1. Jim Johnson
(Defensive Coordinator, Philadelphia)
I think Johnson is overdue for a head coaching gig. He's always managed to make the most of his personnel and is a master of zone blitzing schemes. The Rams would be a great fit for him, as the offense is off-the-shelf ready, and he could concentrate on building the type of defense that kept the Eagles in the hunt over the past several years.
2. Ron Rivera
(Defensive Coordinator, Chicago)
Only a hair under Johnson as my top choice. He has played under Buddy Ryan, and has been an understudy to Jim Johnson and Lovie Smith. I also like the idea of a young coach who can have a long tenure with the team.
3. Jerry Gray
(Defensive Coordinator, Buffalo)
Seems like he has cooled as a prospect, but he's still high on my list. Despite this season's failings, he has done a good job with the Bills defense. He's also very personable and has a great history with the Rams.
4. Tim Lewis
(Defensive Coordinator, N.Y. Giants)
Another long-time DC at Pittsburgh and New York who is due for a Head Coaching job. Has done a good job developing pass rushers, which the Rams could really use.
5. Art Shell
(Former HC, L.A. Raiders)
I, like many others, can't figure out why Shell has never been given a second chance to coach. His record with the Raiders, though flawed, was admirable. I'd welcome his return with the Rams.
Other acceptable candidates:
Jim Schwartz (DC, Tennessee), Mike Zimmer (DC, Dallas).
1. Mike Tice
(Former HC, Minnesota)
He's the one guy out there who, if hired, would test my ability to remain a Ram fan. I just can't stand the guy. He is classless (ticket scalping, reaction to boat trip), clueless (blowing 2004 season on ill-advised WR pass), and just not a very good coach.
2. Norv Turner
(Former HC, Oakland)
He's a modern day Rich Kotite. He keeps getting high level jobs, leaving most of us asking "why?"
3. Jim Haslett
(Former HC, New Orleans)
I just don't go for the whole "I'm a tough guy" routine. Plus, one could argue that he had done extremely poorly with some decent talent in New Orleans.
4. Herman Edwards
(HC, N.Y. Jets)
Not sure he really is a candidate, though some have mentioned him. Not a bad coach, but certainly not worth giving draft choices to the Jets.
5. Any Offensive Coordinator
I just don't think the Rams should hire an offensive guy as the Head Coach. With Bulger, Holt, Bruce, Jackson, Curtis, McDonald, Pace and Barron, the offense will be able to move the ball and score points. Defense needs to be the primary focus.