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Tag:Steve Spagnuolo
Posted on: January 7, 2012 11:37 am
Edited on: January 8, 2012 1:18 pm
 

Josh McDaniels to Patriots, starts immediately

Josh McDaniels will join New England immediately (US Presswire).

By Josh Katzowitz

With the news that Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien has taken the Penn State head coaching job, we told you Josh McDaniels was scheduled to interview for his old job in New England. The Associated Press has confirmed that not only will McDaniels get that job, beginning in 2012, but he’ll join the team immediately in time for this year’s playoffs.

The story was originally reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

McDaniels had a terrible year in his only season as the Rams offensive coordinator -- St. Louis ranked 31st in yards gained and dead last in points scored -- but he had so much success previously in New England that the move makes perfect sense from  a Patriots perspective. O'Brien, meanwhile, will return to New England until the season is finished.

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Ever since leaving New England, though, McDaniels hasn't had a real good run of success. When he took over the Broncos head coaching job, the team started the year 6-0, but during the rest of the 2009 season and into 2010, Denver lost 17 of 22 games. He was fired 13 games into last season. Then, he took the Rams offensive coordinator job under head coach Steve Spagnuolo, but that offense, through injuries and a unit that had a tough time adjusting to the new scheme, was a disaster.

Now, McDaniels returns to the position he held from 2006-08, when the Patriots never finished lower than 11th in total offense and were the top NFL offense in 2007.

The Patriots are the No. 1 seed in the AFC, and they won't have to play until next Saturday in Foxboro, so McDaniels would have at least a week to reingratiate himself to the team. As CSNNE's Tom E. Curran retweets, McDaniels' offense already has faced the Steelers, Ravens, Bengals, Packers and Saints this year, and that would help New England's prep if it has to face those squads in the postseason (out of those teams, the Patriots have played only Pittsburgh this year).

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Posted on: January 3, 2012 3:44 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2012 3:47 pm
 

Pick-6 Podcast: MDS, end-of-year awards

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

The playoffs are upon us but before we go full throttle for five more weeks of football, we first take a moment to look back on the 2011 regular season.

First, we discuss the latest names to join the ranks of the unemployed: Raheem Morris, Steve Spagnuolo and Bill and Chris Polian, as well as a Tuesday addendum to Black Monday's victims, former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo.

Then the conversation turns to our best and worst of 2011 list, from league MVP to biggest free-agent bust. 

Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com joins the podcast give us his awards, discuss the Lions' tall task of facing the Saints in New Orleans, the Steelers-Broncos matchup, and what the future holds for the Colts now that the Polians aren't in the front office.

Talking starts promptly...

(Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes? And if you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.)


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Posted on: January 2, 2012 4:27 pm
 

Report: Fisher will interview for Rams job

FisherBy Josh Katzowitz

Earlier this month, Jeff Fisher’s agent said his client would listen to anyone who might be interested in speaking to him about a coaching vacancy.

According to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, the first team to show interest is the Rams, who will interview Fisher for the job this week. King writes that he expects the organization to go after Fisher and then try to find a new general manager.

Clearly, the Rams are moving on quickly after firing coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney today, and as CBSSports.com’s Will Brinson pointed out in his list of possible replacements, Fisher has to be one of the organization’s top choices.

Mike Freeman reported today that Fisher would have interest in the Colts or Buccaneers jobs but that he wouldn’t participate in mass interviews and that he would he “likely only interview with one or two teams. Possibly three.”

So, if he’s interviewing with the Rams, he clearly has interest, and with a franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford and defensive corps that has nice pieces, the Rams seem to have a pretty good chance at landing one of the most sought-after coaches in this offseason.

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:19 am
Edited on: January 2, 2012 1:45 pm
 

Rams officially fire Steve Spagnuolo, GM Devaney

The Rams are cleaning house on Monday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Monday, St. Louis fired third-year coach Steve Spagnuolo as well as general manager Billy Devaney, beginning a house-cleaning process in order to get the franchise turned around after another two-win season.

The team announced both of the firings around 11:30 a.m. ET.

Black Monday

"I would like to personally thank Steven and Billy for their dedication to the St. Louis Rams over the past several seasons," owner Stan Kroenke said in a statement released by the team. "This was a difficult decision for many reasons. We have tremendous respect for them as people and professionals. No one individual is to blame for this disappointing season and we all must hold ourselves accountable.

"However, we believe it’s in the best interest of the St. Louis Rams to make theses changes as we continue our quest to build a team that consistently competes for playoffs and championships. We wish Steve, Billy and their families the very best in the future and thank them again for their commitment to our organization and the city of St. Louis.”

Ryan Wilson's already detailed everything you need to know about Spags' tenure, when the news of his firing broke earlier Monday, and there's a good chance he bounces back quickly in terms of landing a coordinator job, despite

Devaney, 12-52 as Rams general manager, was hired in 2008 after working under Rich McKay with the Atlanta Falcons and his first major move with St. Louis was hiring Spags.

Things looked to be turning the corner for the Rams in 2010, when they fell one game short of a division title thanks to Sam Bradford's outstanding rookie year, but everything collapsed back to Earth in 2011, as the Rams won just two games and ended up with the second-worst record in the NFL, behind only the Colts.

In Devaney's four years with the team, the Rams drafted with the second, second, first and fourteenth picks.

Not helping matters for the duo is the fact that Kroenke's status: Kroenke became majority owner of the Rams late in 2010

There's been plenty of rumors surrounding a tandem replacement for Devaney that involves A.J. Smith (if he's let go from the Chargers) and Jon Gruden (if he leaves ESPN).

Either way, as Clark Judge noted, it would be wise of the team to find a general manager and coach who're offensive-minded enough to bring in talent and work/develop Bradford into an elite NFL quarterback.

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:27 am
Edited on: January 2, 2012 11:28 am
 

Steve Spagnuolo fired by Rams

The coaching hot seat begins to claim victims: St. Louis dumps Steve Spagnuolo after three seasons

By Ryan Wilson

Steve Spagnuolo made his name during Super Bowl XLII, when he devised a game plan to stop the thought-to-be-unstoppable 2007 New England Patriots, who were 18-0 heading into the championship game and went back to Foxboro 18-1. A year later, Spagnuolo replaced Jim Haslett (who had replaced Scott Linehan) as the Rams head coach.

Now, three years later, he'll be replaced by the next guy the organization thinks can save the Rams. On Monday, St. Louis fired Spagnuolo after going 10-38 in three season, including one win in '09 and two in '11. The news was first reported by Fox Sports' Jay Glazer.

Much like Raheem Morris in Tampa Bay, Spagnuolo may have been a victim of his own success. In 2010, the Rams were 7-9 and a Week 17 victory away from winning the division and going to the playoffs for the first time since 2004 (where, incidentally, they qualified as an 8-8 team). Now St. Louis is headed for the No. 2 overall pick in April's draft two years after they selected quarterback Sam Bradford with the first-overall pick.

"We considered some very qualified and outstanding candidates for this position but we kept coming back to Steve Spagnuolo," General Manager Billy Devaney said in January 2009. "Steve has been on some outstanding defensive staffs during his 10 seasons in the NFL. He represented what we were looking for."

And that was the plan: Spags would bolster the Rams' porous defense (in 2008, they were 30th, according to Football Ousiders; 27th against the pass, 32nd against the run). Except that didn't happen: St. Louis ranked 31st in '09, 20th in '10 and 19th in '11. It was an improvement, but clearly not enough to change the Rams' fortunes. Exacerbating matters: the offense was worse, even with Bradford under center for parts of the last two seasons.

(Before Spags) 2008 - 32nd overall, 32nd passing, 29th rushing
(With Spags) 2009 - 32nd, 32nd, 25th
2010 - 30th, 27th, 31st
2011 - 32nd, 31st, 32nd

Now what? There were reports last week that Jon Gruden and A.J. Smith could be headed to St. Louis but Gruden said later that he's returning to ESPN. So the Rams will look elsewhere. As for Spagnuolo, he could end up in Philadelphia as the Eagles' defensive coordinator.

That could mean curtains for Eagles incumbent Juan Castillo, the longtime offensive assistant hired as the defensive coordinator prior to the season. There were reports earlier this month that Reid's future in Philly was contingent on parting ways with Castillo. (Reid later denied it.)  Of course, Castillo could return to coaching the offensive line, a position he held from 1998-2010 in Philly. As for Spags' imminent arrival, there are some logistics to take care of first.

Spags is certainly qualified for the job but the Eagles also have Jim Washburn as their defensive line coach. Washburn came to Philly from Tennessee and he brought the "wide nine" with him. It's a scheme built on getting pressure from the front four and involves little blitzing. Spags was a zone-blitzing maniac during his DC days.

Whatever happens, Spagnuolo's talents will be in demand. And if he again proves himself as a coordinator he'll likely get another chance at a head-coaching gig down the line.

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Posted on: January 1, 2012 12:47 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2012 1:09 pm
 

Casserly: 'Strong sentiment' for Caldwell return

Caldwell appreciates the Colts trying to save his gig. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

There's a lot of chatter about potential coaching changes around the NFL, with Black Monday looming in less than 24 hours. Jim Caldwell of the Colts, Norv Turner of the Chargers, Andy Reid of the Eagles and Steve Spanguolo of the Rams are all considered on the proverbial hot seat.

The Giants Tom Coughlin is much-maligned in New York too, but CBS Sports Charley Casserly reported on Sunday that Coughlin's gig is safe ("he will be back") regardless of whether or not the Giants make the playoffs this season.

Casserly also broke down the status for the other guys -- Reid is the safest of the bunch by far.

"I expect Andy Reid to be back as head coach of the Eagles next year," Casserly reported on The NFL Today. "As far as defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, as of yesterday, no decision had been made. However, it is Andy Reid's total decision."

That could make for an interesting in-house argument in Philly. So could Caldwell's status as head coach, according to Casserly.

"There's strong sentiment in the building to bring him back because of how hard the Colts have played this year," Casserly told James Brown.


That's pretty shocking. The Colts have won two games in a row and are looking for three against Jacksonville but even the late-season run seemed like a classic case of too little, too late. Apparently Caldwell's still got a shot at saving his gig, which would be ironic, considering he'd probably have to lose out on Andrew Luck to do so.

Not having a shot? Spags and Norv, according to Casserly.

"I do not expect [Turner] to be back as head coach [of the Chargers], however, I look for him to get many opportunities as an offensive coordinator in the league," Casserly said.

One of those spots could be with the Jets, as we noted earlier when talking about Rex Ryan's candle-lighting that Norv's a candidate to replace Brian Schottenheimer, depending on how the dominos Sunday.

Spags is in a similar boat, Casserly reported, as he'll be out as head coach and chased by several teams as a coordinator.

"In St. Louis, expect changes to be made and Steve Spagnuolo to be out as head coach," Casserly said Sunday. "However, he will be a highly sought-after defensive coordinator next year."

To sum up: heads are going to roll in the offseason (just like every year). The question is just how many.


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Posted on: December 31, 2011 3:23 pm
 

For the gambler in you, Week 17

By Josh Katzowitz

Each week, we’ll take the best -- and most clever -- odds collected by Bovada for the upcoming week and give our take. This is important stuff, perhaps the most important post you’ll read all week. Because if you can’t lose money while watching a game in which you have absolutely no effect, what’s the point of watching sports at all?

Will the winner of the Giants vs. Cowboys game win their opening playoff game?   
    
Yes 5/7

No 6/5

Thanks to the handy help of our post-Week 16 playoff picture, we can tell you that the Giants-Cowboys winner will end up as the No. 4 seed. That means the victor will play either the Lions or the Falcons in the wild card round. If Detroit beats the Packers, the Lions would travel to the New Meadowlands or Cowboys Stadium, but if they lose to Green Bay and the Falcons beat the Buccaneers, it’d be Atlanta with the No. 5 seed. I favor the Falcons to be the No. 5 seed, and I’d favor the Giants, but not the Cowboys, to beat them. But if the Lions come through, I think they’d beat either squad.

All of that means I have no idea. But I guess I’d go “no,” if for no other reason than this is a game it just feels like the Cowboys and Giants would lose.

How many head coaches will be fired between Sunday, January 1st and the 1st Playoff game kicks off?

Over 3 (-140)

Under 3 (EVEN)

Well, Jack Del Rio, Tony Sparano and Todd Haley are already gone. Steve Spagnuolo, Raheem Morris and Norv Turner are soon to be (probably). I think Jim Caldwell will survive. As will Andy Reid. I guess the best way to approach this bet is to avoid it, because I don’t see more or less than three coaches getting axed.

Who will finish the 2012 regular season with more TD passes? (Note: Both quarterbacks are tied with 20 touchdowns)      

Cam Newton (CAR) QB 7/5       

Andy Dalton (CIN) QB 8/5       

Tie 7/4       

Newton faces the Saints, one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Dalton faces the Ravens, one of the best overall defenses in the NFL. Newton likely will spend much of his day throwing the ball because the Saints probably will jump out to a big lead. Dalton could be involved in a run-oriented, defensive game. Thus, go with Newton to throw more touchdown passes than Dalton.

Which team will win the Number 1 pick in the 2012 NFL draft?  

Indianapolis Colts 1/3

St. Louis Rams 2/1

The Rams play the 49ers, and St. Louis almost assuredly will lose. The Colts play host to the Jaguars, where Indianapolis, riding that two-game unbeaten streak, very well could win. I think the Rams take the No. 1 pick for next year and then trade it for a boatload of draft picks.

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Posted on: December 28, 2011 6:12 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2011 9:24 pm
 

Al Harris retires, says 'I had an awesome time'

HarrisBy Josh Katzowitz

A day after 37-year-old Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor decided that it was time to retire, 37-year-old Rams cornerback Al Harris will follow suit.

Unlike Taylor, who said he’s unsure of what’s next for him, Harris knows exactly what he wants. He wants to coach football, according to Rapid Reporter Ron Clements.

On Wednesday, though, Harris, currently on season-ending injured reserve, thought back on his 14-year career that included two Pro Bowl appearances and a string of strong years playing in the Packers secondary.

“I had an awesome time,” Harris said. “I thank (Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo) for giving me an opportunity to come and help out. I hope I left a positive impression on everybody.”

He also took the time to defend Spagnuolo, who most likely is on his way out as St. Louis’ coach.

“Coaches can only coach,” he said. “I think Spags has done a great job of getting guys to buy in. That’s the hardest part when you’ve got a relatively young team. … Injuries, you can’t help. … My heart goes out to (Spagnuolo). I know how much work he’s put in.”

While Harris was a dependable player in his heyday, his last three years have ended with trips to the IR list. After he tackled Browns receiver Josh Cribbs on Nov. 13, he tore his ACL -- an ACL he’ll have repaired by surgery next month -- Harris decided it was time to say goodbye to pro football.

And he’s not going to change his mind.

“I’m going to come back to coach. I’ve got my mind made up about that,” he said. “Professionally, I hit every single goal I set out for myself. Now it’s time to turn the page and set a new set of goals.”

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com