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News » Job coaching Rams looks a little better with Devaney

Job coaching Rams looks a little better with Devaney

Job coaching Rams looks a little better with Devaney
E-mail: bjkmiklasz@post-dispatch.com | Phone: 314-340-8192

Now that Billy Devaney is running the Football side, the Rams are in stronger position to attract a promising head coach.

Though the Rams have a lot of work to do to reach respectability, the job figures to be more appealing now. Devaney is a respected Football man with a good reputation around the NFL. He works well with others and is sincere in his desire to do whatever he can to help the new coach succeed.

The Rams would have been a tough sell with Jay Zygmunt and John Shaw in charge. Candidates wouldn't have trusted the organizational setup, which was confusing to insiders and outsiders alike. In the previous Zygmunt-Shaw arrangement, an interested coach would come to the interview process with a bunch of questions: Who is the boss? Who does the coach answer to? How can a coach survive the hazardous politics at Rams Park? The job would have carried the stench of failure.

Chip Rosenbloom cleared the foul air with his promotion of Devaney. Rosenbloom sent the signal that he's determined to do things differently. Being the Rams' head coach is no longer an automatic dead-end career move. There's clarity. There's daylight. And there's hope.

Reading Time, three minutes Free Blaine Gabbert.

Devaney's appointment to GM was endorsed by his former boss, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank. In an interview with our town's Howard Balzer on Sirius satellite radio, Blank said: "Let me put it this way, I'm thrilled for the Rams. I'm thrilled for Billy on a personal level but that has really nothing to do with whether or not he's competent. I'm thrilled for the Rams because I think they made a great choice. I think this is somebody that's a great talent evaluator ... his strength is really being able to build a roster. He's a very good communicator. He's a very clear thinker and I think that the Rams will be very fortunate to have him in that position for a long period of time."

Speaking of Balzer, a belated congrats on his recent marriage to Bernie Tibbitts. And as Balzer jokes, there's no truth to the rumor that Marc Bulger was best man. ... Congrats to the Rams' talented young media-relations intern, Jerome Hubbard, who has been hired as a media relations assistant by baseball's Chicago White Sox. Bits contributor Andy Strickland tells us that St. Louisan Tim Peel, the NHL referee, will work the anticipated Red Wings vs. Blackhawks game at Wrigley Field on New Year's Day.

St. Louisan Chris Butler, a 22-year-old defenseman, made his NHL debut for the Buffalo Sabres on Dec. 19 and is a plus 5 with one assist after three games. ... Kathy Hewitt, wife of longtime Rams equipment manager Todd Hewitt, has opened the West Coast Salon and Spa, a full-service facility on Holloway Road in Ballwin. Todd Hewitt quips, "I'm the towel boy." ... Update on two Mizzou rookies in the NFL: KC Chiefs wide receiver Will Franklin (Vashon High) has seven catches for 83 yards. Cleveland Browns tight end Martin Rucker has appeared in one game, with one catch.

Writing on Yahoo.com sports, boxing analyst Kevin Iole named two St. Louisans on his short list of candidates to become the sport's next big star. Iole ranked junior lightweight Devon Alezander at No. 3, and junior middleweight Deandre "Bull" Latimore at No. 2. ... Add Latimore: Steve Smith of Rumble Time Promotions has announced a partnership with Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertainment in the promotion of Latimore's career. DiBella will help hype the upcoming Latimore vs. Cory Spinks bout, which should be announced soon.

The Rams' decision to make Donnie Avery the first wide receiver picked in the 2008 draft has turned out well. Avery ranks third among NFL rookie wideouts in catches (48) and receiving yards (634), trailing only Denver's Eddie Royal and Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson in both categories. But here's the difference: Royal and Jackson were given the chance to start right away; Avery didn't enter the starting lineup for good until Oct. 19. And those guys play on better teams. And Avery seems to be a really terrific young man. One reader e-mailed to tell me Avery walked over to around 50 fans as he left the field following Sunday's loss to shake their hands and wish them a Merry Christmas.

Retired Rams running back Marshall Faulk tried to knock down Chris Mortensen's report on ESPN after Mortensen said Faulk wanted to be the Rams' next head coach. But Faulk didn't shoot it down 100 percent, saying the only way it would work is if he could hire strong coordinators for the offense and defense. Faulk told me that his long-range interest is in becoming a meaningful contributor in the Rams' front office, and that he's willing to pay his dues by learning the ins and outs of scouting and personnel evaluation.

Friday at Rams Park, Torry Holt had this to say about his former teammate's head-coaching profile: "If that was to happen, a lot of guys on that team and in that organization would be in for a rude awakening. I think they would be totally shocked with his level of intensity and the pressure he puts on you to be excellent every day. It would be a challenge, but I think it would be a good thing. It would surprise a lot of people."

By the way, with the Rams closing the season Sunday in Atlanta, I hope this isn't Holt's last game as a Ram. He could still be valuable if utilized properly. He wasn't used correctly this season.

The Nice Section The Missouri Athletic Club's Hermann Trophy, college soccer's equivalent of Football's Heisman Trophy, will be presented Friday, Jan. 9 at the MAC. The men's finalists are Wake Forest teammates Sam Cronin and Marcus Tracy and Akron's Steve Zakuani. The women's finalists are Christina DiMartino (UCLA), Kerri Hanks (Notre Dame) and Casey Nogueira (North Carolina).

The banquet's featured guests will be Olympic gold medalists Lori Chalupny and Hope Solo, members of St. Louis Athletica, the new soccer franchise in the Women's Professional League (WPL). This is a great opportunity for young soccer players to meet the Athletica players and collect autographs. For reservations call the MAC at 314-539-4430.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 27, 2008

Stefan Rodgers Name: Stefan Rodgers
Position: OT
Age: 26
Experience: 1 years
College: Lambuth
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