Rams make Devaney move official

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Rams have confirmed reports of Billy Devaney's ascension to general manager at the expense of longtime executives John Shaw and Jay Zygmunt.

The team hired Devaney as vice president of player personnel in February. Shaw will remain with the team as senior adviser/owners' representative. According to the Rams:

Devaney, who has 23 years of NFL scouting experience, will be responsible for all player personnel decisions, including the college draft, acquisition of free agents, player trades and other personnel transactions. He will also be in charge of a search for a new Rams head coach, which will begin at the conclusion of the 2008 season.

The current coaching staff predates Devaney in St. Louis. Devaney was most recently with the Falcons. He has also worked for the Redskins, Chargers and 49ers.

It's not immediately clear what this move means for the coaching search. Who the Rams want and who they can get might not be the same thing. After several down seasons, the organization will have to convince candidates that the franchise is committed to winning. That might be easier to do now that Devaney, with recent ties outside the organization, is in control.