The coaching cycle is once again taking its toll on Sean McVay’s Los Angeles Rams staff in 2023. The first domino to fall was defensive line coach Eric Henderson joining Lincoln Riley’s USC Trojans. No other official moves have been made, but defensive coordinator Raheem Morris is making his second rounds of head coaching interviews. QB coach and passing game coordinator Zac Robinson is one of the hottest names available when it comes to the offensive coordinator pool.
While McVay did not plan to make material adjustments to his coaching staff after making wholesale changes a year ago, the NFL continues to look to the Rams for the next generation of up-and-comers. Los Angeles will likely need to backfill multiple roles this season.
Who should they be keeping an eye on as the dust settles on the coaching carousel?
Quarterbacks, passing game coordinator
McVay interviewed London for the Rams’ 2022 offensive coordinator vacancy before selecting Liam Coen for the role. Coen had been on LA’s coaching staff in 2020 before joining Kentucky the following year as the OC. At the time London was the Atlanta Falcons’ QB coach. He received a promotion as the passing game coordinator in 2023 for the Tennessee Titans; however, he could be on the market as Mike Vrabel was fired in Nashville. The Titans recently named Brian Callahan as head coach. London comes from an adjacent coaching tree and could stick around in Tennessee if someone like McVay doesn’t get his hands on him first.
The Rams and McVay undeniably have an affinity for the New England Patriots way. Last offseason they added two former Patriots in tight ends coach Nick Caley and offensive line coach Ryan Wendell. The roots go back even further with now-Chicago Bears OC Shane Waldron being a part of McVay’s original Rams staff in 2017.
We know Los Angeles has a vacancy to lead the defensive line with Henderson going to USC. Covington is a promising, young coach at just age 34. He’s interviewing to be New England’s defensive coordinator under Jerod Mayo, who just took up McVay’s former mantle as the youngest HC in the NFL. This is the exact type of energetic leader that McVay seems to gravitate towards with assistant coaches, but he may need to compete with Mayo for his services.
If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Yates spent five seasons in the NFL as a quarterback for the Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons. The former fifth round pick first joined the coaching ranks in 2019 with the Texans and as the assistant quarterbacks helped Deshaun Watson earn Pro Bowl honors. He joined Arthur Smith’s staff in Atlanta in 2021 under the title passing game specialist and then transitioned into to receivers coach for 2022 and 2023.
It may be a pipe dream to end up with Minter, who should be one of the top names on the defensive coordinator market and may be tied to the future of Jim Harbaugh—who has been going through rounds of interviews with the Los Angeles Chargers, Falcons, and others. Minter runs the en-vogue defensive scheme in the NFL now that the Baltimore Ravens and Mike Macdonald have made life difficult for quarterbacks and play callers alike. Like Minter, Macdonald was Harbaugh’s DC at Michigan before joining John Harbaugh in Baltimore.
Such a hire would be reminiscent of McVay choosing Brandon Staley as his defensive coordinator in 2020 to bring the Vic Fangio scheme to Los Angeles. The trends across the NFL are already changing, and Minter would allow LA to be on the front end of the wave.
Michigan DC Jesse Minter talking about NFL vs CF playcalling and Offensive Philosophy— J-Villains Podcast (@JVillainsPod) January 19, 2024
Sounds like he knows what he’s talking about pic.twitter.com/IBuN1T5s6P