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Newz Forum: FOOTBALL: Rams fire special-teams coach Stock

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posted on Jan, 22 2005 @ 04:29 PM
ST. LOUIS (Jan. 21, 2005) -- The St. Louis Rams fired special-teams coach Mike Stock and replaced him with Bob Ligashesky, who becomes the fourth man to try and turn around a unit that has struggled since Mike Martz took over as head coach in 2000.

The Rams ranked at or near the bottom of the NFL in all special-teams categories this season. In a season-ending 47-17 playoff loss at Atlanta on Jan. 15, the Falcons' Allen Rossum had an NFL playoff-record 152 punt-return yards, including a 68-yard touchdown return.

The Rams also allowed an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown in a loss at Buffalo on Nov. 21 and a 94-yard kickoff return in a season-ending 32-29 overtime victory against the New York Jets on Jan. 2.

Stock was in St. Louis for only one season. He replaced Bobby April, who was fired in 2003 after three seasons. April had replaced Larry Pasquale, who was let go after one season in 2000.

Ligashesky has coached only one year in the NFL, serving as assistant special-teams coach at Jacksonville last season. Before that, he was an assistant coach in college for 19 years.

The Jaguars ranked 10th in the NFL in three special-teams categories: punt-return average (9.6 yards), gross punting average (42.8 yards) and net punting average allowed. They were sixth in kickoff-return average defense, allowing only 19.9 yards per return.

"He's what I'm looking for in an assistant coach, with the passion for what he does, the high energy level," Martz said. "He's a terrific teacher. He knows the details and the fundamentals of the kicking game."



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