John Robinson, who took the Los Angeles Rams within one win of the Super Bowl two years ago, announced his resignation yesterday as the team's head coach.
The Rams have lost nine straight games, matching a team record that has lasted 50 years.
Robinson, 56, who will quit after Sunday's season finale in Seattle, said his decision was a mutual one with Rams management.
He emphasized he has not spoken with anyone about another coaching job.
The Rams' 12 losses represent the most for the team since 1962.
Several possible replacements for Robinson had surfaced even before yesterday's announcement, which came after Robinson told the players of his intentions.
One is former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan, fired last season after the team lost its first playoff game for the third year in a row.
Another is Dick Coury, defensive coordinator in New England and a former quarterbacks coach for the Rams. He was a head coach in the United States Football League.
The Rams also might talk to Dennis Green, who led Stanford to an 8-3 mark this season.
Robinson was with the Rams for nine years, the longest tenure of any head coach in franchise history. He set franchise highs for games coached -- it will be 153 after Sunday night -- and victories.
His overall record with the team is 79-73.
Robinson's Rams earned six playoff berths, winning the NFC West once and making it to the NFC championship game twice.
* RAIDERS: Todd Marinovich, 22, who hasn't played a down of pro football, apparently will start at quarterback Sunday in the first of two important games with the Chiefs in as many weeks.
Neither Marinovich nor Raiders coach Art Shell would comment directly, but Vince Evans, 36, who has been listed as the team's No. 2 quarterback all season, said it would happen.
"I spoke with Art this morning,
and he indicated they were going with Todd," Evans said. "I was very disappointed, hurt."
Raiders starter Jay Schroeder sprained both ankles during Monday night's 27-0 loss at New Orleans. His status is listed as questionable.
* SEAHAWKS: Coach Chuck Knox, who is expected to be fired after the season, indicated that veteran Dave Krieg will start at quarterback Sunday against the Rams.
Owner Ken Behring and general manager Tom Flores have said they'd like to see Knox go with his younger players. Dan McGwire, Seattle's rookie quarterback and top draft choice in April, has played just one half of one game this season.
* BRONCOS: Less than a week after suffering with chicken pox, linebacker Mike Croel is planning to start Sunday's game against the Chargers.
Croel wants a shot at breaking Leslie O'Neal's rookie sack record of 12 1/2 , set in 1986. Croel has 10.
* Former Giants coach Bill Parcells was released from The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J., after having one of the arteries of his heart cleared of blockage.