Rams hire Walton as defensive coordinator

McClatchy news servicesFebruary 16, 2013 

Finally, the St. Louis Rams have a defensive coordinator.

After interviewing several big-name candidates, including Rob Ryan, Mike Singletary and Dick Jauron, coach Jeff Fisher decided on Tim Walton, a Lions secondary coach who still is building his résumé.

“At the end of the day, you take advantage of patience, and we did so,” Fisher said Friday at a news conference to announce the hire.

Fisher said he spent two days with Jauron and one with Singletary but felt they weren’t good fits because of terminology differences. Ryan, hired as the Saints’ defensive coordinator last week, got a longer look before backing out.

The Rams finally settled on the 41-year-old Walton, whose top selling point for Fisher was familiarity with the system. Walton coached under former Fisher aide Jim Schwartz in Detroit, who runs a similar defense.

PACKERS RELEASE D-BACK CHARLES WOODSON

The Green Bay Packers released 36-year-old defensive back Charles Woodson with two years left on his contract.

“He has been an integral part of the Packers’ success, and our Super Bowl title in 2010 would not have been possible without his contributions,” general manager Ted Thompson said.

The Packers clear about $10 million in cap space by releasing Woodson. Carl Poston, Woodson’s agent, said the veteran wasn’t done yet.

“The Packers told Charles they’re going in a different direction,” Poston said. “Charles told me he still wants to play — for a Super Bowl contender.”

VIKINGS TO PLAY 2 SEASONS OUTDOORS

Next season will be the Minnesota Vikings’ last in the 31-year-old Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, and fans of the purple and gold can look forward to blue lips and red cheeks as they shiver through two seasons of old-school outdoor football.

Vikings vice president Lester Bagley said the team plans to play at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium during the 2014 and 2015 seasons, while the team’s new stadium is built at the Metrodome site in downtown Minneapolis. Plans call for the old stadium to be torn down next February and for the new one to be ready to open by July 1, 2016.

EXTRA POINTS

The Dallas Cowboys say Jack Eskridge – the man credited with designing the famed blue star logo – died Monday at a Valley Falls, Kan., hospital at the age of 89. The former equipment manager was one of Cowboys coach Tom Landry’s first hires in 1959. He remained with the team until 1973. … Backup quarterback and former Seahawk Tarvaris Jackson is coming back to Buffalo after re-signing with the Bills on Friday. … Denver Broncos boss John Elway is planning to put the franchise tag on his All Pro left tackle Ryan Clady as early as Tuesday. … The Indianapolis Colts released a statement saying they would not re-sign Dwight Freeney for next season. … Titus Young was been placed on waivers after a few days with St. Louis.

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