Two sources with knowledge of the St. Louis Rams' coaching search said the team expects to announce by Friday that either Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier or New York Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo will be named the next head coach.
One of the sources, both of which talked to someone directly involved in the Rams' search, confirmed a report by Profootballtalk.com that the remaining St. Louis staff was informed it would not be retained by the team, meaning that interim coach Jim Haslett no longer was in consideration for the head coaching job.
The Associated Press reported Thursday evening that Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan also were candidates for the St. Louis vacancy. However, Ryan has been linked in various reports this week to the Jets' opening, and the two sources that spoke to Yahoo! Sports received strong indications that the candidates were narrowed to Frazier and Spagnuolo.
Frazier's experience as both a player (he spent six years in the NFL and was a starting cornerback on the 1985 Bears Super Bowl team) and coach (he started the Trinity International University program from the ground up) has impressed administrators.
He also has spent the past 10 years as an NFL assistant coach, including the past two with the Vikings.
As for Spagnuolo, he is considered the mastermind of the blitz and pass rush schemes that allowed the Giants to thwart New England in the Super Bowl last year after the Patriots set an NFL record for scoring in the regular season. Spagnuolo has been an NFL assistant for the past 10 years, including the last two with the Giants. He has worked his way up the coaching ranks since graduating from Massachusetts in 1983.