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Firings In St. Louis

The St. Louis Rams fired defensive coordinator Peter Giunta and two defensive assisants Tuesday, and also released special teams coach Larry Pasquale.

Also fired were defensive line coach Carl Hairston and secondary coach Steve Brown. The moves come three days after the defending Super Bowl champions were eliminated from the postseason in a 31-28 wild card playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Giunta, Hairston and Brown were holdovers from the staff of Dick Vermeil, who retired after winning the Super Bowl last January. Pasquale was added to the staff after Frank Gansz unexpectedly resigned.

The Rams' defense allowed 30 points per game, the highest ever by a playoff team, and was ranked 23rd in the NFL. It was ranked sixth last year and there was only one new starter, strong safety Devin Bush.

Giunta was co-defensive coordinator with John Bunting in 1999, the Rams' Super Bowl championship season. Bunting left to become linebackers coach with the Saints after the season and Giunta took over as defensive coordinator.

Giunta's duties were reduced after a 54-34 loss at Kansas City in Game 7 when head coach Mike Martz brought in Bud Carson as a consultant. Carson called the defensive signals for much of the remainder of the year.

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