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CLAIBORNE: Here We Go Again

Mike Claiborne
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Head coach Jeff Fisher of the Tennessee Titans makes a point with line judge Carl Johnson #101 against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on November 19, 2007 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Head coach Jeff Fisher of the Tennessee Titans makes a point with line judge Carl Johnson #101 against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on November 19, 2007 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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The Rams have set a milestone of sorts as they are now on another coaching search.  After this next hire, the Rams would have hired as many coaches and managers as the Blues and the Cardinals, combined, since their arrival to St. Louis. 

Yeah, more than the Blues, who shall always be remembered for firing a coach on Christmas Day.  While it has been well-documented that the Rams have had minimal success in hiring coaches (let alone winning games lately), you would think they would have this hiring process figured out by now.  Think again.

I am a big fan of COO Kevin Demoff.  He has his hands full trying to put a positive image on the Rams six days a week, only for the Rams to implode on Sundays.  With that said, I was a little concerned that he mentioned some names of people that he reached out  to — with respect to advice – in the coaching search. 

Dick Vermeil and Marshall Faulk were two names that were mentioned.  Vermeil has already admitted he is out of the loop when it comes to younger names.  As for Faulk, he is an intriguing guy to say the least…and has a football IQ that is off the chart.  His input would be interesting and should be taken seriously. 

So that brings me to the question: how is this search going to be set up?  Who has input and who will make recommendations?  I may as well ask what sort of coach are the Rams looking for at this point?

They went the senior route with Vermeil — and he found out that that the game had changed so much that he was almost fired.

The hot coordinator in Mike Martz came along, and all of a sudden we thought we had the coach for life.  One problem: no head coaching experience and the inability to expand his people skills did him in.

Then there was Scott Linehan, the hot new coaching prospect with a great offensive mind.  Lack of coaching head coaching experience, no respect from his players and a personality that reminded you of an unused ashtray put him out to pasture.  Did I mention the fact that some of the players he drafted are now missing in action?  Most never had a real career.

Say hello to Steve Spagnulo.  A bright, intelligent guy that the media liked until he ran Jim Hannifan off, took the pictures of Rams greats and great moments off the wall and proceed to fire everyone who had nothing to do with wins and losses.  Did I mention that Spagnulo is a really good guy?  I should also mention that he only won 10 games in three seasons.  Adios, Steve. 

And now we have another search on. 

While the names have already been bandied about, I will go on record and say that Jeff Fisher sounds like the right guy for this job.  Now that the curse has been put on him I am scurrying to find a Plan B.   I should caution all to not fall in love with any of these guys until we really know what we have.  Spare me of the endorsements from the national pundits who normally get it wrong. 

This will have to be a touchy-feely process that will take a while, as I forgot to tell you: thanks to the general manager and coach, the Rams do not have a lot of good football players.  Oh yeah, they play hard and they did not quit according to the now fired coach and media members, but at last check were we not supposed to do those things anyway?  I guess next they will give out free Cardinal and Blues tickets to Rams players who try.  No sale here on that front.

It’s time to get it right just once…and I will not even ask for all.

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