Wed, Jan 04, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Rams and Bucs fire coaches, while Colts clear out front office

AFP, Washington

The St Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers fired their coaches on Monday, one day after concluding miserable seasons with losses to playoff-bound rivals.

The Indianapolis Colts, who joined the Rams at a league-worst 2-14, saw chairman Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian fired by owner Jim Irsay, who kept coach Jim Caldwell.

The Colts were without star quarterback Peyton Manning all season because of a neck injury.

The Rams dumped coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney. Spagnuolo was 10-38 in three seasons with the Rams. He was hired less than a month into Devaney’s tenure.

St Louis lost 34-27 to visiting San Francisco on Sunday.

“This was a difficult decision,” Rams owner Stan Kroenke said. “No one individual is to blame for this disappointing season and we all must hold ourselves accountable.”

“However, we believe it’s in the best interest of the St Louis Rams to make these changes as we continue our quest to build a team that consistently competes for playoffs and championships,” Kroenke added.

Tampa Bay fired coach Raheem Morris after the Buccaneers lost 45-24 to Atlanta on Sunday, the team’s 10th loss in a row. That is the worst one-season run since the Bucs lost their first 12 games in 1977.

“I have a lot of respect and appreciation for the passion coach Morris gave to our football team, but this change is one we felt was necessary,” Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik said.

The Buccaneers finished 4-12 after winning four of their first six games, the reversal of Morris’ first campaign in 2009 when the team opened 1-12.

“We want to thank coach Morris for all his hard work and dedication as head coach of the Buccaneers,” Buccaneers co-chairman Joel Glazer said.

The Buffalo Bills fired defensive coordinator George Edwards and replaced him with Dave Wannstedt.

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