A new report from Charles Robinson at Yahoo! Sports suggests former Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Jon Gruden is now a “focal point” for the Los Angeles Rams to replace recently fired HC Jeff Fisher:
The Los Angeles Rams are moving toward a meeting with ESPN analyst Jon Gruden about the team’s head coaching vacancy, multiple sources with knowledge of the Rams’ coaching search have told Yahoo Sports. The sources indicated Gruden has become a focal point on the Rams’ list of candidates, but that other candidates could also come into play – notably Stanford Cardinal head coach David Shaw and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton.
It’s an interesting trio to spin up the rumor mill as the Rams kick off a two-game homestand to end the season with Week 16’s San Francisco matchup.
Gruden hasn’t been in the NFL since 2008 after a seven-year run with the Bucs followed his four-year stint with in Oakland. Bate had an interesting piece on him yesterday raising some key questions around the potential hire.
Shaw has been the head coach at Stanford since 2011, taking over for Jim Harbaugh who went to the San Francisco 49ers before taking over the University of Michigan. He split nearly a decade between three NFL teams coming up the ranks in the Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens organizations.
Payton has been the head coach for New Orleans since 2006 after nearly two decades spent climbing the college and NFL ladder, going back as far as the 1992 and ‘93 seasons in which he was the RB coach at San Diego State personally coaching former Aztec and Rams great Marshall Faulk. In 1997 and ‘98, Payton was the QB Coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. His offensive coordinator? Jon Gruden.
While other names have been raised in the Rams’ search, sources have told Yahoo Sports there is a business component that will also factor – specifically, the plan of Rams owner Stan Kroenke to sell hundreds of millions of dollars in personal seat licenses for the new Inglewood stadium. The Rams are expected to begin that effort in force in early 2017 – not exactly an ideal launching point with the Los Angeles fan base already seeming to have grown frustrated with the team.