The Los Angeles Rams saw their disappointing 2016 season come to a close on Sunday afternoon following a blowout loss at the hands of the Arizona Cardinals.
Interim head coach John Fassel, who held a 0-3 record in the final three games of the season, voiced on Monday his strong desire to return as the full-time head coach next year.
“I hope to get a chance to talk to (Executive Vice President of Football Operations/ Chief Operating Officer) Kevin (Demoff) and (General Manager) Les (Snead) about whatever they want to talk about – whether it’s a head coaching interview or whether it’s an information gather on where I see the team headed," Fassel said. "I would very much welcome the opportunity to sit down and just have a good football conversation about what I think it’s going to take for the Rams be an NFC West division champ.”
Fassel took over head coaching duties following Jeff Fisher's sudden dismissal prior to the team's final road game of the season against the Seattle Seahawks. Fisher had been originally hired prior to 2012 season and garnered a 31-45-1 record in nearly five seasons. This included failing to amass more than seven wins in any campaign while finishing no greater than third in the standings in the NFC West.
As for Fassel, he had spent the last five years with the Rams as the special teams' coordinator. During this span, Los Angeles has set several NFL and team records. Punter Johnny Hekker is currently first in the league in net average, net yards, and opponent return average since being drafted in 2012.
Fassel was reportedly interviewed on Monday night by the Rams' management, making him the first of several candidates that the team is expected to speak to about the position in the coming weeks. With that in mind, he believes that the experience he gained in the head coach position over the last few weeks has changed his overall perspective on becoming a head coach.
"These three weeks have been probably the greatest, most educational coaching experience in my life," Fassel said. "I would love someday to get the opportunity to be a head coach in the National Football League. Seeing it from just a coordinator role, not really considering it, to having the opportunity to be in front of the team, and to have the great opportunity to be the leader that has to kind of pull it all together when it certainly was fraying."
Whether or not he's given the opportunity to fulfill the team's head coaching vacancy, Fassel believes that one of the biggest concerns for the next coach should be focusing on improving the overall chemistry of the organization.
“Coaches chemistry, coaches and players chemistry, coaches and management chemistry, players and management chemistry some of the better teams in the league that seems like they have it, and it seems like they’re pretty consistent winners," Fassel said. "It takes somebody to have their fingers on the pulse and know how to build it. That would be something that I would really look forward to."
That said, Fassel believes there's a great chance for the next head coach to turn the franchise around through building strong chemistry that can help develop an identity that team can lean on moving forward into the new era.
“I think there’s great opportunities for chemistry to be built," Fassel said. "The best teams seem like they have it and we play against quite a few of them every year. If you want me to name them, I got, of course New England, Seattle, I think Pittsburgh’s consistent, Green Bay’s pretty darn consistent, and Baltimore usually has really pretty good consistency. Also, those teams have an identity and I think we need to build an identity. So, there’s a lot of stuff you can get into."