Both NFL.com and Yahoo! Sports are reporting that the Rams have narrowed their wish list down to Frazier or Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Frazier, who was viewed as one of two finalists for the Denver Broncos coaching position, could be announced as early today as the new head coach in St. Louis.
"He's got a breadth of football experience from having played on the 1985 world championship Bears with Buddy Ryan to Mike Ditka to being the head coach in a small college in Illinois to coaching at the University of Illinois to coach at the Philadelphia Eagles and some pretty good DBs there in Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor," Vikings coach Brad Childress said of Leslie Frazier on Sirius NFL Radio last week. "He was with us when we drafted Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown (in Philadelphia). And then went on to Cincinnati with Marvin Lewis as a defensive coordinator, on with Tony Dungy so he's got that Tampa-2 background. He's just a very good leader and extremely good teacher who has played in this league. Not only is tremendous with the defensive front, but speaks from experience with the defensive secondary. He can run a room. He's going to be a great head coach. I'm not sure if it's going to happen this year, but he certainly deserves the opportunity to put his foot forward and introduce himself."
The need for a new head coach has intensified over the last 24 hours. The Rams informed interim coach Jim Haslett that he is no longer a candidate and the rest of the coaching staff was informed that they would not be retained. As a result, any new head coach would have to assemble his own coaching staff.
There have been rumors floating around the St. Louis media that if a decision wasn't made today or Saturday, that would be a strong indication that Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan would be a candidate, but Ryan's name is being strongly tied to the New York Jets head coaching vacancy.
Team usually want to have a head coach named by this weekend so he can begin to interview potential assistants at the week of practice preceding the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
If Frazier is announced today as the new Rams head coach, he would be the second defensive coordinator under Brad Childress in the span of two years that has been hired away as a head coach. In January 2007, Mike Tomlin was hired by the Steelers to replace Bill Cowher after his retirement.