Well, so much for that great opportunity to coach the Senior Bowl. The Rams delay in making coaching changes led to the league finding someone else to coach the college player showcase game scheduled for January 26 in Mobile, AL.
The league chose Oakland and San Francisco staffs to coach, an all Bay Area theme for the Super Bowl marketing tie-in during the off-week.
Wait, San Francisco? Weren't they in the midst of some coaching changes themselves? The Senior Bowl coaches were announced on Monday, January 7. The Niners fired offensive coordinator Jim Hostler on January 2, and announced the hiring of Mike Martz yesterday (January 8) afternoon. My question: why coaching changes in the works in SF didn't preclude them from being picked to coach the Senior Bowl? Obviously, they had picked Mike Martz before announcing the decision publicly, and probably reassured the league that they would have an OC hired by mid week. The Rams, on the other hand, were known to be making staff changes, but waited until Monday to fire Boudreau and "soft fire" Olson. This made it impossible to find their replacements in enough time to reassure the league that the Rams would have a more settled coaching picture come January 26.
It's the Rams fault, but the league's justification for the decision leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
What is taking the Rams so bloody long to get a new staff in place? Finding someone to fit can and negotiating to attract someone to a 3-13 team with big question marks hanging over its head can take some time. Ifthey want to catch some of the big fish they're talking about publically - Cameron, Solari, etc. - they should be acting with a little more urgency than they at least seem to be. Burwell has a good take on the lack of urgency at the heart of the Rams offseason so far in his column at the PD today.
There's already speculation that the Rams will cut Isaac Bruce, avoiding the $2 million roster bonus he'd be due on March 1, whereupon the 49ers' new offensive coordinator will swoop in to claim a former favorite to bolster the SF receiving corps and give the young team some veteran leadership. I'd love to see Bruce finish it out as a Ram, but it's not the worst thing in the world if the Rams don't bring him back.
The Niners themselves aren't exactly the franchise of stability, adding salt to the Senior Bowl thing. Ray Ratto examines the potential motives of the Martz hiring through the context of a team in chaos. Interesting read and a good reminder that the politics, with a small `p', aren't exclusive to New Hampshire and Iowa this time of year.
I wish we had new Rams coaches to talk about.