As fans, we know all about our favorite Los Angeles Rams players. We watch training camp for any positive news from the coaches about a newly acquired hotshot or unheralded, undrafted rookie and hang on every word. But who are these coaches whose words keep us on the edge of our seats.
For 2022, Sean McVay has brought in six new members to the braintrust, a coordinator, two position coaches, and three lower level assistants. He also made a bevy of inter-staff positional moves. Here’s look at LA’s coaching staff, who they are, what are their responsibilities, and where they came from.
Raheem Morris- Defense
Last season, Morris moved the Rams towards a bend-not-break philosophy, employing a lot of zone coverage, mostly from a cover2 set. This softens up the short middle and fans were dismayed when opponents attacked this area with success. Later in the season, it appeared that Morris went with more single deep coverage and aggressive coverage underneath it. When these coverages were paired up with the addition of Von Miller’s pass rushing prowess, the defense thrived and made big stops throughout the playoffs. Morris has had numerous interviews for head coaching jobs and another stellar season may see him earn that prize.
Liam Coen- Offense
Coen returns to the Rams after spending the 2021 season as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach of the Kentucky Wildcats. His role as LA’s offensive coordinator was preceded by stints schooling Rams wideouts (2018-19) and quarterbacks (2020). At Kentucky, Coen’s offense provided tremendous improvements in third-and-short situations and in the red zone. Both were areas of concern for the Rams last year.
Joe DeCamillis- Special teams
With over 30 years of special teams coaching experience, DeCamillis is the most tenured teacher on the Rams staff. He began back in 1988 for the Denver Broncos and Dan Reeves (his father-in-law). He came to LA in 2021 and his unit began with an inauspicious start. As the season progressed, the special teams began to show life and promise, and was solid down the stretch run to the Super Bowl. DeCamillis also holds a weekly “situation masters” meeting for the Rams, going over how players should handle certain situations and keeping them aware of how rules affect those situations.
Couple of notes from Joe DeCamillis:— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) August 1, 2022
- Yes, it's a competition at punter. Likes two they have in Dicker and Dixon (says Dixon has similar skill set at Hekker).
- Atwell improved at PR, not as pleased on KR.
- Big praise for Powell. Says "hopefully he's found himself a home now".
Quarterbacks- Zac Robinson
Entering his fourth season with LA, Robinson has bounced between assistant wide receiver (2020) and quarterback coach (2018, ‘19 and ‘21). During his time in LA, he has worked under four stellar offensive minds, current head coaches Sean McVay, the Cincinnati Bengals’ Zac Taylor, Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers. and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell
Running backs- Ra'Shaad Samples
When a coach is known as as an elite college recruiter, one thing you can presume is he can communicate and inspire young men. That is Ra’Shaad Samples. He is another young (27 years old) Rams hire who is on a meteoric coaching arc. In only six college seasons, he went from two seasons as a student assistant (2016-17) at Houston to assistant head coach at SMU (2021), working with both wide receivers and running backs. In an interesting side note, when Thomas Brown, the Rams previous running backs coach was promoted to assistant head coach, he was tasked to lead the search that led LA to hire Samples.
Wide receivers- Eric Yarber
He’s been with the Rams since year one of the McVay regime and has 26 years coaching. Yarber began his career with defensive backs, but since that first year, he has been coaching receivers. He schooled wideouts for Raheem Morris in a two year stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2010-11). Yarber does not get the press that other Rams coaches get, but the success of the LA receiving room since 2017 speaks for itself.
Tight ends- Thomas Brown
2022 brings Brown a promotion to assistant head coach and a move from coaching running backs to tight ends. Brown was courted by both the Minnesota Vikings (offensive coordinator) and the Miami Dolphins (head coach) in the off season and it remains to be seen how long the Rams will be able to retain him. He’s been on an upward arc since beginning his coaching tenure in 2012. Stints as RB coach at Wisconsin, Georgia, Miami, South Carolina and keeping the Rams run game consistently productive in the face of a spate of injuries make him a hot ticket as an NFL head coach.
Offensive line- Kevin Carberry
Carberry will have to break in two new starters in 2022 and decide on their primary backups, in case of injury. His first year was a bit of a mixed bag. The important thing to remember is the Lombardi Trophy, of course, and the pass protection was stellar all season. But with that being said, success in third and short situations and plays inside the opponents 10 were mediocre at best, and the run game really struggled in the playoffs. Carberry did get the Rams top draft pick for his unit, and Logan Bruss is the kind of mauler that fans pine for. He also faces the possible loss of three free agents in 2023, David Edwards, Rob Havenstein, and Bobby Evans, so it will be interesting to watch how well he develops the younger players.
Interior line- Eric Henderson
Known for his mantra, “dawg work”, Henderson begins his fourth season as the Rams defensive line coach and second as run defense coordinator. Along with hard work, he preaches technique, playbook, and base fundamentals. Of course, Aaron Donald doesn’t need a lot of coaching up or motivation, but Henderson has developed relative unknowns Greg Gaines, Sebastian Joseph-Day and Morgan Fox into solid contributors. He worked A’Shawn Robinson back into form after a serious illness and is shaping up a young and athletic group of rotational candidates for 2022.
Outside linebackers/edge- Thad Bogardus
After five years of primarily working with the Rams defensive line, Bogardus moves outside to work with the edge unit. He will have his hands full in 2022, breaking in a young player to man the edge opposite of veteran Leonard Floyd. Justin Hollins won that role last season and at age 26, he is the oldest of the six edge candidates. Hollins’ competition are all long on athleticism, but short on NFL game experience.
Inside linebackers- Chris Beake
Over his 23 years in the NFL, Beake has has coached on both sides of the football. Mainly and most recently on defensive side, but hasn't specialized as a linebackers coach since 2006. He has spent the last nine years with the Denver Broncos. Beake is best known for his ability to develop/teach the pass rush.
Secondary- Jonathon Cooley
Only 32 years old, but his 11 years of coaching experience gives him gravitas. Cooley enters his third year with the Rams with a promotion to defensive backs coach after spending his first two years as a defensive assistant/quality control coach. Cooley steps in for Ejiro Evero, who left LA for the Denver Broncos. The Rams have plans for Cooley, after the Super Bowl victory, the Minnesota Vikings made an interview request and the Rams successfully blocked it.
One update here: The Rams were able to block O’Connell and the Vikings’ interview request for DBs assistant Jonathan Cooley in effort to keep him on staff. Even more important with Evero departing. https://t.co/oSuMLLtft5— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) February 17, 2022
Secondary- Chris Shula
Shula has worked with the linebacker units in his five years with the Rams, beginning inside (2017-18) and moving out work with the edges in 2019. In 2022 Shula moves to the secondary and becomes the pass defense coordinator. He gained a measure of infamy when a hot mic caught him telling Sean McVay before Super Bowl LIII,
“Brady’s a f****** pretty boy.” Nuff said.
Other new additions
Greg Olson has two previous stints with the Rams, as offensive coordinator back in 2006-’07 and quarterbacks coach with Sean McVay in 2017. Jake Peetz will help out on offense, he was offensive coordinator and QB coach at LSU in 2021. Lance Schulters, former Pro Bowl safety, worked under Raheem Morris for the Atlanta Falcons and began with the Rams as part of the Coaching Fellow Program in 2021. Jerry Springer is a new special teams assistant, his last two stops were as ST Coordinator at Marshall and Arizona. Zac Kromer enters his sixth year in LA and is an offensive assistant, primarily working with the offensive line. Skyler Jones works with the defensive line and has seven years coaching at the college level. Nick Jones is an offensive assistant in his second year. KJ Black is a 2021 coaching fellow, with offensive college experience, particularly with QB's.