Could Josh McDaniels Replace Jeff Fisher As Rams’ Next Head Coach?


The Los Angeles Rams finally showed Jeff Fisher the door Monday afternoon, one day after they were thoroughly outclassed in a blowout loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

Fisher personified mediocrity during his half-decade with the Rams, winning seven, seven, six and seven games over the franchise’s final four seasons in St. Louis. Fisher steered the team to a 4-9 record this season before being canned, including eight losses in its last nine games.

So with Fisher now out of the picture, what’s next for L.A.? Well, there are several coordinators around the NFL who could be in line to land head-coaching gigs, including one who coached against the Rams just a week ago: New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.

McDaniels’ future has been a popular topic of discussion this season, especially after he helped keep the Patriots’ offense humming during Tom Brady’s four-game Deflategate suspension. New England went 3-1 with Brady out of the picture and relatively untested replacements Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett taking snaps in his place.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported the Rams likely will attempt to interview McDaniels during the first week of the playoffs, which isn’t surprising. L.A.’s offense has been a disaster this season — running back Todd Gurley accurately called it “a middle-school offense” — and McDaniels’ experience and success on that side of the ball make him a natural candidate.

Now, would McDaniels want the Rams job? That likely depends on how he feels about Jared Goff, whom L.A. drafted first overall this year to be its quarterback of the future. The jury’s still out on Goff, who didn’t make his first NFL start until Week 11. But if he turns out to be an above-average pro, the Rams have the pieces in place at running back and on defense to return to relevancy sooner rather than later.

For what it’s worth, McDaniels has a history with the Rams, having spent the 2011 season as their offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach after flopping as a head coach in Denver. He went 11-17 win the Broncos before being fired midway through his second season.

And whether or not the Rams gig is the one for him, McDaniels has made it clear he does want to give head-coaching another shot.

“Look, I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I definitely would love to be a head coach again,” McDaniels said last month. “There’s only 32 of those in the world. Those are opportunities that don’t come along very often, and if you would ever to be so fortunate and blessed to have another opportunity to do it — and for myself, it would be the second time — it would be an opportunity that I would look forward to.”

The Patriots sit at 10-2 entering Monday night’s matchup with the Baltimore Ravens and rank fifth in the NFL in points per game (26.6).

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images

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