The Los Angeles Rams have interviewed many of the league’s front-runners for head coaching jobs but it’s sheer speculation as to who they’ve got their sights set on, leaving us with only best-guesses as to will be calling the shots for 2017 and beyond.
The Rams have completed seven interviews thus far, with only Doug Marrone, who signed with the Jaguars on Monday, falling off the list of potential-s. Given their woes on offense, does it make sense for the Rams to go after an offensive mastermind? Could a guy with a defensive background and a strong offensive coordinator do the trick?
The Turf Show Times’ staff weigh in with their thoughts on who the Rams should sign as their next head coach...
RamBuck: Sean McVay, Washington Offensive Coordinator
Young team, young coach.
Tevin Broner: Josh McDaniels, Patriots Offensive Coordinator
If he can fix Tom Brady, he can fix Jared Goff.
misone: Kyle Shanahan, Falcons Offensive Coordinator
1. Can adjust system to fit anyone
2. Young might relate to players
3. Extensive coaching background
4. Innovative play calling
5. History of making QB's look better
Blaine Grisak: McVay
Who I think the Rams should hire, and who they’ll actually hire are two very different questions. Therefore, I’m going to compromise the two.
Shanahan is the obvious answer, but the Rams don’t have the assets and are simply not an attractive destination for the top coaching candidate on the market. So I’m going to settle with McVay. In Washington, he’s lead the sixth most efficient passing offense, 10th highest scoring offense, all with Kirk Cousins. This is a guy who’s grown up around football. He’s a football guy. He’s only 30 years old, but that also makes him the sexy hire Demoff and Kroenke are looking for.
Elijah Kim: Anthony Lynn, Bills Offensive Coordinator
He's a former RB and would maximize Rams RB Todd Gurley.
seattlerams: David Shaw, Stanford Head Coach
I think he’s an incredibly bright coach who understands players. He comes from a football family, has been a head coach and was an NFL assistant coach for nine seasons.
Who do I want to coach the Rams (since Shaw has no desire to leave Stanford just now)? Kyle Shanahan. He resigned in Cleveland rather than start Johnny Manziel and have that mess tied to his name.
Eric Nagel: McVay
I don't know if he has enough experience. But McVay took an absolutely average Kirk Cousins (look at his stats in 2014) and turned him into one of the best QB's in the league. If you look at Football Outsiders, Washington is a top-5 offense and Cousins has two season as a top ten QB by DYAR. That's downright impressive.
Finally, one of the most important things for the Rams is preparation. Colt McCoy (Washington’s backup QB) said that with McVay, the offense is always prepared for the game. Sold! Outside of him, I'd look at Anthony Lynn, who helped turn Buffalo around into a top ten offense and has had excellent success running the football with every team he's coached on.
QBKlass: Vance Joseph, Dolphins Defensive Coordinator
He got a lot out of a defense that had maybe four good players. His coverage schemes are tough for opposing offenses and I think the Rams could use someone with his sort of defensive mind.
3k: Teryl Austin, Lions Defensive Coordinator
The responsibilities for a head coach go well beyond Xs and Os. I’d argue the primary set of responsibilities have little to nothing to do with football, but management. Decision making. Priority establishment. Risk assessment and mitigation.
If this were on football style preference alone, I’d go with Harold Goodwin, the Arizona Cardinals’ OC. The biggest issue for the Rams is their offensive line. It’s relatively impossible to run a successful offense without a functional line...and the Rams don’t have one. Until they do, turning the NFL’s worst offense into a capable unit is a Sisyphean task.
But the head coach position requires a degree of leadership independent of football. Robert Klemko had a great piece on Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman last week. There wasn’t much talk of the technical specifics of playing cornerback, the minutiae that comprises the level of play that differentiate successful NFL players from unsuccessful ones. There was much talk of leadership, of outburst triage and personality oversight.
That’s what successful coaches do off the field that ultimately matters most. That’s what the Rams are hiring a head coach for.
Austin has extensive experience under Jim Caldwell both in his current run as the defensive coordinator under Caldwell with the Lions since 2014 but also going back to Wake Forest where Caldwell was head coach from 1993-2000 with Austin serving a three-year stint as his DB coach. Runs at Syracuse and Michigan gave him time to work with various assistants who have since gone on to more successful opportunities such as Steve Addazio (now Boston College HC) and Ed Orgeron (now LSU HC). Over the last 13 years, he’s logged time with the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Baltimore Ravens and Lions putting together a longer and more impressive list of associates.
The Rams don’t need an offensive genius as their next head coach. They need a leader. They need an executive manager. Austin has the experience, tenor and dedication to fit the requirements of the position.
I don’t know that he’d ultimately be successful with this franchise over the next three years. But I know that there’s nobody I’d feel more comfortable giving the opportunity to.
Put into five words?
He knows what he’s doing.
Brandon Bate: Matt Patricia, Patriots Defensive Coordinator
He wears his hat backwards.
Sean Wilkinson: Kyle Shanahan, Falcons Offensive Coordinator
He made Matt Schaub a Pro Bowl QB.