NFL Specials: Who’s the Next Head Coach of the LA Rams?
It looked like Jeff Fisher would be around forever. His Los Angeles Rams did not perform very well in their first year after leaving St. Louis – where they had four straight losing seasons on Fisher’s watch. But Fisher signed a two-year contract extension during the offseason, and as it turns out, his agent is the father of Rams COO Kevin Demoff, so his job seemed pretty secure.
Until last Monday. The Rams let Fisher go after getting smoked 42-14 at home by the Atlanta Falcons (–6), replacing him on an interim basis with John Fassel. So who will the Rams hire as their next head coach? At press time, there are seven candidates on the NFL specials market, but only a few likely contenders.
Josh McDaniels (+200)
McDaniels’ name was the first to pop up after Fisher’s dismissal. He only lasted two years with the Denver Broncos (2009-10) after a successful stint as offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots. McDaniels spent a year with the Rams in that role before Fisher’s arrival, then rejoined Bill Belichick’s staff in Foxborough. The job should be his if he wants it.
Kyle Shanahan (+300)
Shanahan has yet to coach at this level in the NFL, but his father Mike was a three-time Super Bowl winner, and Kyle has been an offensive coordinator since 2008. He’s enjoyed great success in his first season with the Atlanta Falcons, who have the most potent offense in the league through Week 14.
Jim Harbaugh (+500)
It could happen, but Harbaugh looks entrenched in his position as head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, where he played quarterback in college. Harbaugh reportedly told his players that any rumors of his departure were “lies made up by our enemies.”
Jim Mora (+600)
The bet doesn’t specify whether it’s Jim E. Mora or his son, Jim L. Mora; the former turned 81 in May, so his chances are slim. The younger Mora currently coaches the UCLA Bruins, after mixed results with the Falcons (2004-06) and the Seattle Seahawks (2009). He’s a defensive specialist, and the Rams need an offensive guru at this point, so it probably won’t happen.
The Rams are said to be casting a wide net, and there has been some suggestion that Gruden might be willing to leave his post at Monday Night Football to take the job in LA. Even Martz, the only Super Bowl winner in Rams history, is being floated for a potential return. Carroll is on the list because of his ties to USC, but he doesn’t seem in a hurry to leave the Seahawks. Maybe next year.