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Greg Olson Emerging as Coordinator Candidate in Buffalo

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Time to put the roster breakdowns on hold, folks. It seems to be speculation at this point, but it's smart speculation - Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News reports this morning that former Rams offensive coordinator Greg Olson is a rumored candidate to replace Steve Fairchild-Mularkey as Buffalo's offensive coordinator. "Former Rams coordinator"... sounds familiar, right?

Olson was a candidate for Buffalo's offensive coordinator position back in 2006, after Dick Jauron had just been hired, and as he was assembling his first staff. Current Rams head coach Scott Linehan was a new coach at that point as well, and Olson - formerly the quarterbacks coach for Jauron in both Detroit and Chicago - took up the same post with St. Louis.

Don't Panic
While Olson's rumored candidacy doesn't provide us with the most thrilling name out there (he's no Cameron or Martz), he's qualified for the position. In 2006 - his first year as a coordinator - the Rams finished fourth in the league in total offense, tenth in rushing, and scored a whopping 273 points in the red zone. That's more points than the Bills scored this season, folks. And while it's true that his Rams offense regressed mightily in '07 - the Rams finished 24th in total offense and 28th in scoring - one must consider the fact that injuries severely depleted his talent pool. We're talking about a guy forced to play a game with Brock Berlin as his starting quarterback, folks. He lost quarterbacks Marc Bulger and Gus Frerotte. He played without stud left tackle Orlando Pace for the year, starting guard Richie Incognito for 12 games, and also didn't have the services of star RB Steven Jackson for a stretch. Alex Barron was his starting left tackle. Alex Barron. No coordinator would have been overly successful in that situation.

My guess: Olson got fired as a fan-friendly move made by Linehan to save his own skin. The Rams were 8-8 last season behind one of the league's elite offenses; there was talk that after the Rams' 0-8 start, Linehan was on his way out. Now he's "fired" Olson (though he remains with the team, free to seek other positions) and is going after the big names. That behavior screams "look, I'm doing what you ask!" The fact of the matter is that Olson is an underrated coach - and while there are more appealing candidates for Buffalo, Olson's not close to being a bad decision should Jauron take this route.

Other GM/O-Coordinator News
From the same Gaughan report, Buffalo may not be hiring a "General Manager", insofar as the title goes - the new hire may get the title of VP of Player Personnel, so that he doesn't appear higher on the food chain than Jauron. Meanwhile, owner Ralph Wilson is expected to retain his Presidency, and the team will reportedly continue to favor a consensus approach to hiring that Marv Levy instilled during his two-year tenure.

Gaughan also names John Guy, Greg Gabriel and Rick Mueller as VP candidates, with Olson and current quarterbacks coach Turk Schonert (a "strong candidate") as potential coordinators.