If Spags is fired, who takes over?

2011-12-29T10:46:00Z 2011-12-29T22:54:20Z If Spags is fired, who takes over?BY ROGER HENSLEY stltoday.com
December 29, 2011 10:46 am  • 

QUESTION: If Steve Spagnuolo is fired at the end of the season, who would you put at the top of your candidate list as a replacement, whether it be a recycled NFL coach, a current NFL coordinator or someone from the college ranks.

BRYAN BURWELL

If Spagnuolo is going to be replaced – and once again let me go on the record saying he should not be replaced – I would prefer seeing someone with a proven head-coaching resume get the job.

With a deep-pockets owner, a young franchise QB already in place, tons of salary cap space and the potential to dangle the No. 1 or No. 2 overall pick, I don’t want to hear any nonsense about this job being unappealing.

So if this is the route Kroenke chooses, he should go after all the best available prospects who seem to be interested in returning to coaching, and that list has to begin with Jeff Fisher.

JEFF GORDON

I’d have Jeff Fisher on top of my list. He has built teams with strong running games and sturdy defenses in the past. There is still potential to do that here despite the 2-13 showing so far this season. Fisher has some history with the organization. He is a proven coaching commodity with an impressive track record. He would bring instant credibility to a franchise needing it.

JIM THOMAS

Hard to say. You'd think the Rams might go more for someone with head-coaching experience after hiring two coordinators (Steve Spagnuolo and Scott Linehan) who were rookie head coaches. Of the names that have been thrown out there — and to a large degree, it's just a coaching version of fanstasy football — I would say Jeff Fisher makes the most sense. But at the end of the day, I think Rams fans want someone who can win games, doesn't matter where he comes from. It has been a long dry spell.

STU DURANDO

Jon Gruden and Jeff Fisher are the names getting the most hype these days and either would be a solid choice. Of the two, I like Gruden’s personality and potential to generate an immediate spark within the organization and fan base. But if it came down to St. Louis and San Diego, would he opt for the Chargers and the San Diego climate? Neither was a consistent winner but they have nearly identical winning percentages in the NFL – Fisher .542 and Gruden .540. I was surprised to find that Fisher has only six winning seasons out of 17 years. Gruden has six in 11 years. If neither works out, bring back Dick Vermeil for a few years to jump start things.

JOE LYONS

My top choice would be Jeff Fisher. He had a long and successful run before being fired by the Titans and always seemed to get a lot out of his teams in Tennessee, especially on defense. He is someone who is respected around the league and who could hopefully give the Rams an opportunity for a quick turn-around.

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