Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Sources: Rams, Josh McDaniels talking
By Chris Mortensen
Don't rule Josh McDaniels out of the running for the St. Louis Rams' vacant offensive coordinator position just yet.
Earlier Tuesday, sources said a significant snag in negotiations between the Rams and McDaniels had led the team to broaden its search to include coaches with West Coast-system roots in which quarterback Sam Bradford excelled during his rookie season.
However, talks between to the two parties have resuscitated to the point where both sides have renewed optimism about a potential deal, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
With the firing of Jeremy Bates as Seahawks offensive coordinator, Seattle is giving strong consideration to hiring McDaniels for the vacancy, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
The Rams went through league channels Tuesday morning to request interviews with coaches including Bill Musgrave of the Falcons and Darrell Bevell of the Vikings. Musgrave is the assistant head coach/quarterbacks coach in Atlanta and Bevell has been in limbo as the offensive coordinator in Minnesota.
The Rams were granted permission to interview Musgrave and Bevell but were denied permission to speak with Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, who is under contract through 2011.
Former Vikings coach Brad Childress also is a candidate for the Rams opening.
Bevell, whose status in Minnesota is in limbo while coach Leslie Frazier looks at offensive coordinator candidates, is interviewing Tuesday for the Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach job, a source told ESPN.com's John Clayton.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is looking to replace quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch, who is leaving the team to become offensive coordinator at the University of Miami.
Musgrave is scheduled to interview with the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday and Vikings on Wednesday for the offensive coordinator position. Bevell is still a candidate to retain the job in Minnesota.
The Rams are looking to replace offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who was hired as the Browns' new head coach. However, more than two days of talks between McDaniels and the team did not produce a deal.
McDaniels also is in conversation with other unidentified teams, according to another source.
The Falcons value Musgrave and view him as the potential successor to offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey, who is considered a future head-coaching candidate. However, a team source said Falcons coach Mike Smith reluctantly granted permission for Musgrave to interview with the Browns and Vikings, although there was no guarantee Musgrave would accept those jobs even if offered a promotion.
The Rams, however, hold an attraction to quality coordinator candidates because of Bradford, who is expected to be named the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Chris Mortensen is ESPN's senior NFL analyst. ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton contributed to this report.