When the LA Rams lost offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell to become the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, the Rams lost an offensive coordinator who was quite familiar with head coach Sean McVay. Familiar, but different. While McVay was the brains behind the LA Rams offense, a privilege that he has maintained since taking over the team in 2017, O’Connell was the face of the offense to the players.
Now, that role will fall to the newly hired offensive coordinator, Liam Coen. So what can fans expect from the new arrival? For one thing, Coen is relatively young and not exactly deep in terms of NFL offensive coaching experience. He coached for the LA Rams from 2018 through 2020. In his first two seasons on the Rams coaching staff, he was the assistant wide receiver coach.
In 2020, he transferred to assistant quarterback coach. In 2021, he was hired on as the offensive coordinator for the Kentucky Wildcats. But all the while, he was the prodigal son who planned to return to the LA Rams someday. That day is here.
Coen can be a difference-make to this Rams offense
But the question is, what does he bring to the team in terms of new perspective and innovation? Can he even hope to shape, or even tweak, the LA Rams offensive output?
At first blush, you may think that Coen is nothing more than a yes-man to LA Rams head coach Sean McVay. A young and impressionable offensively oriented coach who will do little more than become a marionette on McVay’s knee, simply mouthing words to players and press out of McVay’s mouth in a grand form of NFL ventriloquism. But dare to look deeper at what the LA Rams needs are for 2022, and what the addition of Coen will bring to the team. If you do, what will you find?
The LA Rams struggled to run the football, struggled at the tight end position behind Tyler Higbee, and struggled to sustain the same receivers on the football field throughout the season. That suggests that the LA Rams, having optimized their stars in this offense, must now refocus part of their attention to elevating the play and durability of the bottom two-thirds of the roster, particularly where the skilled positions are concerned. So how does Coen help the team master that?