It's Black Monday. Head coaches are falling on swords everywhere for losing records.
Chud in Cleveland. Frazier in Minnesota. Shanahan in DC. It's an annual rite of passage.
The Rams, on the other hand, are firmly planted in the middle of the NFL pack after two seven-win seasons meaning Jeff Fisher's seat is hardly lukewarm. Still, there's been plenty of discontent among the fan base regarding offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and hardly an excellent season-long showing from DC Tim Walton.
While you should expect to hear Schottenheimer's name pop up throughout the hiring season (the NFL is practically built on the solid foundation of nepotism after all...), I think we'd all be shocked if Tim Walton's in the ring for any head coaching vacancies.
In fact, per this report from CBS' Jason LaCanfora, Walton is one of six "stagnant" units that could use a coordinator change in his mind (added emphasis mine):
This unit was lost in the first half of the season. Once head coach Jeff Fisher essentially took over at midseason, the performance improved. But the defensive coordinator position has been a revolving door in Fisher's brief regime there and first-time coordinator Tim Walton's struggles were not lost on those inside the building, or outside of it for that matter. Remember, the Rams had hired Rob Ryan for a minute or two, after losing Gregg Williams to a suspension for the 2012 season and using a by-committee approach that season. There is plenty of experience on this staff and the defense finished pretty strong, but Fisher has a ton on his plate already and wearing this hat probably isn't the way to go long-term.
For a team that's as young as it is, the Rams' trajectory suggest it bends upward in some fashion. You could argue that most of the Rams haven't reached their professional peaks, so there's improvement to be had on a technical level this offseason. And in case you missed it, yesterday's game got wild which wasn't a first in the 2013 season.
The Rams are in serious need of quality coaching. The quantity of penalties have to decrease in 2014 if the Rams are going to make the postseason cut. There has to be serious refinement in the offense, especially given how messy it was early in the season. The passion has to be collared and directed into something positive and manageable, not just the disarray of what we saw yesterday.
Getting it right on both coordinators is a crucial fork in the road for Jeff Fisher's tenure this offseason. There's no certainty that either Schotty or Walton will have their services retained. There's no certainty they'll be gone come week one.
Either way, the Rams need to get this one right, or the heat under the seat of the coordinators is going to rise a level toward the one under the Rams' head coach.