Two new candidates emerge in Rams coaching search
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
The timing may have been odd. Then again, the Rams had to interview Jim Haslett for their head-coaching job sometime.
According to league sources, that interview took place Monday in Los Angeles. Because Haslett is a finalist for the job, team owners Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez took part in the interview, as well as general manager Billy Devaney and senior advisor John Shaw.
Meanwhile, the Rams have requested and received permission to interview New England offensive coordinator-quarterbacks coach Josh McDaniels. As of early Tuesday evening, no date for the interview had been set. Only 32, has become a hot property because of his work with quarterback Matt Cassel this season following Tom Bradyís season-ending knee injury.
In the ever shifting landscape that is the Ramsí coach search, the team apparently also has switched gears and has expressed renewed interest in New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. The window for interviewing candidates with a first-round bye has passed, but Devaney knows Spagnuolo well, so perhaps the Rams didnít feel a need for a preliminary interview. In any event, the Rams now must wait until the Giants lose in the playoffs before they can interview him.
In another development Tuesday, sources close to Miami assistant head coach-secondary coach Todd Bowles said Bowles will interview with the Rams next week. Bowles is scheduled to interview in Detroit on Wednesday and Denver on Thursday. As previously reported by the Post-Dispatch, the Rams received permission to interview Bowles over the weekend.
As for Haslett, heís hoping to come back as head coach after taking over for the fired Scott Linehan one month into the 2008 season. After winning their first two games under Haslett, the Rams finished the season with 10 straight losses. But the team was noticeably better down the stretch. Four of the Ramsí final five games were decided by four points or less, with the Rams unable to hold late leads against Seattle (Dec. 14), San Francisco (Dec. 21) and Atlanta (Dec. 28).
Neither Devaney nor Haslett could be reached for comment.
Nine days into the offseason, only one other interview is known to have taken place. And that was a preliminary interview with Green Bay assistant head coach-linebackers Winston Moss on Saturday. Former New York Giants head coach Jim Fassel is scheduled for a preliminary interview in St. Louis on Thursday.
Only Devaney, former NFL personnel executive Bobby Beathard, and Rams director of player personnel Lawrence McCutcheon sit in on the preliminary interviews.
Club ownership participates in interviews involving finalists