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Rams announce that two former players will join offseason coaching ranks

Donte Deayon and Daren Bates were named LA’s coaching fellows for 2023

Super Bowl LVI - Los Angeles Rams v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Rams have announced six Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching fellows that will join the team for their offseason workouts, per Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic:

Daren Bates, who will assist with special teams, and Donte Deayon, cornerbacks, are two former Rams over Les Snead’s tenure.

Bates was a special teams stalwart over the Jeff Fisher years that also played some on defense as an inside linebacker. Perhaps the best play he made as a Ram was a leaping field goal block against the New York Giants which has since been emulated by players like Bobby Wagner. Bates hopes to follow in the footsteps of former Rams special teams ace, safety, and assistant coach Matt Daniels—who started his coaching career working under John “Bones” Fassel and is now the full-fledged special teams coach for Kevin O’Connell and the Minnesota Vikings.

Deayon was a key role player during Los Angeles’ victory in Super Bowl LVI, and he was in LA for four years with head coach Sean McVay. While Deayon was capable of the occasional splash play on the field, his like of size at 5-9, 159 lbs. prevented him from becoming an every-down contributor at the pro level. Perhaps he will also be able to make an impact in the coaching ranks.

The other former professional player included in LA’s announcement is Corey Liuget, once a first round pick for the San Diego Chargers. Liuget played as recently as 2020 with the Houston Texams—over his career he appeared in 114 games with over 275 tackles and 26 sacks.

The coaching fellowship is intended to increase the number of minority NFL coaches with a recommended duration of training camp and the preseason games. Participants must either be a former NFL player or have coaching experience at the high school, college, or other professional league levels.

Designed as a vocational tool to increase the number of full-time NFL minority coaches, all 32 NFL clubs participate each year. Specific aspects of the program — including hiring, compensation and coaching duties — are administered on a club-by-club basis. The NFL does not mandate any elements of the fellowship to the clubs, but it recommends several best practices, including:

Hiring participants for the duration of training camp, including all pre-season games.

Encouraging clubs to hire at least two fellows with an offensive coaching background.

Mentoring participants in the form of continuing and constructive feedback regarding their work while with the club.

Wild Card Round - Baltimore Ravens v Tennessee Titans
Daren Bates as a member of the Tennessee Titans
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images