EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams have officially dived into the pool of available offensive coordinator candidates.
According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the Rams have requested permission to interview in-limbo San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman and former Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan for their open offensive coordinator position. Neither name should come as much of a surprise, and both occupied spots on the initial list I posted after Brian Schottenheimer departed for Georgia's offensive coordinator position.
Shanahan has close ties to Rams coach Jeff Fisher. Mike Shanahan and Fisher are close friends, and Kyle is Mike's son. Fisher and Kyle Shanahan have known each other for a long time, and Shanahan would be a fit philosophically for what Fisher wants his offense to be.
After Shanahan asked out of his contract with the Browns this week, his name immediately popped up in a variety of places. He interviewed for the Buffalo Bills head coaching job on Thursday, and his name has been brought up as the likely coordinator choice for Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, should Quinn land a head coaching job, which seems most likely in San Francisco or with the New York Jets. In other words, the Rams figure to have plenty of competition for Shanahan's services should Fisher want to bring him on board.
As for Roman, he might be the candidate that makes the most sense from a pure football perspective. He is well respected by Rams defenders, who have tried to defend his running game in recent years, and his offense's success with the ground game and lack of turnovers would seem to appeal to Fisher's preferred offensive approach. Roman's San Francisco offenses have finished in the top four in rushing in each of the past four season. It also doesn't hurt than Roman is familiar with the NFC West and would be able to hit the ground running in terms of preparation for games against Seattle, San Francisco and Arizona.
Like with Shanahan, the Rams face plenty of competition for Roman. He's technically still under contract with the 49ers, but after Jim Harbaugh's departure, San Francisco has allowed Roman to explore other opportunities. He's already interviewed for Tampa Bay's vacancy (since filled by Dirk Koetter), the Buffalo head coaching position, and is scheduled to interview for Jacksonville's coordinator opening on Saturday. Cleveland has also sought an interview with Roman.
But it's possible Roman might never make it out of Jacksonville. His ties to Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell run deep, as the pair were teammates and roommates at John Carroll University.
Fisher has generally moved slower on such hires, but with names like Shanahan and Roman drawing plenty of interest elsewhere, it's possible something could materialize faster this time around.