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Tag:St. Louis Rams
Posted on: January 16, 2012 3:50 pm
 

Report: Gregg Williams leaves Saints for Rams

Reunited and it feels so good. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Sunday night we passed along a report that the Rams were offering Brian Schottenheimer their offensive coordinator position and also mentioned the likelihood of Gregg Williams leaving the Saints to join Jeff Fisher in St. Louis. Though there's been no confirmation of the former news, the latter appears to have happened, as Williams reportedly will join Fisher with the Rams.

Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network reports that Williams, who's contract was up in New Orleans, is leaving the Saints to complete the Titans reunion.

Williams worked with Fisher in Tennessee from 1997 through 2000 before leaving to take the Bills head-coaching gig. In his final season with the Titans, his defense was the top-ranked unit in the NFL. After leaving Buffalo, Williams worked with the Redskins and Jaguars before helping lead the Saints to a takeaway-fueled championship defense and a Super Bowl victory.

His last two years haven't been as impressive, however, and he was potentially headed to an awkward contract situation until Fisher took the job in St. Louis.

Williams will take on a pretty big task, as the Rams were 26th in the NFL in points allowed and 22nd in yards allowed. The Rams also ranked 23rd in interceptions but were decent at sacking opponents.

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 3:50 pm
 

Report: Gregg Williams leaves Saints for Rams

Reunited and it feels so good. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Sunday night we passed along a report that the Rams were offering Brian Schottenheimer their offensive coordinator position and also mentioned the likelihood of Gregg Williams leaving the Saints to join Jeff Fisher in St. Louis. Though there's been no confirmation of the former news, the latter appears to have happened, as Williams reportedly will join Fisher with the Rams.

Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network reports that Williams, who's contract was up in New Orleans, is leaving the Saints to complete the Titans reunion.

Williams worked with Fisher in Tennessee from 1997 through 2000 before leaving to take the Bills head-coaching gig. In his final season with the Titans, his defense was the top-ranked unit in the NFL. After leaving Buffalo, Williams worked with the Redskins and Jaguars before helping lead the Saints to a takeaway-fueled championship defense and a Super Bowl victory.

His last two years haven't been as impressive, however, and he was potentially headed to an awkward contract situation until Fisher took the job in St. Louis.

Williams will take on a pretty big task, as the Rams were 26th in the NFL in points allowed and 22nd in yards allowed. The Rams also ranked 23rd in interceptions but were decent at sacking opponents.

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 12:21 am
 

Report: Rams offer Brian Schottenheimer OC job

Brian Schottenheimer's reportedly been offered the Rams OC gig. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Brian Schottenheimer's unceremonious departure from the Jets cooled most of the chatter about him landing a head-coaching gig, but several teams showed interest in bringing him on as their offensive coordinator. And now the Rams have reportedly offered him the position.

Schottenheimer was mentioned as a candidate for the Falcons offensive coordinator position, but Dirk Koetter landed that gig on Sunday. On Saturday, a report emerged that the Rams were interested in Schottey, and on Sunday evening, NFL.com's Mike Lombardi reported that St. Louis offered him the position.

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Lombardi writes that Schottenheimer is prepared to accept the job and "all that's left to make it official is for the contract to be completed." It's not surprising that Schottenheimer, who's stock dipped at the same pace as the Jets offensive production in 2011, would take the job.

But it's unlikely that Rams fans will be too thrilled: the Jets never finished better than 17th in passing offense and only once finished in the top 10 in total offense for a season under Schottenheimer.

The failures of Mark Sanchez to progress as a passer isn't exactly hopeful news for Rams fans either; Sam Bradford took a big step back in 2011 after a really promising rookie season. While injuries, failures on the offensive line and a lack of weapons didn't help, there's reason to be concerned.

Fisher's decision on the other side of the ball may come under some heat as well: it's believed that he'll bring -- or try to bring -- Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to St. Louis. Williams coached under Fisher in Tennessee before taking the head coaching job in Buffalo in 2001.

The Saints defense is aggressive (their No. 2 ranking in takeaways in 2009 is precisely why they won the Super Bowl), but that's not always a good thing; just look to the final five minutes of their playoff loss to the 49ers and the inability of Williams' calls to avoid giving Alex Smith single-coverage looks to Vernon Davis.

Both Schottenheimer and Williams have had success before, so it's not like this can't work. But like Williams defense, the result for both guys could be boom or bust.

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Posted on: January 16, 2012 12:21 am
 

Report: Rams offer Brian Schottenheimer OC job

Brian Schottenheimer's reportedly been offered the Rams OC gig. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Brian Schottenheimer's unceremonious departure from the Jets cooled most of the chatter about him landing a head-coaching gig, but several teams showed interest in bringing him on as their offensive coordinator. And now the Rams have reportedly offered him the position.

Schottenheimer was mentioned as a candidate for the Falcons offensive coordinator position, but Dirk Koetter landed that gig on Sunday. On Saturday, a report emerged that the Rams were interested in Schottey, and on Sunday evening, NFL.com's Mike Lombardi reported that St. Louis offered him the position.

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Lombardi writes that Schottenheimer is prepared to accept the job and "all that's left to make it official is for the contract to be completed." It's not surprising that Schottenheimer, who's stock dipped at the same pace as the Jets offensive production in 2011, would take the job.

But it's unlikely that Rams fans will be too thrilled: the Jets never finished better than 17th in passing offense and only once finished in the top 10 in total offense for a season under Schottenheimer.

The failures of Mark Sanchez to progress as a passer isn't exactly hopeful news for Rams fans either; Sam Bradford took a big step back in 2011 after a really promising rookie season. While injuries, failures on the offensive line and a lack of weapons didn't help, there's reason to be concerned.

Fisher's decision on the other side of the ball may come under some heat as well: it's believed that he'll bring -- or try to bring -- Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to St. Louis. Williams coached under Fisher in Tennessee before taking the head coaching job in Buffalo in 2001.

The Saints defense is aggressive (their No. 2 ranking in takeaways in 2009 is precisely why they won the Super Bowl), but that's not always a good thing; just look to the final five minutes of their playoff loss to the 49ers and the inability of Williams' calls to avoid giving Alex Smith single-coverage looks to Vernon Davis.

Both Schottenheimer and Williams have had success before, so it's not like this can't work. But like Williams defense, the result for both guys could be boom or bust.

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Posted on: January 14, 2012 4:08 pm
 

Report: Rams interested in Brian Schottenheimer

Brian Schottenheimer isn't in line for head-coaching jobs, but he's in demand as an offensive coordinator. (AP)

By Ryan Wilson

Rex Ryan announced at the Jets end-of-season press conference on January 2 that he'd welcome Brian Schottenheimer back as offensive coordinator should he not land a head-coaching gig. Well, Schottenheimer hasn't been mentioned as a candidate for any of the various vacancies around the league but he's not coming back to New York.

"After much thought and consideration, I have decided not to return to the New York Jets in 2012," Schottenheimer said in a statement issued by the team on Tuesday. "I am very proud of what we have accomplished in the six years I have been here. I am grateful for the relationships that I have with our players and coaches and appreciate the hard work and dedication that went into our success."

The Jets have since hired Tony Sparano, the former Dolphins head coach, who wants to get back to "square one" with embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez and promises to "be more explosive" in the process.

Schottenheimer, meanwhile, has been mentioned as a possibility with the Falcons. On Saturday, he interviewed with Nick Saban about the University of Alabama offensive coordinator's gig, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Jim Thomas reports that he's also on the Rams' radar to fill the position vacated when Josh McDaniels returned to the mothership in New England.

"Multiple league sources told the Post-Dispatch on Saturday that Jeff Fisher is interested in hiring Schottenheimer as his offensive coordinator with the Rams," Thomas wrote Saturday.

"…Fisher has been given the green light by the Rams to 'officially' talk to potential members of his coaching staff. Fisher has been informally working on his staff over the past week or so as he contemplated whether to coach for St. Louis or Miami."

The appeal for Schottenheimer in St. Louis is that the Rams have a legitimate franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford. The downside: Bradford struggled with injuries and consistency in 2011 (we could say that about just about everybody on the team) and the team won two games. 

On the other side of the ball, Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is expected to give serious consideration to joining Fisher in St. Louis in the same role. The two worked together in Tennessess, and Williams' contract expires after the 2011 season.

NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reports that "Williams has grown close to Sean Payton" but will "be torn when Fisher comes calling."

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 7:02 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 7:03 pm
 

Dolphins owner 'not discouraged' about Fisher

Miami owner Stephen Ross says next coach 'with something to prove is going to be better' than Fisher. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

It took a while, but Jeff Fisher finally made a decision Friday, choosing the Rams over the Dolphins as his next head-coaching destination.

Miami owner Stephen Ross has now lost out on his top candidate two years running. Last offseason, Jim Harbaugh opted to say in the Bay Area instead of moving to South Beach, and the 49ers, 13-3 and division champs during the regular season, are still in the playoffs. But Ross says he's "not discouraged at all" by the latest snub.

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“I have mixed feelings [about Fisher choosing St. Louis over Miami],” Ross told the Sun Sentinel's Dave Hyde. “But I feel very confident we’ll find the best man for this organization. I feel very good about it. I’m not discouraged at all.”

Also worth pointing out: the Dolphins don't have a 1a) after Fisher. It's not quite back-to-the-drawing board time, but there aren't any big names on the list, either. That's not necessarily a bad thing, just the reality in Miami right now.

The club released a statement Friday afternoon admitting what everyone already knew ("We did have conversations with Jeff Fisher about becoming the head coach of the Dolphins.") before trying to assuage fans' concerns about the team's immediate future ("We are excited about those people under consideration, and we are confident that the individual we eventually select will be the right person to lead this football team.”)

CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Chris Perkins provides details:

"Miami’s next head coach could come from a group of interviewees that includes Todd Bowles, the interim coach; Dave Toub, Chicago’s special teams coach; and Joe Philbin, Green Bay’s offensive coordinator. It’s conceivable Miami could extend its coaching search beyond its interviewees. Mike Mularkey accepted the Jacksonville job."

Perkins adds: "Interestingly, all the former full-time Miami coaches that aren’t retired have relatively high-profile jobs. Tony Sparano was recently named the New York Jets’ offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron. is Baltimore’s offensive coordinator, Nick Saban just won a national title with Alabama, and Dave Wannstedt is Buffalo’s defensive coordinator. Don Shula and Jimmy Johnson are retired and aren't coming back to coaching."

Not to worry, though. The owner of a team that has made one playoff appearance since 2002, and last won a playoff game in 2000 feels good about the franchise's future.

"It's funny, in the back of my mind, I've really believed you go with people who have something to prove and are younger. That's how I've always worked in my business. I was always fighting that idea in my mind while I was talking to (Fisher). Something told me if I get someone like him with that experience it'd be good. At the same time, I don't feel lost. I believe someone really good who has something to prove is going to be better."

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 3:35 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 3:44 pm
 

Winners/losers from the Jeff Fisher saga

In every contest, even coach hirings, there are winners and losers. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

With the news that Jeff Fisher picked the Rams over the Dolphins now confirmed by CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman, we figured we'd take a look at the saga from the knee-jerk perspective of picking winners and losers.

Trust us, someone always wins. And someone always loses. It's life. Leave yours in the comments.

WINNERS

Jeff Fisher: Stop us if we're being too obvious, but the dude straight cleaned up, you guys. We don't have contract details yet, but Mike Freeman's already reported that the Dolphins feel "used." If that's the case, Fisher's getting a pile of money from the Rams and the word on the street is he'll be picking his own general manager. He got everything he wanted and more when he became the top candidate in the coaching candidate class, even if he's not worth it.

Mike Zimmer: As Albert Breer of the NFL Network notes, Zimmer now moves to the front of the Dolphins coaching list. He's previously worked with 'Fins general manager Jeff Ireland in Dallas, and could be a good fit in Miami. He's also getting mentioned for the Buccaneers gig (and will interview with Tampa Bay), which means the Dolphins might feel a need to hurry things up on Zimmer and get something done, which could land him his first job as a head coach. At the very least, he has leverage now.

Carolina Panthers: When Jay Gruden pulled out of the running for the Rams gig, it looked like Fisher picking the Dolphins could really open up the door for St. Louis to hire Panthers offensive coordinator Rod Chudzinski. Instead, Chud's primary option is to bolt for the Bucs, which seems less likely.

Gregg Williams: Williams is doing just fine with the Saints now, but his contract's up and there's a decent chance he bolts to work with his old boss in Tennessee. It's not like he was going to get canned from New Orleans (we don't expect him to anyway), but now he has leverage with both the Saints and Rams and could potentially pick the job he wants. Or, if New Orleans wanted to move along after a bad defensive year, Williams wouldn't be burnt. Plus, if he can turn around the Rams defense, he'll likely parlay that into another head-coaching gig.

Lake Dawson: The current VP of Football Operations for the Titans has already interviewed with the Rams. He seems like a pretty solid bet to land the general manager position with St. Louis now.

Mustaches: Fisher's got one a stash that's strong enough to grow icicles, store lunch for later and generally support the weight of a pint of Guinness head. Him patrolling the sidelines for an NFL football team only enhances the manly allure of lip fur.

LOSERS

Stephen Ross: For the second year in a row, Ross' Dolphins have come in second place while chasing a big-name coaching candidate. Last year it was Jim Harbaugh (how's that working out for the 49ers?) and this year it was Fisher. At least this time Ross wasn't already employing a coach when he went chasing after a big name.

Stan Kroenke: If the reports that Fisher doesn't have a contract are true, um, WUT? Why would Kroenke let himself get in this situation? No general manager, a coach who "picked" him and no agreement with that coach in place other than "you get power"? Doesn't this mean Fisher kind of runs the negotiations on his contract and salary from here on out?

Jeff Ireland: Whether or not the rumors about Fisher demanding power are true is irrelevant, because they're out there, and that means it looks like, to many people, that the Dolphins front office is a bit of a mess. (The "Carl Peterson might be running his own coaching search" rumors don't help much either.)

St. Louis Rams: Oh yeah, we went there. Though it's entirely possible that Fisher will be a good hire and he'll lead the Rams back to respectability quickly, St. Louis is still going all in on Fisher at this point. What if they're wrong and just handed a pile of cash, the power to select a general manager and a long contract to a guy who only won 10-plus games six times in his 17-year career with the Titans? Oh, right. They did just do that.

Justin Blackmon: Given that the Titans only once used a first-round pick on a wide receiver (1998, Kevin Dyson), it would be somewhat surprising to see them pull the trigger on Blackmon at No. 2 overall. Obviously this can change depending on how he works out and what sort of trades emerge, but Fisher's spent a lot of picks on defense during his days in Tennessee.

LeBron James: Because one of Fisher's highly-publicized choices was the Miami area, everyone and his brother will now use the line "Take his talents to St. Louis." It won't ever die, LeBron.

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Posted on: January 13, 2012 2:12 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2012 4:05 pm
 

Jeff Fisher picks Rams over Dolphins

St. Louis has replaced Steve Spagnuolo with Jeff Fisher. (Getty Images)
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By Will Brinson

Jeff Fisher picked the Rams over the Dolphins, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman has confirmed.

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Fisher stated last week that he was down to two choices: Miami and St. Louis. One (Miami) featured an owner willing to pay big, big bucks. The other (St. Louis) featured a young, star quarterback in Sam Bradford, potentially more front office control and the No. 2 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Fisher chose the latter and he'll be roaming the sidelines for the Rams in 2012.

"I'm pumped," fullback Britt Miller told The Associated Press. "I figured that because he wanted a little more control that Miami was probably not the place for him. I'm really pumped."

Fisher's been the hottest coaching name this offseason, getting mentioned in rumors involving the Rams, Dolphins, Colts, Buccaneers and even the not-even-vacant position in Chicago, which was supposedly Fisher's dream job.

It's believed that Fisher could bring current Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who worked with Fisher in Tennessee, to join him in St. Louis.

Momentum reportedly swung back to the Dolphins earlier in the week, but here's an interesting tidbit from Yahoo Sports Mike Silver: Fisher was willing to meet Dolphins owner Stephen Ross "halfway" on personnel matters, letting general manager Jeff Ireland still retain plenty of power. However, Ross/Ireland reportedly weren't willing to budge and it may have ultimately cost them a chance to land Fisher.

Reports also indicate that Fisher will choose his own general manager in St. Louis, so the amount of leverage he pulled out of these two teams really can't be overstated.

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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