Rams standing pat with staff?

December, 31, 2013
12/31/13
4:30
PM ET
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Black Monday came and went without much of a peep from the St. Louis Rams, a welcome development for a team that has had its share of activity on the day after the final game in the past 10 years.

Even after coach Jeff Fisher's first season in St. Louis a year ago, the Rams found themselves in need of a defensive coordinator, formally parting ways with Gregg Williams soon after the season.

After posting 14 wins in two seasons on the heels of a 15-65 five-year performance, Fisher is clearly fine in his position. On Monday afternoon, as teams around the league made sweeping changes starting at the top, Fisher was asked whether he envisioned any changes to his coaching staff.

“I’m not anticipating anything, no,” Fisher said.

Of course, saying he doesn't anticipate anything isn't the same as saying nothing will happen. Theoretically, someone could pursue a member of Fisher's staff for a job in the coming days and weeks. Likewise, it's also possible a coach Fisher would like to add could shake loose somewhere and be perceived as a fit.

The name clearly on the minds of many Rams fans did become available Monday when the Detroit Lions parted ways with head coach Jim Schwartz. Schwartz was a defensive assistant under Fisher in Tennessee from 1999-2008, including a stint as defensive coordinator from 2001-2008. The duo goes way back and had plenty of success together.

When Fisher hired Tim Walton as defensive coordinator last offseason, part of the impetus came from Walton's knowledge of Fisher's defensive scheme. Of course, Walton learned that scheme as an assistant under Schwartz in Detroit.

The Rams' defense struggled for the better part of the first half of the season under Walton but played much better in the second half of the season. When all was said and done, that unit finished 15th in the league in yards allowed per game and 13th in points allowed per game. It wasn't the improvement many had hoped to see from the middle-of-the-pack finish of 2012 but it wasn't far off from a repeat.

While the Rams had their share of head-scratching defensive calls -- things like having cornerback Quinton Pointer matched up in press coverage in the slot against Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald or the incessant use of soft zone coverage in third-and-short to medium -- they also had plenty of positives such as another strong season rushing the passer and the clear development of rookie linebacker Alec Ogletree.

The availability of Schwartz might be intriguing to the Rams but it remains to be seen if they would want to make another change so soon. And, in fairness to Walton, it was his first season as a coordinator in the NFL, which comes with an inherent learning curve.

My initial feeling is that the Rams will indeed move forward with what they have. That doesn't mean things can't change as other situations evolve, but for now it looks like they will keep as much continuity with the staff as possible heading into 2014.

Nick Wagoner

ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter

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