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Ex-Broncos coach McDaniels picked to oversee Rams' offense

ST. LOUIS -- The Rams on Tuesday hired former Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels as their offensive coordinator.

McDaniels, 34, replaces Pat Shurmur, who was hired last week to be the Cleveland Browns' head coach.

"We are happy to announce that Josh will be a part of our staff," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said in a statement released by the team. "I've always recognized that he is one of the top offensive minds in the NFL. We think he is a great addition to our organization."

The Rams scheduled news conferences Wednesday for Spagnuolo and McDaniels, the latter by telephone.

McDaniels parlayed success as an offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots into his first top job and at age 32 was the NFL's youngest head coach in 2009. He favors the spread offense, run by quarterback Sam Bradford in college at Oklahoma.

Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in the last draft, broke several of Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning's NFL rookie records last season.

McDaniels was let go Dec. 6 by the Broncos, with four games left in the regular season and in the midst of the franchise's worst slump in four decades. After winning his first six games of McDaniels' rookie season, the Broncos lost 17 of the last 22, and the team had several issues off the field.

McDaniels was fined $50,000 by the NFL after a videographer violated league rules by videotaping a San Francisco 49ers practice in London in October.

The Rams made a six-victory improvement this past season under Spagnuolo, who will enter his third season as head coach.

McDaniels was with the Patriots from 2001 to 2008. He was a personnel assistant on the '01 team that beat the Rams in the Super Bowl. New England won two more Super Bowls and totaled four AFC championships in McDaniels' eight seasons with the franchise, the last three with him as offensive coordinator.

In McDaniels' first season with the Broncos, Kyle Orton set career highs for passes, completions, passing yards, touchdown passes and passer rating while tying his career low for interceptions. Orton's 3,802 passing yards were the sixth-highest for a season in Broncos history.

The Broncos were seventh in the NFL in passing yards and 13th in total offense this season.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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