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Spagnuolo looks to fill out staff
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Thursday, Jan. 22 2009
MOBILE, Ala. — With his offensive and defensive coordinators in place, Rams
coach Steve Spagnuolo is going about the business of filling out the rest of
his coaching staff.
Defensive line coach Randy Melvin, who has spent the past four seasons with the
Cleveland Browns, interviewed with Spagnuolo on Wednesday here at the Senior
According to league sources, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive
coordinator-offensive line coach Bill Muir could be a candidate for the
offensive line position. Muir was among several Bucs coaches released Sunday
after the team fired head coach Jon Gruden in a surprise move.
Melvin, 49, played defensive line at Eastern Illinois from 1978 to 1981. He has
coached in the college ranks at Eastern Illinois, Wyoming, Purdue, Rutgers and
Illinois (in 2005). Other than his time with the Browns, Melvin's only other
NFL coaching stint was as an assistant for Bill Belichick in New England in
2000 and '01. Any decision on whether the Rams will hire Mevlin is not expected
for a couple days.
Melvin was part of Romeo Crennel's original staff in Cleveland, and currently
is not under contract now that Crennel has been fired. He interviewed recently
for a position on the staff of new Browns coach Eric Mangini.
Spagnuolo spent at least part of Tuesday and Wednesday interviewing holdover
members of the Rams' staff.
As of Wednesday night, some members of that staff had yet to speak with
Spagnuolo and were growing increasingly antsy about their status with the club
— and their ability to land a job elsewhere if things don't work out with St.
Besides being a major draft-evaluation event for college players, the Senior
Bowl is a massive job fair for NFL coaches who are out of work. Interviews are
being set up and jobs are being doled out nearly around the clock in Mobile.
Some Rams assistants are drawing interest elsewhere.
Wide receivers coach Henry Ellard is scheduled to interview today with the New
York Jets. Ellard practically is a Rams institution, dating to his days as a
star wide receiver when the club was based in Los Angeles. He has been on the
Rams' coaching staff since 2001, surviving the switch from Mike Martz to Scott
Linehan in 2006.
The Rams have yet to formally announce the hiring of offensive coordinator Pat
Shurmur and defensive coordinator Ken Flajole. But Carolina coach John Fox
wished Flajole well on Wednesday; Flajole was the Panthers' linebackers coach
and had been with the team since 2003.
"Ken did a great job for us," Fox said. "I think it's a great opportunity for
him, and we won a lot of games while he was with us. He's smart. He's a hard
worker. All the things you look for in a good coach."
Minnesota special teams coordinator Paul Ferraro appears to be in line to take
the same position with Spagnuolo in St. Louis.
Muir, meanwhile, is a veteran NFL offensive line coach who had been with the
Bucs since Gruden was hired in 2002.
Spagnuolo took a break from interviewing coaching candidates Wednesday night,
when he hosted members of the Rams' scouting and personnel department in his
hotel suite in downtown Mobile.
Most members of that department had yet to meet their new head coach.
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