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Art Valero to be the Rams new o-line coach?

Update [2008-1-10 15:42:38 by VanRam]: Tampa Bay GM Bruce Allen suggested in a press conference today that Art Valero has signed a contract with the Rams. Allen was announcing contract extensions for defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and two other assistants.

If you're looking for any news about the Rams hunt for an offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, best of luck. There's absolutely no movement on that front.

The biggest news is that Tampa Bay assistant coach/running backs coach Art Valero has spoken with the Rams about the line coaching gig. Valero's a former lineman himself. His resume as the Bucs' running backs coach is impressive. This season he took the previously unknown Earnest Graham and made him into the centerpiece of Tampa Bay's offense, after (another) injury sidelined Cadillac Williams. He's been with the Bucs for six seasons, since 2002, spending the first two as the tight ends coachs, the next two as the running backs coach and the last two as the assistant coach/running backs coach.

The Rams are desperate for help with the O-line, and the tight ends could use some work as well. With that kind of experience, Valero could be a very valuable asset to the Rams. Tampa Bay hasn't been the most impressive team in the league lately, but their running game was 5th best in the league this season and helped put them in the playoffs. In fact, I'm curious if Valero's not being considered for something besides the o-line coach, given his resume and the potential for further changes among the Rams coaching staff.

The St. Petersburg Times thinks that the Valero/Rams marriage is close to a done deal. He worked with Linehan in his college coaching days at Idaho and Louisville. Scotty has a history of hiring his cronies, so a Valero hiring should surprise no one.