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PRO FOOTBALL DAILY REPORT : RAMS : Perry’s Talks May Give Clue on Knox

Rod Perry, Ram secondary coach, has been given permission to talk with the Houston Oilers, an indication the team might be prepared to dismiss Coach Chuck Knox.

Perry has one year remaining on his contract, but Ram President John Shaw granted Houston’s request to interview Perry this week without telling Knox, who could not be reached while away on a fishing trip to Mexico.

“We did not terminate Rod Perry’s contract,” Shaw said. “Houston wanted to talk with him and we said that was all right. That’s all.”

Shaw declined to discuss Knox’s status other than to say he remains the head coach, and the team executive said he has had no contact with anyone regarding Knox’s position. He said he will meet with Knox to discuss the future of the team early next week.

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A year ago, there was talk of replacing Knox with Norv Turner, Dallas offensive coordinator who later became head coach of the Washington Redskins. Ram owner Georgia Frontiere insisted on keeping Knox.

Knox, 15-33 in three years with the Rams, earned more than $700,000 this past season and has one year remaining on his contract.

There have been various reports that Knox intended to bypass Shaw this week and meet with Frontiere in an attempt to add the general manager duties to his head coaching assignment. There were also broadcast reports that Knox had criticized Shaw and Jay Zygmunt, the team’s senior vice president.

“There is no truth to any of that,” Knox said. “I have talked to no one. I have been gone all week. None of it is true.”

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