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Hewitt, suing Rams, vented after 2011 firing

6/1/2012

Todd Hewitt worked in the Los Angeles and St. Louis Rams' equipment departments from 1967, when he was 11 years old, through the 2010 NFL season.

He did not leave on good terms.

Hewitt, dismissed by then-coach Steve Spagnuolo in January 2011, alleges age discrimination in a lawsuit protesting his firing, the Associated Press reports. The suit, filed against the Rams, says Spagnuolo told Hewitt, now 55, that Hewitt was too old for the job and that "NFL" meant "Not For Long" in relation to his employment.

It's impossible to know exactly what took place. Spagnuolo did part with several longtime Rams employees while trying to establish his own program. That is not particularly unusual when a head coach takes over an NFL organization, but there's obviously no room for the type of conduct Hewitt alleges took place.

Hewitt aired grievances against Spagnuolo for a March 2011 piece in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"He is a hard person to deal with," Hewitt said for that piece. "He's just very hands-on. Controlling. It's an everything-has-to-go-through-him kind of deal."

Spagnuolo, now defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints, declined comment for that story and provided no comment for the story about Hewitt's lawsuit.

The Rams have moved past Spagnuolo, so this story shouldn't affect those directly involved in the current football operation. It's a reminder of the bitterness that prevailed among some of the Rams' old guard when Spagnuolo implemented his program.