The LA Rams are losing coaches from their staff at a pretty rapid pace right now, At last tally, the Rams have lost 5 members from their coaching staff to other football organizations: 4 NFL teams and 1 NCAA football program. While the loss of coaches may take weeks for the LA Rams to reconstruct and replace, we are happy to say that the Rams have begun the process of interviewing candidates to fill vacated roles on the coaching staff.
One key role to fill is that of DL Coach. The Rams had been blessed with a five-year relationship with DL Coach/Run Game Coordinator Eric Henderson. But Coach Henny found an even more responsible opportunity in the NCAA as USC's DL Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator. And so, the Rams must refill that coaching role.
While there are likely multiple candidates to sort through, we do know that LA Rams Assistant DL Coach AC Carter is rumored to have interviewed for the role. While that may not excite many Rams fans, I believe that he could become an ideal DL Coach for the Rams if given a chance.
What reasons could I possibly have for that conclusion? I can think of 3 reasons off the top of my head.
Reason III: He was hand picked by former Rams DL Coach Eric Henderson
The best succession plan originates from the person who is planning for his successor. The man who has the most intimate knowledge of what it takes to succeed as the LA Rams defensive line coach is former Rams DL Coach Eric Henderson. If you doubt his insight, he chose Marcus The to be his Assistant DL Coach. One year later, Dixon was hired away to become the DL Coach for the Denver Broncos. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that when the Broncos hired a new head coach, Dixon remained with the team as the DL coach.
Dixon worked with Coach Henny for one season. AC Carter has worked with Coach Henny for two seasons.
Reason II: While he will have his spin, he knows the #DAWGWORK mantra
Discipline, Attitude, Work ethic, and Grit are the four distinct qualities that define the LA Rams defensive linemen and set them apart from the rest of the NFL. It was the gold standard for NFL defensive linemen, a simple but complete list of attributes that compiled the qualities needed to undertake the difficult road to success in the NFL
It was Coach Henny's trademark. He found no reason to hand out participation awards to his players. He demanded that they put in the work necessary to play on a defensive line at the NFL level. And AC Carter, having worked with Coach Henny for two years, knows the drill. He has the expertise needed to reestablish that 'never take a play off,' basis that has helped the Rams DL accomplish so much so quickly.
Reason I: He knows the players, and they know him
The LA Rams welcomed two rookies to the defensive line group in 2023. Of course, everyone knows how NT Kobie Turner showed up and took the NFL by storm. But perhaps a story that is just as impressive is that of rookie defensive lineman Desjuan Johnson, who was selected with the 259th overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft. While only seeing action on 102 defensive snaps, Johnson recorded nine tackles and 2.0 quarterback sacks.
There are no guarantees that any player will hit it off with the coach. But that was certainly not the case for LA Rams defensive linemen. as they enjoyed both Coach Henny and Coach Carter.
Why tinker with something that works? While it makes some sense to consider alternatives to fill vacated coaching positions, I would be very surprised if Coach Carter was not promoted, He clearly had a huge role in developing the Rams rookies, a fact that contributed to the team's shocking success.
The LA Rams have plenty of hires to sort through and accomplish in the days and perhaps weeks ahead. I can see no reason why the LA Rams would not hire AC Carter as their new DL coach. But as this article clearly shows, I can think of many reasons why they should.