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News » St. Louis Rams Inside Slant 2009-01-06

St. Louis Rams Inside Slant 2009-01-06

St. Louis Rams Inside Slant 2009-01-06
One week after officially being given the keys to the Rams' football operations, general manager Billy Devaney started diving head first into deciding who will be named the team's head coach.

And, he won't be doing it alone.

Devaney revealed that Rams director of player personnel Lawrence McCutcheon and former Redskins and Chargers general manager Bobby Beathard will work closely with him in the first stage of interviews. Devaney worked with Beathard for nearly 20 years.

"These guys have great judgment," Devaney said. "These guys can help us pick the right guy."

In addition, former Rams running back Marshall Faulk, now with the NFL Network, and Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle Dan Dierdorf, will also be advisers to Devaney. Dierdorf, who played most of his career for the St. Louis Cardinals, lives in St. Louis and is a game analyst for CBS TV.

Said Devaney, "These guys are going to be, more or less, sounding boards for me. I value their opinions. They care about the Rams. They want to do what's best for the Rams organization. Both of them have welcomed this with open arms.

"I'm not someone that I hope it ever gets to that point where there's such an ego that I can do this thing on my own or I don't need any help. I don't mind reaching out to people that I trust."

Beathard and McCutcheon will be involved in the initial interviews, along with Devaney. Finalists for the job will then meet with owners Chip Rosenbloom, Lucia Rodriguez and Stan Kroenke, along with former club president John Shaw, who is now senior adviser to Rosenbloom.

While Devaney said he expects everyone in the finalist stage to "have an opinion," he added, "They want a chance to meet these guys, but when it's over they'll let me make the decision."

Jim Fassel has emerged as a candidate for the job, and could interview sometime this week. NFL.com reported the meeting will take place Thursday.

Jim Haslett, who was the team's interim coach for 12 games and compiled a 2-10 record, won't have to participate in the first round of interviews and will be a finalist. In addition, because Devaney sat in on interviews last year during the Falcons' search for a coach, Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will also advance to the finalist stage without a first interview. The team has received clearance to meet with both, although Ryan will have to wait until at least Sunday, after Baltimore's playoff game.

Devaney has also received permission to talk to Dolphins secondary coach Todd Bowles and Cowboys wide receivers coach Ray Sherman.

Asked what it would take for Haslett to convince him he deserves to be the head coach, Devaney said it will boil down to the changes he wants to make. Said Devaney, "It can't be window dressing. It has to be radical in every phase. It can't be status quo. With Jim, I'll want to know, 'What exactly do you have in mind to change things and make a true difference as Rams coach?'"

The first person Devaney and Co. interviewed was Packers assistant head coach and linebackers coach Winston Moss, which took place Saturday. It shows Devaney won't necessarily look at candidates that have been successful coordinators but rather have what it takes to lead a team.

"The guy's got to be a leader," Devaney emphasized. "Obviously for our team and for our locker room. But also in this building and in our city. He needs to be a leader of the whole organization. There's been some bad football played around here the past few years. We need to sell ourselves. I know winning cures all, and that's the main focus of what we're trying to do here, is win games. But in the process, we need to convince people we're serious about this. And that we are going in a new direction, and we've charted a different course.

"I think the last thing we need is to bring somebody in who says, 'To heck with that, I'm not worried about what the fans think. That's not my problem.' Well, you know, it is. I'm a firm believer we're in this together. We're all in it. The whole building's in it together. The head coach is in it. Our fans are part of it. We need to have a coach that's willing to get that message out."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 6, 2009

Chris Draft Name: Chris Draft
Position: LB
Age: 32
Experience: 10 years
College: Stanford
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