Rich Eisen: LA Rams recent deals pressure the 49ers to follow suit

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams roster Coach Eric Henderson
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams coach up young players

The Rams live and breathe with the optimism and unbridled athleticism of young players hoping to make their way into a long and successful NFL career.  To help them reach their goals, and perhaps most importantly, to reinforce the Rams roster,  the LA Rams hire coaches who are elite communicators, who can coach up the annual throng of NFL hopeful young men and rise to fill those roles that are needed by the team each and every year.

It’s that never-ending cycle of delivering players who can perform in the moment of need that keeps the LA Rams’ success going.  While that may seem like a sustainable and perpetual means of restocking the roster, keep in mind that the LA Rams average attrition of more than five coaches and coordinators per offseason.

That translates into the organization onboarding a number of critical positional coaches and coordinators just in time for those same coaches and coordinators to pivot and immediately onboard the new rookie class. Of course, that extends far beyond the drafted rookies, as the Rams are one of the more successful NFL teams to find gems after the draft ends.

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The Coach Henny effect

Let’s look at the past six seasons for the team’s draft for defensive linemen. Over the past six seasons, the team has drafted just five defensive linemen:

2022 – none
2021 – DT Bobby Brown (pick 117)
2021 – DE Ernest Brown IV (pick 174)
2020 – none
2019 – DT Greg Gaines (pick 134)
2018 – DT Sebastian Joseph Day (pick 195)
2017 – DT Tanzel Smart (pick 189)

So how well have the LA Rams done so far? The Rams have ‘hit’ on five of five players.  Smart has signed on with the New York Jets. SJD has just signed on with the LA Chargers. Greg Gaines is one of the best nose tackles in the NFL. And both Bobby Brown and Ernest Brown IV are looking for much larger roles in the Rams defense this year.

Many teams commit to paying great players when they add a young quarterback on an inexpensive four-year rookie contract. The LA Rams have taken that strategy and multiplied it exponentially by ensuring that the team has a solid stable of young players for the defensive line, offensive line, linebacker, and secondary positions.