ST. LOUIS (AP) Jeff Fisher had several phone conversations with outside candidates for the St. Louis Rams' opening at offensive coordinator. Only out of curiosity, he says.
Just one of those people was brought in for an interview. Staying in-house and promoting quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti reflects Fisher's desire for fine-tuning rather than a system overhaul.
''I love to lead,'' Cignetti said Friday at his introductory news conference. ''I don't know why we can't be great. We want to go from good to great.''
Among the tweaks, Cignetti will have less hands-on involvement with the quarterback than predecessor Brian Schottenheimer, and the playbook probably will be simplified. Continuity is a major factor.
''We are going to change, but change is good,'' Fisher said. ''This change is going to be very, very good for our offense.''
Fisher fully expects the starting quarterback to be Sam Bradford, the No. 1 pick of the 2010 draft who's rehabbing from a second straight season-ending left knee injury - and entering the final year of his contract. Fisher said he discussed the Cignetti promotion extensively with Bradford, adding the move wouldn't have been made if Bradford hadn't approved,
The coach also backed off remarks from his season-ending news conference in which he said the Rams would seek to bring in a quarterback to compete for the job, and that Bradford would also have to rework his contract. In the final installment of a six-year, $78 million deal, Bradford is set to make a base salary of nearly $13 million, with a cap number of $16.58 million.
''It's not as much from a standpoint of challenging, it's to have options,'' Fisher said. ''We don't know what that looks like right now, whether that's draft or free agency.''
Fisher said Bradford has been rehabbing daily at Rams Park since the end of the season.
Fisher interviewed Jeff Garcia for the vacant quarterbacks coach job the last two days and said the Rams would interview ''several others.'' Like the Cignetti hire, he appeared in no hurry to finalize that spot, though he added Cignetti had been on the job more than a week before the introductory news conference.
''We have some really solid options in place, but again we're going to probably take a little bit of time before we make that decision,'' Fisher said.
The Rams (6-10) struggled particularly in the third quarter and on third downs. They were outscored by 88 points in the second half, among the worst in the NFL.
''We need to do it better, we need to execute, we need to minimize mistakes,'' Fisher said. ''We need to reduce the amount of information that we're giving to the players and go out and execute.''
Like Schottenheimer, Cignetti wants to get wide receiver/return man Tavon Austin more involved.
''I saw him this week, fired up to get working with him,'' Cignetti said. ''Tavon Austin's a playmaker.''
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