Rams Offensive Coordinator, getting to know Frank Cignetti


Frank Cignetti Jr.will be the new play caller for the Rams heading into 2015. Cignetti, promoted from the quarterbacks coach position, has over 20 years of coaching experience at both the collegiate and professional levels.

Cignetti shifted back and forth between the college ranks and the pros over his career including some prominent positions. In the early 2000s Cignetti was the quarterbacks coach for the New Orleans Saints. In New Orleans Cignetti helped quarterback Jeff Blake to career high numbers along side Aaron Brooks who would be selected as a Pro Bowl alternate.

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The mid-2000’s saw Cignetti return to the college coaching carousel. He was the offensive coordinator at North Carolina in 2006, and Fresno State from 2002-2005. In 2004 he steered the Bulldogs to an average of 52 points per game over the second half of the season, becoming just the sixth team in NCAA history to score 50 or more points in four straight games. He would also lead Fresno State to four straight bowl game appearances, winning three.

May 8, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sean Mannion (14) talks with offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti during rookie minicamp at Rams Park. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The late 2,000’s saw time spent at Pittsburgh and the University of California. While with the Bears the team averaged 33 points per game and earned a bowl game victory in the Emerald Bowl. While at Pittsburgh he would produce a 1,700 yard rusher in running back Dion Lewis, and a 1,000 yard receiver in Jon Baldwin. A total of seven offensive players would earn All-Big East honors under Cignetti at Pittsburgh.

His final season, before joining St. Louis, was with Rutgers in 2011. He would lead an offense that averaged almost 27 points per game, fourth best in the conference and ranked third in passing offense.

In 2012 Cignetti would join the Rams staff as their quarterbacks coach and jump right in with former number one overall selection Sam Bradford. Bradford would have his best season in his first year with Cignetti. Bradfod threw for over 3,700 yards, 21 touchdown passes and held a passer rating of 82.5. The following year Bradford would come out flying again, but he would only last seven games before a knee injury ended his season. Through seven games Bradford would throw for 14 touchdowns and hold a passer rating over 90. Cignetti would guide backup quarterback Kellen Clemens to four victories in the final nine games.

After losing Bradford for the second straight year in the preseason of 2014, Cignetti had his work cut out for him with Austin Davis and Shaun Hill. As a pair, the two would throw for almost 4,000 yards and 20 touchdowns. They also combined to complete almost 65% of their passes.

Cignetti was promoted to the vacant offensive coordinator position this spring when Brian Schottenheimer left for the same position with the University of Georgia. Cignetti was welcomed with open arms after proving himself with less than stellar quarterback prospects in the highly criticized scheme Schottenheimer had in place.

Head coach Jeff Fisher will now have an opportunity to start fresh and implement an offensive style more focused on running the football. Fisher was known to favor his running backs in Tennessee and has the opportunity to do so here in St. Louis now. Cignetti will still be looked upon to work his magic and do more with less when it comes to quarterback Nick Foles, but given his track record he should be up to the challenge.