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Rams join four others in looking for new coach

mr. unpopular: Santonio Holmes, criticized by Jets teammates, leaves the locker room after a team meeting in which Rex Ryan cried.

Associated Press

mr. unpopular: Santonio Holmes, criticized by Jets teammates, leaves the locker room after a team meeting in which Rex Ryan cried.

The Rams fired Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney on Monday, meaning the Bucs are competing with four other teams in the search for a head coach.

In three seasons Spagnuolo, in his first head coaching job, was 10-38.

Colts owner Jim Irsay said he hasn't decided whether to retain Jim Caldwell after a 2-14 season. Vice chairman Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian were fired. Bill Polian was with the Colts for 14 years and built the team during the Peyton Manning era.

The Jaguars started the coaching carousel by firing Jack Del Rio on Nov. 29; two weeks later the Dolphins fired Tony Sparano and the Chiefs dismissed Todd Haley.

Jacksonville will apparently interview at least five offensive coordinators. It received permission for Atlanta's Mike Mularkey, the Jets' Brian Schottenheimer and Carolina's Rob Chudzinski, and reportedly will talk to Denver's Mike McCoy and New England's Bill O'Brien. The Dolphins began their search Monday by interviewing Todd Bowles, the interim coach for the final three games.

The Chiefs went 2-1 under interim Romeo Crennel, including a win over the Packers, and many Chiefs players want Crennel to be hired full time.

The Rams could be interested in former Titans coach Jeff Fisher and former Bucs coach Jon Gruden. Both have relationships with Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff and agent Marvin Demoff.

Chargers coach Norv Turner said decision on his future will be announced in a matter of days.

Eagles coach Andy Reid seems likely to return, but first-year defensive coordinator Juan Castillo might not be back. That could open a spot for Spagnuolo.

Jets teammates: Holmes has big fences to mend

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — When Santonio Holmes returns to the Jets' locker room next season, the receiver will have to show that he's decided to put the team ahead of himself.

That was the message resonating from several players Monday as they cleaned out their lockers. A day after Holmes was pulled from the field in the final minutes of a loss in Miami for arguing in the huddle, several players openly questioned why he was concerned with his own interests at such a crucial juncture for the team.

Wide receiver Patrick Turner, who was sent in to replace Holmes, said Holmes "lost focus" of the team's goals in recent days. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie said he "congratulated" teammates who spoke up and "showed leadership" after the on-field incident. And guard Matt Slauson questioned whether Holmes would be able to undo the damage.

In a final team meeting, coach Rex Ryan started to cry while he discussed his disappointment in the lack of team unity this season, Slauson said.

Ryan said of getting emotional: "I'm Irish. What do you want?"

Slauson thought the fracture began in October when Holmes criticized the offensive line on consecutive weeks. That brought a public rebuke from guard Brandon Moore, long a soft-spoken leader.

On Monday, Moore said everything Ryan said in the meeting about the need for team unity was "spot on."

Holmes was at the meeting and made a brief appearance in the locker room, but declined to speak to reporters. He quickly left, escorted by a team media relations official.

Linebacker Bart Scott bristled as he was asked about a report that he likely wouldn't be back. "All I know is I've got a guaranteed contract for $4 million," he said, then cursed at a photographer and stuck out his middle finger, adding: "Take a picture of this."

mendenhall out: Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall reportedly has a torn ACL in his right knee and is out for the postseason. Third-year back Isaac Redman and rookie John Clay will fill in Sunday in a wild-card game at the Broncos. Mewelde Moore has a sprained left knee and Jonathan Dwyer is out for the season with a left foot injury. Meanwhile, Denver coach John Fox was asked if he would consider replacing struggling quarterback Tim Tebow with backup Brady Quinn if the Broncos fall behind. "I don't do well with hypotheticals," Fox replied. "I anticipate we will play very well."

bears: An MRI showed Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher suffered no major structural damage to his left knee in Sunday's season-ending win over the Vikings.

bills: Defensive coordinator George Edwards was fired and replaced by assistant head coach Dave Wannstedt. The Bills allowed a franchise-worst 5,938 yards and yielded 434 points, second-worst in team history.

colts: Center Jeff Saturday, a free agent-to-be, said he might retire. Receiver Reggie Wayne's locker was packed up, with his name plate stripped off.

49ers: Coach Jim Harbaugh told quarterback Alex Smith the team plans to re-sign him beyond this season. Smith received a $4.9 million, one-year contract as a free agent in July, when many thought he would be gone after six up-and-down seasons. He has thrived in Harbaugh's first season.

packers: Left offensive tackle Chad Clifton, who returned from a hamstring injury sustained Oct. 9 to play Sunday's regular-season finale, will start in the playoffs. Clifton also hurt his back during rehabilitation.

rams: Ron Bartell, the team's top cover cornerback who sustained a season-ending neck injury in the opener, plans to play next season.

Rams join four others in looking for new coach 01/02/12 [Last modified: Monday, January 2, 2012 8:56pm]

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