Jeff Fisher and his band of merry men, pardon me...assistants, are finally assembled with the St. Louis Rams now that Brian Schottenheimer and Gregg Williams are in house as offensive and defensive coordinators respectively. For obvious reasons these three are the figures that most will focus on when it comes to the success of the Rams in 2012. However, not content to rest of this Fisher added another key piece shortly after these hires were made official.
Dave McGinnis worked with Fisher during his time with the Tennessee Titans and has a long coaching history under his belt. McGinnis will now be with Fisher once again assuming the role of assistant head coach and his near quarter century coaching pedigree provides a young Rams team with plenty of leadership from the top down.
Now that the revamped staff is locked and loaded, the Rams have three members of their coaching collection with head coaching experience in the past. Obviously Fisher brings his know-how with his from Tennessee, but Williams was in charge with the Buffalo Bills from 2001 to 2003 while McGinnis also had a stint as a head coach with the Arizona Cardinals from 2000 to 2003. This collective familiarity with the intricacies of the NFL will no doubt be quite useful in the rebuilding process.
The last item remaining on his checklist is for Fisher and company is to find a general manager that can assist with the task of creating a competitive roster for the upcoming year and seasons to come. The second overall selection in April’s NFL Draft will no doubt make that undertaking a much more attractive gig with plenty of flexibility given the league’s new salary structure for incoming rookies. Not too mention the growing fan fare for RGIII. There is still a great deal of work left to be done in order to get the Rams back to a competitive level, but they now have the pieces in place to get everyone on the same page.
Let’s take a Look at those pieces.
Brian Schottenheimer joins the Rams as their new offensive coordinator after spending the previous six seasons in the same position with the New York Jets. And all signs point to him bringing on A quarterbacks coach for Bradford as well. I know, crazy right.
During Schottenheimer’s time in New York, he constructed an offense that helped the Jets earn back-to-back appearances in the AFC Championship Game. In 2009, the Jets led the NFL with an average of 172.3 rushing yards per game.
Schottenheimer joined the Jets in 2006 after spending four seasons as the quarterbacks coach of the San Diego Chargers. In 2004, Drew Brees earned Pro Bowl honors for the first time. Schottenheimer also oversaw the development of Philip Rivers, who worked with Schottenheimer as Brees’ understudy during Rivers’ first two NFL seasons.
Prior to his stint in San Diego, Schottenhimer worked for his father, Marty, in Washington and Kansas City. He was an offensive assistant with the Chiefs and held the title of quarterbacks coach during his lone season with the Redskins. He was an offensive assistant on Dick Vermeil’s Rams staff in 1997 and tutored tight ends at Southern California in 2000 and wide receivers at Syracuse in 1999.
Schottenheimer played quarterback at the University of Florida, where he played under Steve Spurrier and was a backup to Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel during the Gators’ 1996 National Championship season.
New defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who spent the last three seasons as the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints, brings 22 years of NFL coaching experience to St. Louis, including six as an assistant under Fisher.
Williams owns the distinction of presiding over five separate top five total defenses during his coaching career: Tennessee Titans (No. 1 in total defense in 2000), Buffalo Bills (No. 3 in 2001 and no. 2 in 2003), Washington Redskins (No. 3 in 2005), and the New Orleans Saints (No. 4 in 2010). As a defensive coordinator or head coach (15 seasons), Williams has racked up seven top-10 overall defenses.
During his most recent post in New Orleans, Williams helped the Saints capture two division titles (2009 and 2011), an NFC Conference Championship (2009), and the Super Bowl XLIV championship, as well as an NFC Wild Card berth in 2010.
Williams, a Missouri native who played quarterback at Northeast Missouri State, arrived in New Orleans in 2009 following a one-year stint in Jacksonville as defensive coordinator. He spent the previous four seasons (2004-07) as assistant head coach/defense of the Washington Redskins.
Prior to joining the Redskins, Williams spent three seasons as head coach of the Buffalo Bills. Williams’ reputation as a defensive coach was forged in his years with the Houston/Tennessee franchise, where he served for 11 seasons (1990-2000), including as coordinator during his last four years with the club. Initially hired as a defensive quality control coach, he was promoted to special teams coach in 1993, and took over as linebackers coach from 1994-96 before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 1997.
In 2000, the Titans led the NFL in total defense for the first time since joining the NFL and allowed 191 points – the third-fewest in league record books since the adoption of a 16-game schedule in 1978. Tennessee also set club records with 55 sacks, fewest passing yards allowed (2,424) and fewest touchdowns allowed (17). It completed a two-year stretch where the Titans posted an NFL-high 109 sacks.
Finally Dave McGinnis, who has a long history coaching with Jeff Fisher, is joining Fisher's staff in St. Louis, according to league sources.
McGinnis will have the role of assistant head coach. He spent seven seasons with Fisher in Tennessee, serving as linebackers coach in 2004 and assistant head coach/linebackers from 2005-10. Following Fisher's departure, McGinnis stayed on with the Titans in 2011 as a senior assistant under new Titans head coach Mike Munchak.
McGinnis, who spent four seasons as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals (2000-2003), spent three seasons early in his career (1975-77) as an assistant head coach with the University of Missouri.