On Rams' GM search targeting rivals

News that the St. Louis Rams are considering San Francisco's Tom Gamble and, earlier, Arizona's Steve Keim as general manager candidates makes sense from at least one perspective.

Both men would give new coach Jeff Fisher direct, inside knowledge of teams the Rams must beat to become competitive again. St. Louis went 0-6 in the NFC West this past season. Fisher was not in the NFL last season. He was previously in the AFC South. He'll have a full offseason to study the Rams' division rivals, but Gamble and Keim would bring institutional knowledge an NFC West outsider would not.

The 49ers have focused on re-signing their own players and avoiding big free-agent purchases in recent seasons. Gamble would presumably bring to St. Louis the same mindset -- one Fisher was familiar with while working with GM Mike Reinfeldt in Tennessee.

Minnesota's George Paton is also among those under consideration, having received a second interview. From Jeremy Fowler of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Paton is highly regarded within the Vikings organization, and his responsibilities are expected to expand should he stay in Minnesota. Paton played a large role in the trade for defensive end Jared Allen in 2008."

Finding a GM with the personality and people skills to work well with Fisher stands as a leading consideration for the Rams.