Rams’ coaching opening more likely to be filled by Harbaugh than Gruden

By Rob Vogt Source:Global Times Published: 2016/12/15 0:03:39

Now that the Los Angeles Rams have taken my advice and finally fired traditionally underachieving head coach Jeff Fisher, a larger questions remains: Who should they hire to replace him?

Early media speculation has centered around two high-profile candidates - Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden, and University of Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. While both would be good hires for the Rams, the former is less likely than the latter.

On the surface, Gruden would seem to be a great fit for the Rams. He famously led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory in Super Bowl XXXVII, and his love for coaching runs so deep that after being fired by the Buccaneers in 2009, he founded the Fired Football Coaches Association. Every time a high-profile coaching job becomes available, Gruden's name comes up.

And every time his name comes up, Gruden declines - for good reason. His current gig allows him the opportunity to be extremely well-compensated for studying and commenting on football on a full-time basis - without the win-or-get-fired stress that necessarily accompanies any NFL head coaching job.

Harbaugh, on the other hand, would be a great fit with the Rams. Leaving the University of Michigan would allow him to return to the NFL, where he would be able to focus his efforts entirely on the X's and O's of coaching, minus the recruiting and public relations duties attached to any major college coaching position.

Plus, coaching in the NFC West would allow Harbaugh to compete twice per season against the lowly San ­Francisco 49ers, who foolishly forced him out in 2014 after he took the team to three consecutive conference ­championship games and compiled a 44-19-1 record.

After a 20-year absence, the Rams returned this season to Los Angeles, a city that craves celebrities. While both Gruden and Harbaugh fit that description, one of them is far more likely to become the team's next coach.

The author is a Chicago-based freelance writer. robvogtwriting@gmail.coms

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