Seven LA Rams events we are thankful for this year

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

II –   Hiring Brandon Staley as the defensive coordinator

LA Rams head coach Sean McVay took a huge chance by hiring outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley to take over as the Rams defensive coordinator. After all, Staley was a gifted young coaching talent, but he was a positional coach in the NFL. That’s about two steps below defensive coordinator in terms of responsibilities.

But McVay knew what he wanted. He sought a Vic Fangio protege’, a coach who understood how offenses worked and therefore knew exactly how to defend them.  McVay is a football nerd. He can talk about football for hours, and that merely serves to get him warmed up. So his interest in finding the perfect defensive coordinator was to find his defensive counterpart.

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The three qualities of NextGen DC

McVay understood that the next-generation defensive coordinator needed three qualities. First and foremost, they had to work with what the team had on the roster. Since McVay is offensively oriented, the defense would not get a blank check to bring in talent. Second of all, the defensive coordinator needed to game plan for a specific opponent. He understood that offensive coordinators in the NFL could diagnose patterns in the defense, and scheme to defeat those gameplans.

So the Rams needed to change it up each week. That would keep offenses guessing. Thirdly, and to make it even more difficult to guess the Rams defensive strategy, McVay wanted the Rams defense to use deception. Even in mid-game, good quarterbacks and offensive coordinators can adjust to what the defense is showing them. But each week, the Rams defense clamps down harder on the offense in the second half of the game.