January 07, 2017

LOS ANGELES (AP) The Los Angeles Rams are casting a wide net to find their next head coach.

The Rams' front office is talking to most of the popular candidates for the NFL's half-dozen coaching vacancies as they begin rebuilding from their 4-12 season.

The Rams already have interviewed Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, Arizona offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin, Washington offensive coordinator Sean McVay, and Carolina assistant head coach Steve Wilks. They plan to speak with New England coordinators Josh McDaniels and Matt Patricia this weekend, along with Buffalo interim coach Anthony Lynn and other candidates.

Los Angeles lost its final seven games and fired fifth-year head coach Jeff Fisher last month with three games remaining. The Rams have had 13 straight non-winning seasons and haven't made the playoffs since 2004.

They don't look close to a playoff return with an offense that has ranked last in the NFL for two straight years, including their homecoming season in Los Angeles. A topflight offensive coach could change that, and the Rams are clearly interested in the top offensive coordinators on the market.

McDaniels, the former Denver Broncos head coach, was the Rams' offensive coordinator in St. Louis in 2011, when they went 2-14. After coach Steve Spagnuolo was fired, McDaniels returned to the Patriots.

Shanahan, an offensive coordinator for nine seasons, is another top candidate after engineering the Falcons' high-powered offense this year. Atlanta scored 42 points against the Rams at the Coliseum in December, and Fisher was fired one day later.

Rams general manager Les Snead is among the front office employees speaking to head coaching candidates. Snead's future with the team still could be in doubt after five losing seasons, but Los Angeles owner Stan Kroenke must be seriously thinking about keeping the GM in place.

The Rams likely don't have the NFL's most attractive coaching opening with a mediocre talent base around No. 1 pick Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley. But the Rams will be attractive to some candidates with their high-profile hometown, a deep-pocketed owner and a palatial new stadium opening in Inglewood in 2019.

''I think the job is very attractive, but I think it's going to take the right fit,'' Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff told the team's official website. ''As the jobs stack up, I'm sure there are positives and I'm sure there are negatives. Quite frankly, if you have an opening, there are negatives. That is why you have an opening. The key is, what are the positives to your job?''

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