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Rams next defensive coordinator has big shoes to fill

Wade Phillips, Brandon Staley and Raheem Morris all had fast success with Sean McVay and the Rams

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Minicamp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams are trying to fill their defensive coordinator position after losing Raheem Morris to the Falcons, so Sean McVay and Les Snead are considering a number of different replacements as they continue to seemingly line up interviews with potential candidates. Here’s what I know for sure: The new defensive coordinator will have big shoes to fill as each new DC under McVay has helped to take the Rams to the playoffs in their inaugural seasons.

McVay, since becoming LA’s leading man, has had three different defensive coordinators. The first DC under McVay was Wade Phillips, then the team transitioned to Brandon Staley and most recently Raheem Morris was the man calling the defense for Aaron Donald and Co. Say what you want about each of these coordinators, but they each had immediate success with LA in their own right.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Phillips went on a great run with the Rams. McVay and Phillips took the team from the Jeff Fisher era of Rams’ football to the era we see now. Fisher wasn’t all bad and he helped draft players like Donald, Jared Goff (who eventually helped LA get Matthew Stafford), Todd Gurley and more. However Fisher’s Rams’ teams never finished above .500. They never made the playoffs. In McVay’s and Phillip’s first year in LA they took LA to the postseason. In their second year together they went to the Super Bowl.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Staley came to coach with McVay for one year after Phillip’s contract was completed. McVay, with Staley calling the defense, went to the playoffs in their first season together. They even won a game against the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card Round.

Staley’s defense was the number one unit in various defensive categories that year. The team had Donald to go with Jalen Ramsey and the defense was absolutely a top tier unit under Staley. Then Staley became the head coach for the Los Angeles Chargers after his lone season with the Rams (though there has been some speculation that Staley could return to the Rams).

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams Championship Parade Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Lastly, we have Morris who helped deliver LA to the promised land with his Super Bowl winning defense. That was all done in Morris’s first year on the job. Now Morris reportedly will be joining the Atlanta Falcons as their head coach.

All three defensive coordinators listed above saw LA make a push into the playoffs in their opening year with McVay. Phillips and Morris even got the Rams to the Super Bowl (Phillips in his second year with LA and Morris in his first). We don’t know who the new defensive coordinator will be (as of this writing). I do know that they will be measured up against the DC’s that came before them. It looks like making the postseason in year one will be one of those ways to measure if the Rams made the right decision or not.

Will the new defensive coordinator for the Rams, whoever it is, be up for the challenge?