EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers are the only teams remaining without an offensive coordinator in place. With 11 coordinator jobs all over the league having been filled, the list of known candidates for the Rams has dwindled.
But the Rams and coach Jeff Fisher will have to make a decision at some point and could be drawing closer to one. Tuesday brings with it a couple of options that could be in play for the job.
The most obvious of those choices is former Buffalo offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. Hackett interviewed with Fisher last Thursday and remains firmly in the mix for the job. In fact, Hackett is the only outside candidate known to have interviewed for the job to this point and is scheduled to speak to the Rams again on Tuesday. The fact that he's getting a second interview at the very least means Fisher is intrigued enough to continue considering him, even if it guarantees nothing when it comes to hiring him.
Also on Tuesday, another candidate the Rams are known to have interest in becomes available for interviews. That's Indianapolis Colts special assistant Rob Chudzinski. The Rams previously requested permission to interview Chudzinski but the Colts denied them permission. San Francisco has also expressed interest in Chudzinski but hasn't talked to him yet.
But, according to a report from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the Colts will no longer have a say in Chudzinski's future as of Tuesday. At that point, he'll be free to interview with either team. That doesn't necessarily mean he will though, as it's believed Indianapolis values his input and the Colts might try to find a way to expand his role.
At the Colts' end-of-season news conference, general manager Ryan Grigson indicated that retaining Chudzinski is a possibility.
“I’m not going to get into specifics,” Grigson said. “But it’s ultimately my job to make sure that good people stay in this building and don’t just walk right out. So we’ll address that and do our best to keep good people here.”
Barring that, there's strong belief in league circles that Chudzinski would prefer San Francisco to St. Louis, though circumstances can always change. Chudzinski spent last season with the Colts after getting just one season as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Before that, he was the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers for two seasons.
Hackett spent the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator for Doug Marrone in Buffalo. During his time, the Bills struggled offensively with an unsettled quarterback situation not unlike the one the Rams currently have. Still, there are some league observers who believe Hackett has the makeup to be successful if given the right tools with which to work.
Aside from Hackett and Chudzinski, the only other potential candidates linked to the job include in-house options such as tight ends coach Rob Boras and quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti. It's also possible there are other candidates that have not been revealed, but without many candidates to consider, the Rams will have to come to a resolution to their search sooner than later.