NFL denies Rams' effort to rework deal

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ST. LOUIS --- The NFL denied the St. Louis Rams' attempt to rework a contract with interim coach Jim Haslett that would ensure him a job beyond this season if he won six games because of a requirement that minority candidates be interviewed for head coaching vacancies.

Team president John Shaw said Saturday in a telephone interview with the AP that the league office cited the Rooney Rule when informing the Rams earlier this week, "either Tuesday or Wednesday."

"We gave them the language with the incentive bonus and they said the contract wouldn't qualify," Shaw said. "We were looking for a provision that would ensure him an extension if he won a certain amount of games."

The Rams have won two games in a row under Haslett, upsetting the Cowboys and Redskins, after firing Scott Linehan as head coach after an 0-4 start. St. Louis plays at New England today.

The Rooney Rule has been in place since 2003 to ensure that minority candidates be interviewed, although it does not apply to interim coaching changes. If the Rams want to hire Haslett as their full-time coach after the season, they'll be required to comply with the rule.

Shaw said the contract was to have served as a motivating factor for Haslett and for the team.

"It's been a very pleasant start," Shaw said. "But it's a long season, so you never know what's going to happen."

Haslett had been the team's defensive coordinator since 2006, joining Linehan before his first season. This is his second stint as a head coach after he was fired by the New Orleans Saints after the 2005 season.

Titans: Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch practiced Saturday and indicated that the groin injury that has limited him feels better than at any point last week.

Vanden Bosch originally suffered the injury in the first half of a victory at Baltimore on Oct. 5 and was on the field for just three plays at Kansas City last week. The Titans had a bye the previous week.

Vanden Bosch has started 54 consecutive regular-season games for the Titans and wants to be on the field when Tennessee plays host to division rival Indianapolis Monday night.

- Wide receiver Justin McCareins , who was sidelined by a hamstring injury last week, said he expects to play after practicing for the first time this week.


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