Paul Chryst

10 Coaching Candidates For The Rams

In an iconic scene from season nine of The SimpsonsKrusty the Klown announced his retirement to a scrum of not-so-stunned reporters. Krusty The Clown

But Krusty,” one reporter asks. “Why now? Why not twenty years ago?

It wouldn’t have been out of place for any Rams beat reporter to channel that sentiment and ask a similar question of COO Kevin Demoff when he addressed the media on Monday. Jeff Fisher‘s dismissal was long overdue and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone outside of the coach’s family who disagrees.

For now, the Rams will turn things over to special teams coordinator John Fassel on an interim basis. While this is ostensibly a chance for Fassel to impress team brass and land the head coaching job for 2017, most are expecting the Rams to hire a name brand coach that will energize the fan base and give the team some additional panache in free agency.

With a few weeks to go between now and the official end of the Rams’ season, here are ten names that could be considered for the job:

Jim Harbaugh (vertical)Jim Harbaugh, head coach at the University of Michigan: Some say that living well is the best revenge. Others say that the best revenge against your former employer is setting up shop across the street and destroying them. Santa Clara-to-Los Angeles is a lengthy drive, but you get what we’re getting at.

Harbaugh, in theory, could leave his alma mater and crush the 49ers by joining up with a divisional rival. The Rams have reportedly been loafing in practice and Harbaugh is the kind of throwback disciplinarian that the team badly needs. It’s fair to assume that the Rams will get in contact with Harbaugh, but it will be tough to get him to leave his lucrative job in Ann Arbor.

With National Signing Day around the corner, Harbaugh could publicly remove himself himself from consideration if he is not at all interested in an NFL return. Alternatively, if Harbaugh wants to get sweet revenge against the Niners, Stan Kroenke better have his checkbook ready. Signing Harbaugh could cost upwards of $10MM/year and that’s before factoring in his buyout clause with the Wolverines. If Harbaugh bolts, he’ll owe U-M the prorated portion of his $2MM signing bonus. With two of the seven years served, 5/7ths of that amount comes out to roughly $1.43MM.

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Breer On Allen, Westbrook, Raiders

Earlier today, we highlighted two noteworthy items from Albert Breer’s latest column. Breer hears that Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin could garner NFL offensive coordinator consideration this offseason. Also, an NFLPA source tells Breer that the Raiders may have to add salary this year in order to hit the CBA’s mandated minimum spend.

On top of that, Breer has even more news. Here are the highlights:

  • Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen is undersized at 6’3″ and 294 pounds, but scouts feel that he is talented enough to make it work at the next level. “He’s a really good football player,” said an AFC college scouting director. “He isn’t a big hulking guy—average height, average weight, not long enough to play end. But he maxes out everything he has. Tough, great hands, instinctive, a really good athlete, motor, balance, bend, everything. The only thing he lacks is size. He will run good (at the combine), but he won’t light it up. But his motor, leverage, hand use, he can rush the passer, he’s stout vs. the run. He’s just a good all-around player. I can’t say he’ll be a dominant force in the NFL, but he’s just the type of guy you win with. A first-rounder all the way.” That evaluator went on to opine that Allen is a better athlete than 2016 Alabama products A’Shawn Robinson (Lions) and Jarran Reed (Seahawks). That’s high praise, considering both players have already become contributors for their respective teams.
  • Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook is another breakout player with size concerns. Still, his draft stock is looking good. “The rise that he’s made, it’s unbelievable,” one area scout assigned to OU said. “Last year was his first at a big-time program and he was inconsistent—drops, it didn’t seem like he was aware on the field, he looked unnatural. He’s a totally different player now, and he’s talented to begin with. They’ve done a great job coaching him. He’s pretty good in all areas now—hands, he’s more confident, he’s catching the ball better, and there’s a little something about him. He could go really high.” That doesn’t mean every scout is sold on him. Breer writes that “some evaluators look at him as a poor man’s DeSean Jackson.” But, like DJax, Westbrook can line up on the inside or the outside and can also be a factor in the return game.
  • Only 12 of the 117 head coaches hired by NFL teams since 2000 came directly from the college ranks, but it’s possible that trend could change. Putting aside obvious names like Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Jimbo Fisher, and Jim Harbaugh, Breer ran down five names who have arguably helped their teams overachieve: Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst, Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald, new Texas hire Tom Herman (formerly of Houston, a smaller program), Washington’s Chris Petersen, and Stanford’s David Shaw. In the case of the Chicago-based Fitzgerald, the “perception” is that he would be enticed by the Bears job, Breer writes.
  • For all the talk of the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, Breer expects the league to keep close tabs on Oakland’s proposal. That’s because the league wants to maintain a foothold in the North Bay area. Now that the 49ers have moved to Santa Clara, the league is hopeful that the Raiders could expand their fan base with the Bay’s affluent residents. It also helps that Oakland is easier to get to than Santa Clara. Recently, there has been word that the NFL would actually prefer to keep the Raiders in Oakland.