LA Rams press conference introduces ST coordinator John Bonamego

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The LA Rams held a press conference to introduce their three new coaching coordinators. This article will cover Sean McVay’s discussion about Special Teams Coordinator John Bonamego

The LA Rams made it a point to introduce three new coaches, but also made it a point to acknowledge the contributions of coaches which are no longer with the Rams coaching staff. This article will focus on the press conference relating to special teams coordinator John Bonamego.

Sean McVay opened the February 12 press conference to highlight some similar traits found in offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, and special teams coordinator John Bonamego: their teaching ability, their integrity as human beings, and their ability to inspire players.

He pointed out that all have the ability and capacity to connect with players and other coaches. McVay also mentioned the addition of running backs coach Thomas Brown. He also mentioned the addition of defensive quality control coach Jonathon Cooley.

McVay hopes to foster healthy competition among his coaching staff. That type of fraternal bonding where each coach learns from but also vies to outdo the other coaches on a weekly basis. McVay envisions a culture of self-correcting and perpetual improvement, wisely pointing out that type of culture created by coaches will infuse in players by osmosis.

McVay turned to discuss John Bonamego at the 13-minute mark. During that segment of the press conference, McVay discussed how he had met John Bonamego years ago through Matt LeFleur and was impressed with Bonamego’s passion, experience, and love for football.

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He described the vetting process in talking to players and coaches and simply looking at the results of the special teams under him in recent history.  All vetting efforts came back with positive responses.  Most of all, McVay vouched for Bonamego fitting the type of culture he is trying to create in the LA Rams.

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McVay referred to the fact that Bonamego and he had discussed innovations that Bonamego intends to implement with the special team squads. Per McVay, Bonamego will take ownership of the special team process. Listening to the description, it is easy to interpret what McVay is saying with this hire that he is not quite ready to invest heavily in the oversight of the special teams day to day just yet.

With O’Connell and Staley, McVay cited “collaboration”, but when discussing John Bonamego, the language changed quickly to “rely upon” and “depend upon”.   McVay then described Bonamego’s feedback as someone who is excited to work with the “new people” and build relationships. For his part, McVay was excited about his work with the Detroit Lions

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John Bonamego fielded his first question at 17 minutes into the press conference.  He was asked how he plans to work with a special teams squad whose history of working together is very long.

Bonamego had a great answer. He discussed researching many of them as they came out of the draft (yes, he’s been coaching STs that long), and emphasized the communication process as the means for players to learn their new coach and the coach to learn the players.  He then stated that special team players are like any other player. They want to be coached. They want to get better.
Bonamego plans to work with players, establish a repoire, learn what players can and cannot do. And best of all, keep players out of situations which they don’t do well.

When asked what McVay took away from observing the Super Bowl, he didn’t show his hand but rather talked about the difficulty in coaching that game. “I’m excited and motivated, and really, I would say more rejuvenated and reinvigorated than I’ve ever been since I first got here,” said McVay, who is preparing for his fourth season as head coach. “That’s a reflection of these men.”

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The press conference offered no exciting breaking news. But reading between the lines, I’m not convinced that the Rams will bring back kicker Greg Zuerlein. His 2019 performance of 72.7 percent completion was the second-worst performance of his NFL career. With the addition of Tory Woodbury to the Rams special teams coaches, that conversation will likely take place in the days ahead.