Why the LA Rams should be furious to miss out on DC Brian Flores

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Let’s open this article by pointing out the obvious. The LA Rams do not have a current opening for the defensive coordinator position. That role is currently filled by DC Raheem Morris. Furthermore, I’ll double down on myself, as I’m not convinced that the LA Rams would have hired DC candidate Brian Flores even if the team did suddenly find itself with an opening at that spot. Nor any of the candidates that I will name in this article. But that is not the point.

Should the Rams suddenly need to hire a good DC, many of the top candidates have already been hired.

Suddenly is ironic. The Indianapolis Colts played their last game for interim head coach Jeff Saturday on January 8, 2023. More than one month later, the Colts have pared down their head coach search to five candidates, and Rams DC Raheem Morris is among the five semi-, semi-finalists. Are the Colts on their third round of interviews? The fourth round of interviews? Or are they on their tenth round of interviews? I’ve lost track . . .

And that’s a huge problem. The LA Rams, trying to do right by Raheem Morris, are allowing him to be considered for the Colts’ head coaching position. But the Colts, by all intents and purposes, are not in any particular hurry to make a decision. And their indecision is costing the Rams, and other NFL teams, valuable and irreplaceable opportunities in conducting their own interviews to replace candidates who may be chosen.

One such candidate, Brian Flores, has been hired by the Vikings before the LA Rams ever had the opportunity to interview him.

And so it goes. The Vikings got their guy. Meanwhile, the LA Rams were never in the running, being held hostage by the Indianapolis Colts franchise.

But Flores was not the only DC candidate hired before the Rams could talk to him. Vic Fangio was hired by the Miami Dolphins, taking on their new DC role. And an even more attractive DC candidate, Ejiro Evero, was hired by the Carolina Panthers. Evero would have been an ideal candidate, as he worked under and with a number of great defensive coaches including Wade Phillips, Brandon Staley, Dom Capers, and Raheem Morris.

Here is a video of Evero talking about the importance of player buy-in:

Clearly, that is an approach that worked for Evero in his year with the Denver Broncos.

I’m not convinced that the LA Rams would have hired any of the named candidates above if the Indianapolis Colts had made a timely decision that resulted in Raheem Morris becoming their new head coach. But I am quite ticked off about the fact that the LA Rams will struggle with the would’a, could’a, and should’a scenarios that will linger as a result of the Rams never having had a chance to interview any of them.

The Colts had an interim head coach for the last two months of the NFL season. By rights, their head coach search has taken 3+ months so far, and no end is imminent. If that’s the way they want to conduct their business, so be it. But for goodness’ sake, don’t hold the Rams hostage as a result.

is there a way to fix this? Set an NFL-mandated timetable, with penalties for a transferred NFL Draft pick to exceed the limits. That is, if the Colts wish to keep interviewing Raheem Morris beyond a month’s time, then they must surrender a seventh-round draft pick to the Rams. If multiple teams are impacted, then the team with the worst record claims that pick.

Bad idea? Maybe. But the current system of keeping the Rams in limbo is pretty horrific as well.

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