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Tag:St. Louis Rams
Posted on: January 12, 2012 8:48 am
 

Sounds like Fisher is leaning toward Miami

FisherBy Josh Katzowitz

By the end of Thursday, this post could be obsolete. Hell, it might be outdated by the end of breakfast.

Or Jeff Fisher could continue making us wait as he tries to figure out his next move and whether he wants to be the coach of the Rams or the Dolphins. While at least one person on Twitter speculated that Fisher was stalling so he could determine what new Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and owner Jim Irsay will do with coach Jim Caldwell, NFL.com is speculating that Fisher’s most likely option involves him taking his talents to South Beach.

Fisher interviewed with the Rams and Dolphins last week, and apparently since then, he’s been torn on which job to take.

Some believe the Dolphins can offer more money, but others think that the Rams already have a franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford that could make Fisher’s transition easier. Some theorize that Fisher isn’t all that fond of Bradford, while others wonder how enthralled he’d be with the Dolphins organizational structure. He might not like the possibility of St. Louis moving to Los Angeles, and, I don’t know, maybe he’s worried about how much of his money will go to buying sunscreen in south Florida.

But Jason La Canfora’s sources tell him that, “one of the issues holding up a deal between Fisher and the Rams is compensation … Fisher is seeking to be among the higher-paid coaches in the league, in the range of $7 million per season … Rams owner Stan Kroenke has not displayed a willingness to reach that stratosphere to this point.”

Either way, it seems like Fisher’s decision could come soon. Maybe even before you’re done reading this post.

Until then, check out this week’s latest coaching news and rumors post.

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Posted on: January 10, 2012 6:56 pm
 

Jay Gruden not interviewing, staying with Bengals

Dalton and Green should be pleased Gruden's staying in Cincy. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Jay Gruden, thanks to the work he did with Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton, was a hot name in coaching circles for open positions with a number of teams. But he's not going anywhere in 2012.

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Gruden's decided to stay with the Bengals and continue working with Dalton and the young Cincinnati offense in 2012.

"I’m happy here," Gruden said, per Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I like working for Marvin (Lewis) and with the team. I feel like we’re just scratching the surface on offense, but we have a lot of good, young players and have the potential to do even better next season."

Gruden was believed to be a possibility for the Jaguars opening, and the Rams called the Bengals seeking permission to speak with Gruden, but he declined any opportunities to interview for anything other than his current job.

This is curious for a couple of reasons. One, Gruden wasn't taking a job -- he was just interviewing, and there's nothing illegal, immoral or otherwise about that. Two, though the Bengals made the playoffs and Dalton had a great season, Cincy got lucky with their schedule.

In 2011, they played the AFC South and NFC West, two of the weaker divisions in football. In 2012 they'll play the NFC East and AFC West, which is substantially tougher. (Although, hey, bonus: Carson Palmer plays the Bengals!)

That being said, Dalton and A.J. Green, along with the two first-round picks Cincy has in 2012 (thanks Carson!), it's possible that the Bengals could continue developing into a potent offense.

If that happens, Gruden's name will continue to be mentioned in the coaching rumor mill, and it's possible he'll have more opportunities for a coaching gig than he had this offseason.

As we've said on the podcast time and time again, just because there are only 32 NFL coaching jobs doesn't mean you have to take one when it's open.

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Posted on: January 8, 2012 6:11 pm
 

Casserly: Rams 'going to stick with Sam Bradford'

By Will Brinson

This isn't particularly shocking news (to some, anyway), but the Rams won't be shopping for a quarterback in the 2012 NFL Draft and will stick with Sam Bradford as their franchise quarterback.

CBS Sports Charley Casserly reported as much on Sunday on The NFL Today, noting that the Rams are "going to stick with" Bradford (versus drafting, say, Robert Griffin III) and utilize their second pick in April's draft to improve in other areas.

"They're going to stick with Sam Bradford," Casserly told James Brown Sunday. "If Griffin comes out that second pick has value. If he doesn't come out, it doesn't. I would ask for two No. 1 picks and another pick depending on where that team is [sitting]. Unless I can get a second No. 1 I'm taking [Justin] Blackmon and now I've got a target for Bradford."

St. Louis has a pretty good shot at getting the second first-rounder for that No. 2 pick, especially with the Redskins potentially needing to jump the Browns to grab RG3 if they want him.

The problem then becomes whether or not the Browns are interested in Blackmon; the Rams certainly want to accumulate as many picks as possible, and getting maximum trade value for the No. 2 pick is paramount for them this season.

But they're going to lose Brandon Lloyd this offseason, and you have to wonder how long they can go without investing heavily in a top-end wideout to pair with their franchise quarterback.


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Posted on: January 8, 2012 1:10 pm
 

Sherman close to landing Bucs gig, Chilly as OC?

Could Sherman and Chilly wind up in Tampa together? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The Buccaneers are currently searching for a head coach and as CBSSports.com's Clark Judge reported on Friday, they want a disciplinarian first and foremost.

Which is why it makes sense for the NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora to report Sunday that Tampa Bay is closing in on Mike Sherman as their choice to take over for the recently-fired Raheem Morris.

LaCanfora reports that Sherman is "well-positioned" to land the gig and that "a decision could be announced this week."

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Sherman was mentioned as a possible candidate for the Rams gig, but his interview with the Bucs last week apparently went well and he fits the profile for what they want (read: the opposite of Morris.)

And LaCanfora has an interesting possibility for a member of Sherman's staff too: former Vikings head coach Brad Childress, who's been out of coaching since being relieved of his duties in Minnesota in 2010.

Though Sherman and Childress haven't worked together previously, they do come from the same coaching tree. Chilly came up under Andy Reid, who came up under Mike Holmgren, who hired Sherman as an offensive assistant in both Green Bay and Seattle.

Both run the West Coast offense and Childress helping Josh Freeman bounce back from a bad 2011 would help people remember his success as OC with the Eagles again, instead of the failures in Minnesota.

LaCanfora "wouldn't be surprised" if Childress landed in Tampa as an assistant but also notes that the Browns, who are searching for an offensive coordinator with West-Coast history, are a possible landing spot for Childress as well.

Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur left the Eagles (where he succeeded Chilly as quarterbacks coach) to be offensive coordinator with the Rams before taking the head-coaching job in St. Louis, so either landing spot is absolutely a viable possibility.

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Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:20 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 11:24 pm
 

Report: Pats set to interview Josh McDaniels

McDaniels could be headed home with Brady and Belichick. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Despite a miserable 2011 season as Rams offensive coordinator (St. Louis ranked 31st in yards per game and last in points per game), Josh McDaniels remains in pretty hot demand as a coach.

The former Broncos coach was actually the only Rams coach retained in a front-office purge, but St. Louis let it be known they'll release McDaniels from his contract. At this point he's a leading candidate for various openings in Kansas City, and now, he's set to interview with his old team, the Patriots.

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That last piece of news is courtesy of NFL Network's Albert Breer, who reports that the Pats have received permission to speak with McDaniels and will talk to him over the weekend about the offensive coordinator position vacated by Bill O'Brien's departure to Penn State.

McDaniels, of course, was O'Brien's predecessor, so there's a good chance that he'll ace the interview. Under McDaniels, the Pats offense was beyond prolific, scoring 589 points and ranking first in passing yards, total yards, points, touchdowns and net yards per attempt en route to a 16-0 regular season. (You may have heard of this team.)

Tom Curran of CSN New England noted that the "relationship [is] strong" between Bill Belichick and McDaniels, so it's unlikely that any burnt bridges would negate McDaniels desire to return.

Then there's this: wide receiver Brandon Lloyd, scheduled to be a free agent, already said he wants to go wherever McDaniels goes. Since he already knows McDaniels offense, it's likely he'd be a perfect fit in New England's offense (think a filthy rich man's Deion Branch?) as well, and combined with Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, could make the Pats offense absolutely deadly.

But McDaniels is also being courted by the Chiefs; if he's offered the head-coaching job in Kansas City, it might be too difficult for him to turn down in favor of returning to New England.

Given the choice between running the Chiefs offense and running the Patriots offense, however, it's hard to imagine him going anywhere other than New England.

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Posted on: January 6, 2012 11:05 am
 

Report: Ray Horton interviewing for Rams job

By Will Brinson

Jeff Fisher is the primary target for the Rams in their current coaching search, but another name has hopped onto St. Louis' list.

The Rams received permission to interview Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, and will talk with Horton on Friday.

Horton was previously the Steelers defensive backs coach before being hired by Ken Wisenhunt in the offseason to take over as DC in 2011. (Aside: here's a great story about him giving a cafeteria worker in Pittsburgh his Mercedes for $20 on his way out of town.)

Horton's aggressive blitzing style was a welcome change for the Cards, but the team struggled to pick up on his new scheme early on; the team struggled out to a 1-6 start and looked like they might have one of the worst defenses in the NFL early on.

But from November on, the Cardinals went 7-2 down the stretch and never gave up more than 23 points in a single game, limiting better offenses like the Eagles, Cowboys and 49ers to less than 20 in upset wins.

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In 2010 the Cardinals ranked 29th in yards allowed per game and 30th in points allowed per game. This year, despite dealing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to Philly and drafting Patrick Peterson, they improved to 18th in yards allowed per game and 16th in points allowed per game.

One thing to watch here: Horton satisfies the Rooney Rule (minority candidates) for the Rams.

If St. Louis interviews Horton and quickly moves on to hiring Jeff Fisher (which is well within their right to do), it's also a bit disingenuous to the spirit of the rule, because Horton won't actually have been given a fair shot at landing the job.

It's good for him that he'll continue to be a hot name as a potential candidate for head coaching jobs but it's a reminder that the NFL needs to fix a rule that only gives lip service to providing opportunities for minorities.

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