Rams head coaching candidate odds

Obsessive? Yeah, sort of, but I wanted to try and squeeze something clearer out of the NFL head coaching melee. There's not anything new related to the Rams coaching search, but if we piece together news items from other teams' coaching searches we can discern a little clearer picture. So what do we know?

The Rams, Lions and the Jets are, for now, the only teams still hunting for a head coach after the coveted Denver domino fell last night. For the Lions, it's reportedly down to Titans DC Jim Schwartz, who had a second interview yesterday, and Giants DC Steve Spagnuolo, according to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer. However, Chargers DC Ron Rivera is reportedly in the mix as well. Schwartz, however, will meet with the Lions owner today, and the team is expected to finish the process by the end of the week.The Lions are also planning to bring in Spagnuolo for a second interview, but as far as I can tell, no date has been set, which might mean they're waiting on the results of the latest Schwartz interview with the owner.

What's this mean for the Rams? Hold on, one more situation to look at in New York (Jersey really).

We covered the Jets this morning, but it's worth pointing out that Rex Ryan and Brian Schottenheimer are widely believed to be the leading candidates, and according to this report, the Jets told Ryan that they'd be willing to wait until after the Super Bowl "if that's what it takes." If Ryan and Schottenheimer are really the Jets top two candidates, then they can wait. The Rams and the Lions can't, not really anyway given the state of each franchise.

So if we put stock in the various coaching reports, the odds favor Schwartz in Detroit and Ryan or Schottenheimer in NY. That increases the odds of Spagnuolo (remember the 4-3 defense thing) as a leading candidate for the Rams. If the Lions make their decision this week, the picture will become very clear and a Rams decision should come soon thereafter, I'd venture to say. The odds of Rex Ryan coaching the Rams have decreased some given the Rams' stated desire to have a coach in place by the Senior Bowl, which happens on Saturday, January 24, and the Jets' interest in Ryan.

So here are my unofficial, ham-fisted handicapping of the odds for the next Rams head coach, with only the candidates I see as the most likely contenders, sorry Ray Sherman.

Leslie Frazier: 70% He interviews again, with ownership, tomorrow. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if there's news shortly thereafter. Just a gut feeling, but I think this will be the guy.

Steve Spagnuolo: 60% Again, watch what happens with Detroit, but the Jets interest seems to make him a third choice for that job. If he's going to get an offer, it'll come this week from the Rams or the Lions. Don't overlook this tidbit from Jim Thomas in the Post-Disaptch today, "Rams general manager Billy Devaney has known Spagnuolo for years and considers him a good friend."

Jim Haslett: 50% As the Rams meet the other candidates and still find many to be available, Haslett's chances are sinking fast. Maybe it was the Martz thing, but with new management the franchise needs to go in a markedly new direction. Not like last time with Linehan, when the front office was still a huge handicap.

Rex Ryan: 40% I think his price tag has shot up exponentially with Baltimore's win over Tennessee. Reports of the Jets willing to wait on his team's postseason run really hurts the Rams chances of moving ahead sooner rather than later.

Mystery Canidate: 35% Remember the mystery candidate mentioned in the PD. Who is it? Only the shadow and Billy Devaney know, but if he's on the radar he's obviously someone Devaney (or someone else in the organization) is familiar with, which gives him a shot.

Obviously, I'm not much of an odds maker, partly due to my very rudimentary grasp of mathematics, so feel free to handicap the race as you see fit.

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