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News » Rams' search for coach starts with Moss League sources say the Green Bay assistant will be interviewed by the end of the week.

Rams' search for coach starts with Moss League sources say the Green Bay assistant will be interviewed by the end of the week.

Rams' search for coach starts with Moss League sources say the Green Bay assistant will be interviewed by the end of the week.
With their 2008 season now over, let the Rams' coaching search begin. And it starts with ... Winston Moss, assistant head coach-linebackers coach from the Green Bay Packers.

League sources told the Post-Dispatch on Monday night that the Rams have inquired about Moss and are expected to interview him by the end of the week.

Moss, 43, just completed his third season with the Packers. Ironically, he was part of Jim Haslett's staff in New Orleans from 2000-2005. Now, he's competing with Haslett for the Rams' head-coaching job.

A former NFL linebacker with Tampa Bay, the then-Los Angeles Raiders, and Seattle, Moss has a reputation as a no-nonsense coach. He projects a tough-guy image, but isn't a screamer on the sidelines. Observers in Green Bay describe him as quietly intimidating.

On Monday, he was asked by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel if he's itching to tackle another challenge at this stage in his coaching career.

"It's not an itch but it's a natural progression," Moss said. "We've talked before about how my ultimate goal is to end up being a head coach, so whether that process is through a defensive coordinator position or whether that is going from a titled assistant coach to a head coach, to me I see it as a natural progression. ... If that opportunity was to present itself, I feel comfortable in accepting that challenge, and I would be thoroughly excited about being able to lead some men."

Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier and Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator-assistant head coach Rex Ryan also could be added to the Rams' interview list following this weekend's wild-card playoff games. The Ravens travel to Miami and the Vikings play host to Philadelphia on Sunday. Win or lose, the Rams can't talk to Frazier or Ryan until after those games.

"I sat in last year with Frazier and Ryan," Rams general manager Billy Devaney said Monday. "So I have a good feel for those guys. But there's a couple of guys that popped up this year that I'm not familiar with. I mean, I know who they are, but I'm in the process of researching them right now, and they may be in the mix."

Devaney, who is heading the Rams' coach search, was part of the search team last year in Atlanta that led to the hiring of Mike Smith by the Falcons.

According to league sources, early indications are that two of the hottest coordinators on the market, New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will be out of the Rams' price range.

Devaney is expected to outline more of the coach search process at a news conference today. He hopes to have a new coach in place by Senior Bowl week, which is the third week in January. Because almost as important as hiring the head coach is being able to assemble a good coaching staff.

"Once the Senior Bowl is over, your staff really should be in place," Devaney said.

Devaney, who also was part of a job search with Bobby Beathard in San Diego, indicated there would be an obvious sense of urgency, but also a flexible timetable in hiring the coach.

"There are guys that we have on the radar, or that we're thinking about, that we have to make a decision on how long we're willing to wait," Devaney said. "If they keep on winning, that hurts.

"For instance, I think that probably cost Spagnuolo a couple of jobs last year. There were teams that wanted to hire him. The Giants kept winning and winning and winning. And at some point you say ... we can't wait till after the Super Bowl. Mostly because of the (coaching) staff - who's he going to hire at that point?"

The biggest thing Devaney said he's looking for in the next Rams head coach is leadership.

"The guy's got to be a leader," Devaney said. "Obviously for our team and for our locker room. But also in this building and in our city. He needs to be a leader of the whole organization."

Along with that, he wants a visible head coach who can be a voice for the organization and also get out in the community to sell the team.

"There's been some bad Football played around here the past few years," he said. "We need to sell ourselves. I know winning cures all, and that's the main focus of what we're trying to do here, is win games. But in the process, we need to convince people we're serious about this. And that we are going in a new direction, and we've charted a different course.

"I think the last thing we need is to bring somebody in who says, 'To heck with that, I'm not worried about what the fans think. That's not my problem.'

"Well, you know, it is. I'm a firm believer we're in this together. We're all in it. The whole building's in it together. The head coach is in it. Our fans are part of it. We need to have a coach that's willing to get that message out."

And a candidate who expresses hesitation about being visible or getting that message out is "going to be hard to consider seriously," Devaney said.

Watch Haslett's press conference Visit STLtoday.com/multimedia

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 30, 2008

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