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Sunday, January 18, 2009
Around the NFC West: Praise for Rams' hire

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch takes an in-depth look at the process by which the Rams named Steve Spagnuolo head coach. General manager Billy Devaney was worried about losing Spagnuolo to another team. Owner Chip Rosenbloom gave Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier a slight edge. And the Rams couldn't say no when Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett asked to make a last-minute visit to St. Louis.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' hiring of Spagnuolo shows Rosenbloom is living up to his word. Miklasz: "All I know is this: At the beginning of the search, Spagnuolo was unanimously portrayed as one of the most coveted available coaching properties. And the Rams got him."

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' dream scenario unfolded when they landed Spagnuolo. Burwell: "Did the Rams really just hire the right guy? Call me cautiously noncommittal. We'll see. But I'm hopeful, and I haven't been hopeful around the Rams in a long time."

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams players following Spagnuolo's hiring. Wisely, none criticized the move.

Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com would have preferred Rex Ryan as the Rams' next coach, but hiring Spagnuolo was more practical.

Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says Spagnuolo's credentials make him a worthy selection as the Rams' new head coach. Korte: "Spagnuolo transformed the underperforming Giants' defense into one of the best in the NFL practically overnight. They ranked 25th in the NFL in defense in 2006 prior to Spagnuolo's arrival, and they would rank seventh in 2007 and fifth in 2008 under the high-energy, no-nonsense defensive coordinator."