ST Coordinator John Bonamego’s quest to make LA Rams special again

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /

The LA Rams special teams underperformed in recent years. But ST Coordinator John Benamego’s quest is to make LA Rams’ special teams special once more

The LA Rams hired ST Coordinator in early 2020. After all, the team had to do something about the special teams play after the 2019 season. Historically one of the best, the special teams ranked in the middle of the pack in 2018 and fell to the bottom third of the NFL in 2019.  That same Rams team that competed in the Super Bowl in 2018, yet finished 9-7 and was one game away from the 2019 NFL Playoffs. While it was not all special teams’ play, that was certainly a contributing factor.

The Rams offense could still score points, albeit the team’s running game was not what it was in the past.  And while the defense struggled to hold a lead, stop the opposing team’s running game, and was blown out in several games, the statistical performance of that same defense was actually better in 2019 than the previous Super Bowl season. But the one component of the LA Rams overall performance that seemed to dive off the cliff was that of the special teams.

Now, restoring the special teams to special is in the hands of the master, LA Rams Special Teams Coordinator John Bonamego. He has a solid track record of turning special teams around quickly, and you can find his fingerprints all over a number of team’s personnel moves so far.

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While the Rams boast one of the NFL’s best punters in All-Pro Johnny Hekker, the team is searching for a field goal kicker. Not content to limit the search to a drafted kicker in Miami of Ohio’s 5-foot-8 powerhouse Sam Sloman, Bonamego directed the Rams to sign both XFL field goal marksman Austin MacGinnis and CFL headliner Lirim Hajrfullahu. The Rams’ new ST coach has a difficult first decision to make and adding three athletes to ensure a red hot competition is one of the surest ways to get it right.

Trending. 20 LA Rams UDFA signings now vie for permanent roster role. light

You can see Bonamego’s influence all over the Rams’ draft day 3 selections. Tight end Bryce Hopkins, safety Jordan Fuller, linebacker Clay Johnston, and finally offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum will all be contributors to the Rams on special teams early in their careers. Even the latest UDFA signing, standout linebacker Bryan London II, appears to be poised for a standout role on special teams.

LA Rams UDFA LB Bryan London II following Littleton’s route to roster. dark. Next

Coach Bonamego cannot improve the Rams’ special teams play without the right players to do so. If nothing else, the team appears to have raised the bar for players hoping to contribute on the special teams for 2020.  After the 2020 NFL Draft and undrafted free agent signings, the Rams appear on-track to have their special teams unit be very special once more.