The Los Angeles Rams are undergoing quite a few coaching changes, with vacancies still existing on defense, a potential loss on offense, and no special teams coordinator. There’s also the open ended question of Raheem Morris’s future at defensive coordinator. Could Sean McVay be watching the Super Bowl a little more closely this year, potentially plucking any names from Andy Reid or Nick Sirianni?
After hiring Ryan Wendell as the new offensive line coach and Mike LaFleur as the new offensive coordinator, two key assistant roles are now filled for 2023. But assistant head coach/running backs coach Thomas Brown is getting a second interview to be the Buccaneers next offensive coordinator and could leave next. The Colts are expected to name a head coach early this week and it could still be Morris, which would mean the Rams also need a defensive coordinator.
Update: The Colts are not expected to hire Raheem Morris, so we can rule that out
Still unoccupied are special teams coordinator, outside linebackers, and potentially more help with the defensive line and secondary. There’s a lot of work left to do and surely some assistants on the Eagles and Chiefs are garnering interest around the league as their respective teams vie for the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Add one more candidate to the Cardinals’ HC search: Arizona is expected to request permission to interview Eagles’ DC Jonathan Gannon this week, per sources. Arizona’s other candidates are Giants OC Mike Kafka and Bengals DC Lou Anarumo. pic.twitter.com/hNMVGXJvDH— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 12, 2023
Philadelphia DC Jonathan Gannon has been called the “favorite” to become the Cardinals next head coach. Eagles OC Shane Steichen could be in the lead for the Colts job. Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy might finally leave Kansas City, even if it’s just for another OC job so he can disassociate his success from Patrick Mahomes. None of these names are going to come to the Rams, but other assistants could be of interest.
Eagles DB coach Dennard Wilson
Blaine Grisak identified five potential Morris replacements last week and Wilson was one of them.
Jonathan Gannon has called Wilson his “right-hand man”. This season, the Eagles have the number one ranked secondary in the NFL as they rank number one in DVOA by a four-percent margin. They also ranked first in defense EPA per dropback and held teams to a success rate of 43.5 percent which finished sixth.
Wilson has coached under Gannon the last two years in Philadelphia who has been considered one of the top defensive coordinators in the NFL. It’s worth noting that Vic Fangio has been serving as a defensive consultant for the Eagles.
Eagles GM Howie Roseman asked DBs coach Dennard Wilson this off-season: What are we missing? “I told him we need a bulldog.” Enter Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who tied for the NFL lead with six INTs, bringing a swagger and energy to Philadelphia’s defense: https://t.co/OOWPZ5I1U3— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 9, 2023
If the Eagles lose Gannon, there’s a strong possibility that Sirianni would block any team from Wilson so that Philadelphia could promote him to DC.
Eagles DL coach Tracy Rocker
Veteran college DL coach Tracy Rocker has waited a long time for his name to shine but going to the Super Bowl will light a fire under your resume. A third round pick in 1989, Rocker had a short NFL career but immediately made the jump to coaching and spent two decades at the college level before getting a job with the Titans in 2011 under Mike Munchak. After Munchak and his staff were fired three years later, Rocker spent seven more years in the NCAA and then returned to the NFL with Sirianni’s staff in 2021.
Former #Titans d-line coach Tracy Rocker enjoying #SuperBowl with the @Eagles.— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) February 10, 2023
Rocker said his son, former @VandyBoys pitcher @KumarRocker, now with the @Rangers organization, is headed to the game and loves the Eagles. ⚾️
There is perhaps no better and deeper unit on the Eagles than the defensive line. How much credit does Rocker get for that? That’s unclear but a lot of these names were on Philly’s DL three years ago and they’ve performed extraordinarily better with Sirianni’s staff. And Rocker knows how to manage some big egos and star players all in one room, including for Rams DT Ndamukong Suh.
Eagles Asst. Special Teams coach Joe Pannunzio
Another year, another special teams coordinator search. At least Pannunzio brings a lot of experience. The 63-year-old spent decades at the college level, including working for Nick Saban from 2011 to 2014, then 2017 to 2018, in a variety of roles including as Director of Football operations. Pannunzio has won three national championships.
Pannunzio has only ever worked for the Eagles in the NFL, including 2015-2016 as director of personnel, 2019-2020 as director of team development, and the last two years as the assistant special teams coach.
Proud Pueblo, CO native and @CSUPFootball alum Joe Pannunzio is preparing to coach in #SuperBowlLVII as the Philadelphia Eagles assistant special teams coordinator.— Bradey King (@BradeyKing) February 12, 2023
I caught up with @CoachPannunzio before the biggest game of his career... pic.twitter.com/qFannQ9BVj
If the Rams were to lose Thomas Brown, offering Pannunzio a role as assistant head coach and special teams coordinator could be an interesting move.
Chiefs Asst. Special Teams Coach - Andy Hill
With all due respect to John Fassel and John Harbaugh, there is perhaps no more respected special teams coordinator than Kansas City’s Dave Toub. After three seasons under Andy Reid in Philly, then nine for the Chicago Bears, Toub was hired by Reid again with Kansas City in 2013. Over the last 10 years, teams have sometimes poked around Toub to be their next head coach but he’s remained with the Chiefs and he’s got over 20 years under his belt now as an NFL special teams coordinator.
Prior to the NFL, Toub worked as an assistant at the University of Missouri, which is also where he met Andy Hill.
Hill spent 24 years at Missouri prior to accepting a job with Toub in 2020. Whether Hill would ever leave Toub or the state of Missouri is probably the only question worth asking, but if Sean McVay gave him a chance to turn around the special teams unit of a recent Super Bowl-winning team, could that convince him to help a former St. Louis team get back to the promised land?