Coach Chris Shula is the perfect next DC for the LA Rams, and here's why

 Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay
Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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Reason IV: It's in his family genetics

The name Shula is synonymous with elite coaching among NFL circles. Former Miami Dolphins HC Don Shula. Coach Don Shula was the first NFL Head Coach to appear in six different Super Bowls, and the only head coach in NFL history to oversee a perfect season (1972). He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1990 at the age of 90.

His son, Dave Shula, carried on the family tradition, enjoying an NFL coaching career that lasted 15 seasons. He began as the Miami Dolphins wide receivers coach in 1982, ultimately leading to become the Cincinnati Bengals head coach in 1992. He would remain in that role with the Bengals until 1996, when a 1-6 start to the season triggered his dismissal.

Now the third generation of coaching, Chris Shula follows the family tradition of coaching in the NFL. He played with Sean McVay in 2006, when they both attended the University of Miami in Ohio. Shula was a linebacker for the Miami Redhawks and earned a reputation as a player with a high football IQ.

He joined his former teammate in 2017 as the inaugural coaching staff for the Rams newly hired head coach, Sean McVay, and he has served on the coaching staff of the Rams in ever increasing responsibility ever since. In 2023, he was the team's Linebackers Coach and Pass Rush Coordinator. While some may scoff at the Rams pass rush, the team enjoyed tremendous production from rookie NT Kobie Turner (9.0 quarterback sacks) as well as rookie OLB Byron Young (8.0 quarterback sacks).

Chris Shula has been immersed in football his entire life, as he is the third generation coach who bears the Shula name. You may be able to point to alternative DC options as having a rising star, but as the Los Angeles Chargers discovered when hiring Rams DC Brandon Staley as their head coach in 2021, that can prove to be a risky move. With Chris Shula, the team is assured of a person who truly embodies a competitive passion of football.