Rams lose spe­cial teams coach

Antelope Valley Press - - SPORTS - By GREG BEACHAM

LOS AN­GE­LES — Spe­cial teams co­or­di­na­tor John Fas­sel is leav­ing the Los An­ge­les Rams for the same job with the Dal­las Cow­boys.

The Rams an­nounced the de­ci­sion of their for­mer in­terim head coach Wednesday on Twit­ter.

Fas­sel is the sec­ond co­or­di­na­tor to leave Sean McVay’s staff this week. McVay fired de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Wade Phillips on Mon­day.

Fas­sel is headed to Dal­las to join the new staff of Su­per Bowl-win­ning head coach Mike McCarthy, who was of­fi­cially hired by the Cow­boys on Tues­day.

Fas­sel has been in charge of the Rams’ su­perb spe­cial teams since 2012. He moved with the fran­chise from St. Louis to Los An­ge­les, and he served as the Rams’ head coach for the fi­nal three games of the 2016 sea­son af­ter Jeff Fisher was fired.

Fas­sel then stayed on staff un­der McVay, the youngest head coach in mod­ern NFL his­tory. The con­tracts of Fas­sel and Phillips were up af­ter the Rams fin­ished 9-7 and missed the playoffs last month.

“His knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing of crit­i­cal game sit­u­a­tions and his spe­cial teams play-call­ing have helped us rank among the best in the league in those ar­eas,” McVay said in a brief state­ment posted on the Rams’ Twit­ter feed.

Along with an in­fec­tious en­thu­si­asm, Fas­sel has a well-re­garded rep­u­ta­tion for in­no­va­tion. He in­stalled a wide va­ri­ety of fake punts to take ad­van­tage of the arm of Pro Bowl punter Johnny Hekker, a for­mer high school quar­ter­back.

Rams kicker Greg Zuer­lein, Hekker and long snap­per Jake McQuaide were all se­lected for the Pro Bowl last sea­son while the Rams won the NFC ti­tle.

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