Good morning. Lots of coaching considerations to address on the first Sunday following the 2011 regular season. Let's take a spin around the division.
Jeff Fisher and the Rams: ESPN's Adam Schefter notes that New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is in the final year of his contract and could leave the team for a chance to rejoin Fisher's staff in St. Louis or Miami. I have heard the same rumblings. Williams and Fisher were together back when Tennessee came within about a yard of tying the Rams late in Super Bowl XXXIV. A Fisher-Williams pairing would have to excite the Rams. I wonder who Fisher would land for his offensive coordinator, however. The late Mike Heimerdinger was his coordinator in Tennessee.
Josh McDaniels and the Patriots: The Rams let McDaniels out of his contract as offensive coordinator, clearing the way for McDaniels to rejoin New England. In fact, McDaniels will begin helping the Patriots right away -- during the playoffs. That means McDaniels will coach in the divisional round against either his former team, Denver, or a Pittsburgh team he faced with the Rams in Week 16. This seems strange. The Rams' willingness to let McDaniels walk suggests they know McDaniels would not fit well with their next head coach. It makes me wonder whether the Rams already know Fisher will become their next coach. In that case, all parties would be stalling while the Rams followed protocol regarding the Rooney Rule. Otherwise, what would the Rams have to gain by parting with McDaniels at this time?
Todd Haley and the Cardinals: Not much new here. The big question is how bringing back Haley would impact the rest of the offensive staff in Arizona. Haley would presumably not return as anything less than offensive coordinator. But as Kent Somers notes, coach Ken Whisenhunt likes current coordinator Mike Miller. Mike Jurecki has pointed to quarterbacks coach Chris Miller as the likely casualty. I've heard the same thing. Someone would seemingly have to go.
Steve Spagnuolo's thinking: The former Rams coach opened up some to St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Brian Burwell. Spagnuolo: "I am not bitter at all. I understand the business. I do. I get it." Burwell asked Spagnuolo about complaints from unnamed players regarding the Rams' coaching staff lacking experience.
The Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers will happily stand on the sideline during the staff shuffling this offseason. Both organizations have experienced plenty of turnover in recent seasons. Seattle's Tom Cable and San Francisco's Vic Fangio are the two coaches each team needs to keep the most.