The 2022 season did not go as Liam Coen, or the Los Angeles Rams, had planned. To be fair, these were not the same circumstances as the offense that won the Super Bowl a year before, leading to Kevin O’Connell becoming the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. But after the likes of O’Connell, Matt LaFleur, and Zac Taylor becoming successful NFL head coaches after being offensive assistants for Sean McVay, questions of whether or not he’ll be a one-and-done offensive coordinator in the NFL were not what Coen must have expected.
But rumors of a return to Kentucky continue to follow Coen and he addressed the issue on Thursday, days before the Rams’ season finale against the Seattle Seahawks. Will Coen go back to Kentucky?
He hasn’t decided yet.
Rams OC Liam Coen said he has not yet made a decision on whether he will accept the offer to return to Kentucky.— Sarah Barshop (@sarahbarshop) January 5, 2023
That sounds like he’s going back to Kentucky.
Coen played college football at UMass, then bounced around as an offensive coach in college from 2010-2017, until being hired by McVay as an assistant receivers coach in 2018. Coen stayed on the staff through 2020, and then spent on year coaching Will Levis as the Kentucky offensive coordinator in 2021. Coen returned to the Rams this year to replace O’Connell as offensive coordinator, but the Rams fell to 26th in scoring and 28th in yards per pass attempt, amid a season in which they set a record for most offensive line combinations due to myriad injuries.
L.A. is 31st in total yards.
Should Coen go back to Kentucky, by his own choice of McVay’s, the Rams should have no shortage of options to replace him. There is pass game coordinator Zac Robinson, senior offensive assistant Greg Olson, and offensive consultant Jay Gruden, although I’m sure some names will irk Rams fans who want someone less experienced and more “jazzy” than a retread like Olson or a fired head coach like Gruden.
There is also assistant head coach and tight ends coach and running backs coach Thomas Brown.
Of course, McVay is also able to recruit the best minds in the NFL and college who are not offensive coordinators yet and could be promoted to become L.A.’s next offensive coordinator.
With one game left this season, Coen could get a second chance with a full lineup in 2023. Or the Rams could decide that of all the coordinator hires under McVay, this is not one to repeat.