I have already had the opportunity this year to write several hundred articles about the Los Angeles Rams and that likely means a lot of words about Sean McVay, Jared Goff, Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and many of the other names that get mentioned every week — if not every day. Off the top of my head, I think I’ve mentioned Aaron Kromer once or twice, and that’s a failure on my part.
Kromer deserves some words too.
This week has brought headlines about the New York Giants like “Did Joe Judge get beat up by Marc Colombo?” and the answer is: No. The offensive line coach and head coach did not throw punches. As you should be able to predict by 2020, an unqualified person with a twitter account couldn’t help himself. He needed attention and he got it:
SCOOP: I'm told NY Giants coaches Joe Judge and Marc Colombo got into a fistfight this morning.— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) November 18, 2020
Punches thrown. I'm told Colombo got the better of him, and Judge fired him instantly. https://t.co/O2DmYNnkmW
Fortunately, it was not true. The only thing being reported on was a person’s need to get retweeted regardless of whether or not there was proof or fact checking.
McIntyre explained his debunked fistfight scoop on his podcast.— Ben Koo (@bkoo) November 19, 2020
"I'm not a reporter trying to break news left and right. That's not my job. I'm in the opinion business okay? When I hear something that is juicy I'm going to put it out there.”
Not surprising for Jason or Fox. https://t.co/guk5B5HFaV
Actual news coming out of New York is that the Giants fired their offensive line coach midseason and while that it is surprising, it is hardly a trending story without a fictional fist fight.
What’s less surprising is that the Giants continue to be one of the NFL’s worst teams and worst offenses. Top pick Andrew Thomas is said to be struggling, an issue exacerbated not only by the success of Jedrick Wills, Mekhi Becton and Tristan Wirfs, the three tackles taken behind him who seem to be off to impressive starts, but also the fact that New York will have forever passed on Tua Tagovailo and Justin Herbert. There must be some eagerness for Thomas to become an elite tackle and instead he’s been a liability.
Unsung hero of @RamsNFL first quarter of 2017 season: OL coach Aaron Kromer. Yes, Whitworth & Sullivan help. But this has been night & day.— J.B. Long (@JB_Long) October 2, 2017
That alone could be a reason to make a change, but a first time head coach not getting along with one of his first time assistants is also not that unusual.
What would be unusual is having much bad to say about Rams offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, who is in his fourth year with McVay and his second as the run game coordinator. Kromer’s first job in the NFL came under Jon Gruden with the Oakland Raiders in 2001 and in his second season, they went to the Super Bowl.
Kromer had two all-pros on his line that season in Barret Robbins and Lincoln Kennedy.
He joined Gruden in Tampa Bay in 2005 and then started off as a running backs coach for Sean Payton with the New Orleans Saints in 2008. The next year he also started to coach the offensive line and the Saints won their first ever Super Bowl. The offensive line featured three Pro Bowl players and Jahri Evans was a first team all-pro.
Kromer first got his name in the headlines in 2012 when he served as interim head coach with Joe Vitt as Payton served a suspension for “Bountygate.” He then had two years as offensive coordinator with the Chicago Bears, then two as the offensive line coach under Rex Ryan with the Buffalo Bills; Kromer helped rebuild Richie Incognito’s career with two straight Pro Bowls after missing one season for bad behavior.
This is completely random, but Chris Long @JOEL9ONE had his brother (Kyle Long) on his show, and Kyle said the most success he had in his career was under OL Coach Aaron Kromer. Kyle is likely to be an FA this offseason.— Sosa K (@QBsMVP) December 30, 2019
Take that for what you will:https://t.co/jjSkvrWRoI
Then Kromer joined McVay in 2017 and immediately took part in their turnaround from 32nd in points to first, with Andrew Whitworth make first team all-pro and players like Rodger Saffold and Rob Havenstein performing at higher levels than they had before. In 2018, Kromer took part in his third career Super Bowl as an offensive line coach.
Though 2019 tested him perhaps as much as any other season save 2012, Kromer has helped rebound the offensive line in 2020 despite not having money or draft picks to retool what they already had.
Whitworth had a good shot at all-pro this year before his torn MCL, while Austin Corbett has broken through as a right guard and Austin Blythe has experienced notable success as a starting center. Additionally, David Edwards and Joe Noteboom seem to be playing like quality starters and it will require all of Kromer’s talents to keep things steady at left tackle with Noteboom stepping in for Whitworth.
As run game coordinator, Kromer has helped LA perform better this season without Todd Gurley than they did last year with Gurley. Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown have been an effective tandem and the Rams are one of the most efficient running teams in the league.
Kromer has been around controversy before. Real, actual, not made up controversy. He’s also been around a hell of a lot of good offensive linemen and offenses and I think he deserves a shout out on days like today for what he’s brought to each organization.