The St. Louis Rams have a visitor this weekend. Rob Ryan and his sliver locks landed in the Gateway City on Friday evening for a Saturday interview for the team's vacant defensive coordinator position.
It's been a year since the Rams had a defensive coordinator. Gregg Williams was hired in January 2012, but the NFL sent him to Corsica in March for his uncanny ability to make PowerPoint interesting ... and all that "killing the head" business. His son Blake was fired this month, and the elder Williams has still not been cleared to return to an NFL sideline, and he might not ever be. It leaves the Rams in need of a new coordinator.
Enter Ryan. A handful of possible candidates for the position have been mentioned; none of those names ever got past being speculative possibilities. Ryan is the only candidate the Rams have actually interviewed. Hint, hint?
There's a question looming about what Ryan would do with the Rams defense, namely switching it to 3-4. We have very good reason to believe that such a switch will not be happening. For one, it doesn't make economic sense, not with the Rams so heavily invested in their foundational defensive players and the borderline elite showing from the unit in 2012.
Ryan's defensive staff isn't changing all that much, and that's an important factor to remember in the discussion. The work done this season, without a coordinator, by position coaches like Mike Waufle (DL), Chuck Cecil (DBs) and assistant head coach Dave McGinnis, is not going to be replaced. Think of it like the Stones without Brian Jones ... it's not the perfect analogy, but the continuity of having the rest of the coaching staff is at least a little like having Keith Richards anchoring your band.
There will need to be a new linebackers coach, and one name that's been mentioned is Matt Eberflus, who has that job in Dallas. Mizzou fans will recall him as the team's former defensive coordinator. He's staying in Dallas.
Per @toddarcher, looks like LB coach Matt Eberflus will stay at Valley Ranch. That will make Rob Ryan cuss. That's Rob's right-hand man.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 19, 2013
So how soon will we know if the Rams hire Ryan? Hard to say, but I'd keep an eye on TST this weekend, if I were you.