedi knights and has been groomed almost from the coaching womb. Unlike Eric Mangini, who rejected Belichick's teaching and turned into Belichick's dark night Anakin Skywalker, McDaniels is more akin to Luke Skywalker. He remained loyal to the Patriots coaching legend, patiently listened to the master's teachings and now Belichick deems him ready to take the next step.

    In sports everyone gets a label, and for Frazier that label has conveniently become "the next Mike Tomlin," his predecessor as the Vikings' defensive coordinator who turned into a surprising success story as Pittsburgh's head coach with no previous fanfare.

    But the man worth keeping close tabs on is the guy who will be on television this afternoon in Giants Stadium. Spagnuolo is on the top of a lot of shopping lists. And when the man in charge of the Rams' coaching hunt says things such as, "He's one of the best," and "we go way back," that sounds a heck of a lot more like a stacked deck than any perceived advantage Haslett has going for him.


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    Re: Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    I only have faith in one thing........Bill D.....who ever he pics well be the
    right coach.!

  3. #3
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    Re: Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    i still love the possibility of Haslett with Martz and Dom Capers coming in.. Experience takes over in my book

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    Re: Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    Indeed Bruce, but how interesting is it that Devaney says that he and Spagnolo are great friends, refers to him as "Spags", and most importantly, says that "He doesn't need an interview. All he needs is a contract offer".

    Could the Rams actually have the inside track on Spagnolo?

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    Re: Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Indeed Bruce, but how interesting is it that Devaney says that he and Spagnolo are great friends, refers to him as "Spags", and most importantly, says that "He doesn't need an interview. All he needs is a contract offer".

    Could the Rams actually have the inside track on Spagnolo?
    if you re-read it again Teke..the bit about "he doesn`t need an interview.All he needs is a contract offer" is Burwell`s translation on what Billy D said.

    personally id love Spags onboard he has just the intensity etc..we need!

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    Re: Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    If you're gonna do the whole Star Wars thing wouldn't Belicheat be Darth Vader and the whole Pats orginization the evil empire???

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    Re: Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    I'll be fine with Spagnulo or Frazier. The most important thing about being a headcoach is leadership. Frazier is more of a silent and strong motivator and teacher while Spagnulo is an intense guy who's players match his intensity.

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    Re: Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    but Spags will have many choices,I am not so sure the Rams are on top of his list like he is on the Rams list.

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    Re: Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by jkramsfan View Post
    but Spags will have many choices,I am not so sure the Rams are on top of his list like he is on the Rams list.
    Maybe, but then again his previous interviews thus far have been reportedly lackluster. I don't know if these teams can disqualify a great coach for having a less than perfect interview, but that being said it couldn't hurt our chances of landing him.

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    Re: Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblin` Ram View Post
    if you re-read it again Teke..the bit about "he doesn`t need an interview.All he needs is a contract offer" is Burwell`s translation on what Billy D said.

    personally id love Spags onboard he has just the intensity etc..we need!
    Ah, yes. Thanks Ramblin. Still, that's a very good translation, if Spagnolo is really the guy we need. He's not at the top of my list, but I'll be happy with whoever gets us winning again.

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    Re: Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    OMG!

    "THE SPAGS" is losing and he's given up 20 pts so far!

    Ryan is better. He won and he only gave up 10 pts.



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    Re: Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferter View Post
    OMG!

    "THE SPAGS" is losing and he's given up 20 pts so far!

    Ryan is better. He won and he only gave up 10 pts.
    Totally agree. Ryan has a much more complex and talent maximization defensive scheme than Spags. Plus, it is my observation that Ryan is a better halftime adjuster than Spags is.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    Plus, it is my observation that Ryan is a better halftime adjuster than Spags is.
    Yeah, I think you are correct. I noticed before halftime in yesterday's game that his pants were falling well below his oversized beltline. After halftime he had the pants adjusted up.



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    Re: Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferter View Post
    Yeah, I think you are correct. I noticed before halftime in yesterday's game that his pants were falling well below his oversized beltline. After halftime he had the pants adjusted up.



    Quality!

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    Re: Spagnuolo could be hit with Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Ferter View Post
    Yeah, I think you are correct. I noticed before halftime in yesterday's game that his pants were falling well below his oversized beltline. After halftime he had the pants adjusted up.


    Well .. Didn't Billy D. say we needed to get "a big ole sloppy fat guy" to help out our defense in a recent interview? Sounds like T-Rex could be our man ..

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