Which one of LA Rams coaches will be the first to defect?
By Bret Stuter
NFL teams have noticed the LA Rams success at defense. So which coach will be the first to defect, and take a promotion coaching elsewhere?
The LA Rams defense has certainly done everything humanly possible to place the name of defensive coordinator Brandon Staley’s name on the marquis for other teams to take notice. After all, the Rams lost four starting linebackers, two of whom signed lucrative deals to play elsewhere. And the teams incorporated a new defense without the benefit of a organized team activities nor a full-length training camp.
And here we are. The regular season is over, and teams are already knocking on the door to interview members of the Rams coaching staff. After all, there are six NFL head coaching vacancies to be filled. Which teams are they? They are the Houston Texans, the New York Jets, the Detroit Lions, the Atlanta Falcons, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Los Angeles Chargers. Of the six teams, two plan to interview Rams rookie defensive coordinator Brandon Staley.
More where that came from
Staley is on the list of interviews for both the New York Jets and the Los Angeles Chargers. Since the LA Rams are in the playoffs, teams do not have access to any coaches on the staff just yet. That may prove to be an advantage for the Rams, as teams are often quite eager to fill their vacancies, and will do so quickly to ensure that they get ‘their guy’.
Staley is not the only coach whose name will likely come up. Look for linebacker coach Joe Barry’s name to come up as a candidate for defensive coordinator as new head coaches fill their staff. Another name is cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant, who could surface among defensive coordinator searches. As of publication, Barry has been linked to an open defensive coordinator position with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Preventing the annual coach poach
On the offensive side of the ball, there is the possibility that offensive line coach/run game coordinator Aaron Kromer could be interviewed for the offensive coordinator position, as well as new running back coach Thomas Brown. There could be more roles and interviews in the weeks ahead, as many teams will try to shortcut a turnaround by hiring a Rams coach who had participated in the Rams success this season. As long as the Rams keep winning, teams will be unable to interview their coaches.
If the Rams needed any other incentive to win in the playoffs, keeping an intact coaching staff is huge. So winning takes on a double benefit for the Rams. And having said that, I find it curious that the Rams are annually hard hit by coach poaching each year. It would be nice for the Rams to retain the staff just to see what they can do in 2021. With any luck, and playoff success, that will happen.