Why did the LA Rams pass on this former Jets OL coach?

Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News John Benton
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Things not to like about OL coach John Benton

I typically try to take a positive perspective on any candidate that the Rams consider, but after reading social media takes from Jets fans about John Benton, I had to pause and ponder a bit. What were their biggest objections?

Well, like any fanbase, some objections were cherry-picking tirades about events that were beyond the control of any positional coach. Injuries occurred, and the Jets’ offense was hampered severely by the injury of rookie running back Breece Hall. Those are matters that were beyond Benton’s control. But it ultimately did cost him his job.


One of the areas of greatest concern for the LA Rams is the ability to adapt new strategies based on available players.  That ability to handle whatever competing in the NFL throws at you is a precious and rare characteristic to possess, but it was sorely lacking with the Rams’ last OL coach, Kevin Carberry. With an outbreak of injuries, the team continued to start struggling offensive linemen because, quite simply, it was the safest route.

The Jets found that their offensive line struggled after injuries, and much of the blame was laid at the feet of OL Coach John Benton.  The Jets played several games with two starters out: George Fant and Allija Vera-Tucker.  But it was the absence of Vera-Tucker that seemed to derail the team’s offense.  Could the Jets have found success? While there were many contributing factors, the lack of preparedness on the Jets’ OL that played primarily three backups was deeply disappointing to the fans.


Leadership is not lip service, and the LA Rams are vigilant to ensure that their coaching staff attracts and hires stand-up coaches whose leadership is never questioned. Unfortunately, a bad decision by Jets OL Coach John Benton in March 2022 led to questions about his leadership ability. Benton was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) by New Jersey State Police near Morristown, New Jersey.

While we all make mistakes, many of us grow out of those lapses in judgment as we age and mature. Clearly, that is not the case for Benton, who was 58 years of age at the time of his arrest. The LA Rams want to get the best role models for their players. This, while not a deal-breaker, is certainly a bit of tarnish that factored into the final decision.

Developing young talent

The New York Jets invested draft picks into their offensive linemen. In the 2021 NFL Draft, the Jets selected offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker with the 14th overall pick. In the 2022 NFL Draft, the Jets selected offensive tackle Max Mitchell as the 111th overall pick. That followed the 2020 NFL Draft when the Jets drafted OT Mekhi Becton (11th overall) and Cameron Clark (129th overall).

So how did these young offensive linemen develop over the past two NFL seasons?

Meckhi Becton played a total of 48 offensive snaps for Benton, all in 2021. Cameron Clark has never played an offensive snap. Alijah Vera-Tucker played 1026 offensive snaps for the Jets in 2021 but was limited to 432 offensive snaps in 2022 due to injury. rookie Max Mitchell started for the Jets’ offensive line but struggled a bit before he too fell to injury.

The Jets invested two first-round and two fourth-round picks into their offensive line and have next to nothing to show for it. Yes, they will return and the Jets’ offensive line could be the best in the NFL in 2023. But the problem is that they did not develop and did not stay healthy for Coach Benton, which is nearly identical to the 2022 challenges that the Rams faced on the offensive line.

We’ll investigate who the LA Rams did hire in an upcoming article. But I wanted to walk through what I believe are relevant points as to why the Rams passed on John Benton before doing so.

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