We haven't yet experienced the complete fall out from Pat Shurmur's decision to take the head coaching job with the Cleveland Browns. Yesterday, the St. Louis Rams interviewed Josh McDaniels for the offensive coordinator job and early this week they'll interview Brad Childress. With news of Shurmur's replace at least a few days away, I'm probably out a little early on this, but the next coach to leave could easily be Ken Flajole.
Flajole's work as defensive coordinator in two seasons with the Rams is already pretty impressive. The Rams defense cut their average points allowed by a full touchdown between this season and last. More impressive is that the unit went from barely having a barely noticeable pass rush to one of the league's leaders. Just ask Steve Spagnuolo about how an aggressive, successful pass rush can put a coordinator on the radar.
it stands to reason that the Rams defense will take another big leap forward in 2011. Addressing the need at OLB and hopefully having an offense that can keep them off the field and fresh should do wonders in the season ahead. And that could very well put Flajole in the mix for a head coaching job during next January's coaching carousel.
If the Rams do lose Flajole, it won't be quite the issue that it has been with Shurmur's departure. We already know Spags has a big say about what happens with the Rams defense. They also have internal candidates among the position coaches that would surely be in the mix for the DC job. Defensive line coach Brendan Daly comes to mind immediately, given the results he's had from his unit. Safeties coach Andre Curtis followed Spags from the Giants, and has coached Craig Dahl into a solid starting SS and helped Oshiomogho Atogwe transition his game into a more complete package. LBs coach Paul Ferraro was the Vikings ST coach before he came to the Rams, and with plenty of coaching experience he could also be in the mix. Of course, those guys could also wind up on the radar for defensive coordinator positions elsewhere, but at least the Rams have a few in-house candidates who probably deserve a shot and could make any potential transition that much easier.
I could be way off here, and with a good 12 months to go, lots of things can happen. Of course, if the Rams don't get on the winning side of the ledger next year, we could be talking about some other big vacancies with the team.
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