With the Browns' hiring of Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur as their new head coach, whom do the Rams look to to guide the career of franchise quarterback Sam Bradford?
Honestly, I don't believe anyone in St. Louis, or any Rams fan period, is upset that Shurmur will be leaving town. His offense was often viewed as unimaginative and bland. The downside of him leaving is that Bradford had his scheme mastered. A new coordinator with a new offensive scheme would be a giant step backwards for Bradford and this organization.
My first inclination in possible replacements for Shurmur is Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. He runs that West Coast system that Shurmur does, and has been endorsed by Brett Favre, having been Brett's quarterback coach in Green Bay and subsequently Minnesota. Bevell was also a quarterback himself, having played the position at the University of Wisconsin.
Hiring Bevell would allow Bradford to play in the same system, and consistency goes a long way in the development of quarterbacks. Look no further than the San Francisco 49ers and Alex Smith as proof of what learning a new system every other year can do to the development of a potential franchise arm. And I actually believe Bevell would be an upgrade over Shurmur, whom St. Louis observers were very critical of down the stretch for the Rams.
The one thing that Shurmur did do that I am very thankful for is call plays that did not get #8 killed and allowed him to take every snap for the Rams this season.
Other possible replacements tossed around have been Brad Childress and Josh McDaniels. Both are talented coaches, with McDaniels carrying around that offensive genius label on occasions. But both have had problems getting along with their players and lost their jobs before a potential coup d'etat by their teams.
I like the thought of hiring McDaniels; no one can deny what he did in New England and honestly, Denver's offense under McDaniels was not the problem. His scheme could potentially be a dramatic regression in Bradford's development. Learning an entire new system would be difficult for not only Bradford, but also the young Rams' entire offense.
If you want to make a splash and hire a name like McDaniels, then why not contact the Bears about their offensive coordinator and former Rams head coach Mike Martz?
Know this about Mike Martz: THE ST. LOUIS RAMS HAVE NEVER MADE THE PLAYOFFS WITHOUT MIKE MARTZ CALLING THE SHOTS ON OFFENSE.
Whoever takes over the reins for Shurmur needs the front office to invest in some serious upgrades on the offensive side of the ball.
Wide receiver, a backup change of pace running back to complement Steven Jackson, and the interior O-line should be at the forefront of the Rams' shopping list going into free agency and April's draft.
I like Oklahoma St. wide receiver Justin Blackmon going 14th overall to the Rams if he declares for the draft. Noel Devine, Jacquizz Rodgers and, if he declares, Jeffrey Demps would be the style of runner that I would bring in to back up Jackson. Their speed on that fast Jones Dome surface could be dynamic and give Bradford an added weapon.
But these are the Rams, the team that hired Scott Linehan, passed up DeSean Jackson for Donnie Avery, and drafted Adam Carriker one spot ahead of Darelle Revis.
So who knows?