The Los Angeles Rams have seen most of their coaches leave in the offseason. Head coach Sean McVay has re-crafted his staff around young coaches and former players like special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn, defensive line coach Eric Henderson, quarterback coach Zac Robinson, and offensive line coach Ryan Wendell just to name a few.
The Rams are hoping to have the same success as the Detroit Lions, another team using many former players turned coach. Or the Carolina Panthers, a franchise using two former McVay assistants as their offensive and defensive coordinators. It’s no secret that McVay has a pretty impressive coaching tree already even at the young age of 37. Here we will take a look at some of his staff that could potentially follow suit in pursuing a head coaching job down the road.
Donte Deayon - Cornerback Assistant Coach
While it is very early for Donte Deayon to be considered for a head coaching position in his young coaching career, it’s easy to tell why he could get there one day. Deayon was an undrafted free agent who joined the Rams as a cornerback in 2018.
Even as an undrafted player his leadership was undeniable, consistently motivating his teammates on the sidelines with unwavering optimism. In a defensive backfield with Jalen Ramsey, he was able to carve out a rotational role for himself on the 2021 Super Bowl team. Deayon brings experience as a recent player to help relate to his guys as well as a positive motivation unmatched by others.
Mike LaFleur - Offensive Coordinator
Mike LaFleur is the younger brother of Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur and is a new hire by LA this year. While he had an up and down stint with the New York Jets, LaFleur is still highly regarded a young, up and coming offensive mind.
He had coached under rival San Francisco 49ers head coach Mike Shanahan from 2014-2021 following him from Cleveland to Atlanta and finally San Fran. Shanahan and LaFleur run a very similar offense to McVay, however they have had much more success in the run game as of late.
With LA looking to focus back on the zone run to set up the play action pass, LaFleur could be a perfect fit. If he can get Cam Akers more consistent and improve upon last year’s 26th ranked rush offense, he has a chance to boost not just the Rams but his career as well.
Eric Yarber - Wide Receiver Coach
After watching episode 3 of Behind the Grind, I was motivated through my TV screen by Coach Eric Yarber. He may not be as young or well known as the other coaches but his enthusiasm and excitement, along with over 15 years of coaching experience, makes his connection to his wide receiver room unlike most.
He was one of the few coaches the Rams have retained from last year.
Whether he is shouting “super cooper” and “turbo tutu” at the top of his lungs or calmly explaining to Van Jefferson what he needs to do to be great, Yarber has his players fully buying in.
Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris was interviewed in the same episode of the YouTube series, saying about Yarber “He’s their confidant. He engages with his players on a deeper level than just football”. Talking about his and Yarber’s time together on the 2010 Tampa Bay Buccaneers coaching staff, Morris continued “to see his guys feel disappointed when they let him down was definitely something I was envious of and wanted to have. I wanted to grow that to a different level after seeing him coach with those guys.”
Aubrey Pleasant - Defensive Backs Coach
Aubrey Pleasant is now on his second round of coaching with the LA Rams after leaving in 2021 to be the defensive backs and passing game coordinator for the Detroit Lions. Even though he was terminated by the Lions in 2022, you can see how he is still highly regarded by the league. Despite being let go, he was given defensive coordinator position interviews by both the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints.
The Rams are hoping Pleasant can get the corners back to their 2020 form, when they were the number four ranked defense in the league. They also had the number one ranked defense in opponent passing yards per game, holding them to 193.8 yards per game according to teamrankings.com in Pleasant’s first run as Rams defensive backs coach.
Pleasant has his work cut out for him with a very young cornerback group, however if he can help young players like Cobie Durant and Derion Kendrick become starting caliber corners in the league, he will make his coaching stock rise quickly.