The Los Angeles Rams for the first time in five years are in the market for a new head coach after firing Jeff Fisher, who compiled a 31-45-1 record during his tenure. He had failed to amass more than seven wins in any campaign while finishing no greater than third in the standings in the NFC West. That said, here is a look at several of the names that have mentioned as possible candidates for the job opening.
Sean McVay | Washington Redskins Offensive Coordinator | Age 30
Why He Fits: He has been on the Washington Redskins' coaching staff in last seven years working his way up from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator, which is a position that he has held since the 2014 season. Much of the appeal for him has sprouted from the success Kirk Cousins has experienced over the last two seasons. The former Michigan State product is also coming off an extremely productive campaign throwing for just shy of 5,000 passing yards along with holding a 97.2 quarterback rating and 67.0 completion percentage.
McVay was interviewed by the Rams on Thursday afternoon. There could also be some potential interest from the 49ers to fill their head coach vacancy.
The Rams have reportedly conducted a second interview with McVay on Wednesday. The team is set to interview several other candidates for another round of meetings, but the Redskins offensive coordinator looks like an early frontrunner for the position.
Sources: Sean McVay had a second meeting with the #Rams. Interviewed for head coaching job last week. Things heating up in L.A.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 11, 2017
The Rams have officially announced that McVay as the team's next head coach, making him the youngest in NFL history. Los Angeles will formally introduce McVay on Friday in Thousands Oaks.
Josh McDaniels | New England Patriots Offensive Coordinator | Age 40
Why He Fits: Josh McDaniels is regarded as one of brighter offensive minds in the NFL as he's now in his tenure his second stint as the New England Patriots offensive coordinator. Los Angeles currently possesses the 32nd ranked offense in the league with a young quarterback in Goff under center. There is also a familiarity factor in play here as he spent the 2011 season as the Rams offensive coordinator. Prior to that, McDaniels did struggle during his brief time as the head coach of the Denver Broncos, but that could provide a strong basis for him in terms of what to expect with the position the next time around.
Update: Jan. 4
McDaniels is set to meet with the Rams, Jacksonville Jaguars, and San Francisco 49ers in separate suites at a hotel near Gillette Stadium on Saturday during the Patriots' bye week in the playoffs. These three teams will have the chance to interview him again following the AFC title game if New England were to make it to Super Bowl LI.
The Rams were able to meet with McDaniels over the weekend during the Patriots' bye week. There isn't much indication yet about where things stand with him.
Kyle Shanahan | Atlanta Falcons Offensive Coordinator | Age 37
Why he fits: Along those similar lines as McDaniels, Kyle Shanahan has built the reputation as being one of the top offensive coordinators in the league. In his first season with the Atlanta Falcons, Matt Ryan is posting career-best numbers across the board in one of the league's most productive offenses. Shanahan has also worked well with implementing an offensive scheme that spreads the ball around in the passing game. With that in mind, he should continue to remain prominently in the picture as a top candidate for the Rams' opening.
Update: Jan. 4
Shanahan is expected to meet this upcoming weekend with The Rams, Denver Broncos, Jaguars, and 49ers. A second interview with Shanahan could be conducted when the Falcons' season ends or after the conference championship games if they make Super Bowl LI.
The Rams had their interview with Shanahan postponed because of weather in Boston where they met McDaniels on Saturday. According to the LA Times, the team was able to secure a meeting with him next Sunday.
The Rams will interview Atlanta OC Kyle Shanahan day after Saturday's game against Seahawks, person with knowledge of situation said.— Gary Klein (@LATimesklein) January 9, 2017
Sean Payton | New Orleans Saints Head Coach | Age 53
Why He Fits: Sean Payton has established himself as one of the brightest offensive minds in the NFL during his 11-year tenure as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints. Under his pass-heavy offensive scheme, Drew Brees has become a perennial quarterback in the league posting 11 straight with at least 4,300 passing yards and nine consecutive campaigns with at least 32 touchdown passes. He has had much success holding a 94-65 regular season record while leading the franchise to their first Super Bowl win, three NFC South division titles, and five playoff appearances.
Update: Jan. 2
Payton has reportedly met with Saints' ownership to discuss his future with the team. He had spoken with owner Mickey Loomis following the team's season finale loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Peyton did not take away questions regarding his standing with the organization after the game.
Payton addressed the rumors around his future with Saints on Monday stating that the reports about him meeting with Loomis after Sunday's game were "completely false." He also went on declare that "My plan is to definitely be back here. ... I have four years left on my contract, and I plan on honoring that."
The 53-year-old had inked a five-year, $45 million contract extension with New Orleans prior to the start of the 2016 season.
Payton has also conducted some major changes to his coaching staff firing five assistants in Joe Vitt, Bill Johnson, Greg McMahon, Stan Kwan and James Willis. The firing of Vitt has been the most noteworthy given that he was the assistant head coach since 2006 and the interim head coach in 2012.
Jon Gruden | Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach | Age 53
Why He Fits: Despite being out of the league for nearly a decade, Jon Gruden has continued to draw much buzz each offseason as a possible head coach candidate for various openings. He has developed the reputation as being a viable offensive coach due to his work with quarterbacks throughout his career which could go a long ways in molding 2016 first overall pick Jared Goff. On top of that, there are numerous reports that suggest Gruden would be interested if the Rams contacted him.
Update: Dec. 21
Gruden addressed the Rams' possible interest in him filling their head coach position during an interview with ESPN’s “Mike and Mike." He stated that his full attention was on his broadcasting duties and that he has "no intention of coaching" at this point in time. Gruden had been reportedly a "focal point” of Los Angeles' early head coach search.
According to Yahoo's Sports Charles Robinson Gruden is off the list of potential hires and will play more of an advisory role offering an "organizational assessment" to the team's head coach search.
Pete Carroll | Seattle Seahawks Head Coach | Age 65
Why He Fits: All the obvious signs are there for Pete Carroll having had success in the Los Angeles area as the head coach of USC leading them to a pair of national championships with seven major bowl game appearances in nine seasons. This high level of success has smoothly transferred over into his second shot in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks leading them to five straight playoff appearances while winning one of their two trips to the Super Bowl and earning three NFC West division titles. During this span, the Seahawks have also developed a strong identity as a run-oriented offense behind their stout defense. Carroll has already come out to deny any interest in the Rams' position, but his name should continue to be the mix.
Update: Dec. 13
Carroll quickly addressed the rumors in the media conference on Tuesday afternoon flatly stating “I have no comment about that." Last July, he had agreed to a new contract extension extends through the 2019 season.
Harold Goodwin: After bouncing around the collegiate and NFL ranks as an offensive line coach, Goodwin has been the Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator for last four seasons under head coach Bruce Arians. Although he currently doesn't call plays, there has become a viable name on the coaching search wire.
Update: Jan. 5
Goodwin was interviewed by Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon. He is also lined up to meet with the Buffalo Bills about their head coach opening at some point this week.
Steve Wilks: The 47-year-old has been the Carolina Panthers' coaching staff since the 2012 season. He served as the team's defensive backs coach for his three years with the team and has also taken on the assistant head coach in the last two seasons. Prior to that, he coached for the San Diego Chargers and Chicago Bears.
Update: Jan. 3
Wilks was one of the first candidates interviewed for the Rams' head-coaching vacancy on Tuesday afternoon. He is expected to meet with the Redskins this weekend to discuss possibly becoming their defensive coordinator.
Mike Vrabel: Since retiring from the NFL in 2010, Vrabel has taken up coach duties spending the first three years coaching at his alma mater Ohio State. Following that, he has held the linebackers coach position with the Houston Texans since the 2014 season.
Update: Jan. 9
The Rams have reportedly asked permission to speak with Vrabel for their head coaching gig next weekend after the Texans face the New England Patriots in the divisional round of the playoffs on Saturday night.
Here's an interesting one -- the Rams have received permission to interview Texans LBs coach Mike Vrabel for their head coaching vacancy.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) January 9, 2017
Anthony Lynn: The 48-year-old has been a coach in the NFL since 2000 first holding the position as a special teams assistant with the Broncos. He then went on to be a running backs coach for Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, Browns, New York Jets, and most recently Bills. He is currently the offensive coordinator/running backs coach for Buffalo and served as the interim head coach after Rex Ryan was fired late in the 2016 season.
Update: Jan. 12
Lynn is reportedly scheduled to meet with the Rams and Chargers this week to discuss their head coaching vacancies. It will mark his second interview with Los Angeles. Lynn had previously stated that his preference is the Bills' opening.