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Will Fisher be Rams' primary defensive voice?

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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By Dan Arkush

With new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams officially out of the mix this coming season after being suspended indefinitely, head coach Jeff Fisher has really made only one thing clear.

“I’m not going to name a defensive coordinator,” Fisher said a few hours after commissioner Roger Goodell showed no mercy in doling out far-reaching “Bountygate” penalties that produced unprecedented tremors on the NFL landscape. “Most likely it’ll be a collective effort, but we have a lot of things we have to sort out, as you can imagine.”

Mentioning the “three former coordinators in the building,” it appears Fisher will be combining forces with assistant head coach Dave McGinnis and secondary coach Chuck Cecil in an effort to pick up the slack created by Williams’ exile.

But while sources close to the team agree that tabbing a primary voice for the defense would be a very premature endeavor at this point in time, they would not in the least bit be surprised if Fisher ends up being the play-caller.

“I’ll remind you that the playbook that Gregg has originated in my office, so I have a pretty good feel for the defense,” said Fisher, offering what some sources perceived as a pretty telling hint.

If not Fisher, the best bet would appear to be that McGinnis, who previously coordinated the Cardinals’ defense for five seasons, is ahead of Cecil in the play-calling pecking order.

“McGinnis has more of a background than Cecil, who was out of coaching last year after being fired by Fisher (in Tennessee) after the 2010 season.”

But while there’s no denying McGinnis’ strong credentials, there are also valid concerns as to just how much his heart would be into primarily filling a coordinator role.

“I don’t think he wanted that,” said one source on the scene of McGinnis. “I think he liked the idea of being involved in a lot of different areas.”

Another major question that remains unanswered is whether or not Williams will return to the team after his suspension is over.

“It’s kind of interesting how non-committal Fisher seems to be,” the source said. “But while his relationship with Williams might have been strained by all of this, I tend to think Williams will eventually be back.”

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