Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

It's Easy: Rams Should Cast Lot with Zampese

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

It's Easy: Rams Should Cast Lot with Zampese

Article excerpt

The Rams are still searching for a new coach, and if this expedition goes on much longer, President Bill Clinton may have to step in and order them to find one.

Let's update the list. Put away that PSL application and get out your scorecard:

Scratch Ray Rhodes, who for some reason wants to subject himself and his family to Philadelphia fans and media.

Put an erasable line through the name of Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez; he's probably out.

Rich Brooks is still in contention despite his 91-109-4 at Oregon. (In 1988, Missouri hired Bob Stull instead of Brooks.)

New names are surfacing: UCLA coach Terry Donahue and San Diego State coach Ted Tollner. (Tollner? Huh? What about Tony Dungy?)

The people's choice, Mike Ditka, is on hold. The last option.

Alas, there is hot-and-cold Ernie Zampese, the Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator.

St. Louis football fans: Are you ready for Air Coryell II? The new domed stadium could be the scene of "The Flying Zampese" offense.

In Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, Zampese is telling Dallas-Fort Worth reporters that the Rams' job is his if he wants it. Zampese plans to meet with Rams officials Monday night. And we may learn, once and for all, if the innovative but introverted Zampese wants to be a head coach.

Zampese is an intriguing candidate. A celebrated offensive guru who refined Don Coryell's brilliant "West Coast Offense" in San Diego, the reticent Zampese has rejected numerous head-coaching opportunities.

Zampese, 58, doesn't like the media-relations work involved. He doesn't care to be a spokesman, salesman or star. Zampese's passion is pure, no-nonsense coaching. He is happiest in a dimly lit room, studying tapes, drawing up game plans and unlocking tactical secrets in the eternal quest for offensive perfection.

"I don't want to deal with all that junk you have to do as a head coach," Zampese once said. "I don't want to spend all my time in press conferences. I just like to be on the field and coach."

But Zampese has an excellent relationship with Rams President John Shaw and team owner Georgia Frontiere, and that could change his heart. …

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