West Coast, Schmest Coast..Though it hasn't changed much, we're getting a clearer picture of what direction the St. Louis Rams might be headed if/when current offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur leaves for the Cleveland Browns' head coaching job.
It looks like former Vikings head coach Brad Childress, a Spagnuolo friend who has been mentioned as a possible candidate, is not the favorite for the Rams OC job, according to Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. That would seem to jive with reports earlier this week that former Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels is a very real possibility to replace Shurmur. So much for the overrated concept of scheme continuity?
And what of Shurmur? It's now being reported that the Browns hope to finalize a deal with him by the end of the week. Adios, Pat.
I'm warming to the idea of McDaniels as the Rams OC and here's why. McDaniels seems to have the Midas Touch with quarterbacks, not that he'd need too much of a gift with the already gifted Sam Bradford. Bradford's strengths, particularly his natural downfield accuracy, have been compared to Tom Brady, someone McDaniels is kind of familiar with. Though not a West Coast guy, his success is based on a systematic approach (really, a Belichick disciple using a systems approach?) that utilizes players based on their strengths. That's not unlike what the Rams tried to do this season, but without Donnie Avery and Mark Clayton, they were left with a group of players who were too similar, too inexperienced or just lacked much of strength to begin with.
The thing that makes the McDaniels hiring seem most improbable to me is that he doesn't really have a connection to Spagnuolo's established network. Sure, they share the same agent, but recent media reports suggest that Spagnuolo is a bit of a control freak, something that goes along with his established pattern of bringing in former associates to fill his staff. Of course, there are a number of Rams' assistant coaches that don't meet that requirement, so we'll see what happens.