Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/3/12
When the 2010 NFL season came to an end it looked as though the St. Louis Rams had finally turned the corner. After winning just six football games in three seasons (2007-2009), the Rams looked as though they were ready to return to their former glory as a successful franchise. The former Heisman trophy winning quarterback Sam Bradford had the team playing well for the first time in years, and had his team just one win away from a postseason berth. He also added the 2010 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award to his resume for his stellar play on the field.

However, much to the chagrin of Rams fans, the team fell back into the ranks of obscurity during the 2011 season. The team finished the year with an abysmal 2-14 record and ranked near the bottom of the league in nearly every statistical category. The once promising Bradford got off to a decent start, but was plagued by injuries throughout the entire course of the year. As a result of this disappointing 2011 campaign, the team has decided to clean house attempting to make a fresh start when the 2012 season kicks off. The Rams have already cut ties with head coach Steve Spagnuolo, as well as general manager Billy Devaney. As a result, there will undoubtedly be major changes to the on-field personnel during the upcoming offseason.

The Rams have a promising nucleus of players with Bradford, All-Pro running back Steven Jackson, Pro-Bowl defensive end Chris Long, and standout middle linebacker James Laurinaitis. They Rams will also have the number two overall pick in the upcoming 2012 NFL draft. However, the pieces that are already in place are all but meaningless until the team fills the void at head coach and GM. The biggest step that the team must take in order to once again be a post season contender is to fill these management positions.

According to resent reports, two notable candidates for the vacancy at head coach include longtime Tennessee

Titians coach Jeff Fisher, as well as former Tampa Bay Bucs coach and current ESPN broadcaster Jon Gruden. While Gruden’s name has been mentioned with nearly every coaching vacancy in the last few seasons, some believe that the chance to be reunited with Executive Vice President of Football Opperations Kevin Demoff, who Gruden played under during his tenure with the Oakland Raiders, would be enough to persuade him to consider St. Louis. Fisher has also been in contact with the Miami Dolphins about coaching their team, but would be a great hire if the Rams could convince him hire on with their franchise.

With all of these questions unanswered, the next few months will go a long way in determining whether or not the Rams will be able to achieve their goals for the next several seasons. Will they be able to bring in a big name head coach? Will the team hire a competent GM? What changes will the team make to improve their current roster? They decisions that the team makes in terms for its staff both on the field, and most notably off it will decide their fate for the next several years. We can only hope for the sake of St. Louis Rams fans around the country that they make the correct choices.
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