Fans have plenty of reasons for optimism over LA Rams DC Chris Shula in 2024

Los Angeles Rams Minicamp, Sean McVay
Los Angeles Rams Minicamp, Sean McVay / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
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The perfect storm of ideal experiences

DC Chris Shula has been on the Rams defensive staff since the team hired HC Sean McVay in 2017. As such, he has worked under, and been mentored by: DC Wade Phillips (2017-2019), DC Brandon Staley (2020), and DC Raheem Morris (2021-2023). With each new defensive coordinator, Shula was exposed to a new defensive mastermind. That entails new defensive schemes, new styles, and ultimately, new defenses.

While you can expect him to have his own unique take on the defense in 2024, you cannot ignore the fact that he has such a rich and robust history that led him to this point in time. perhaps the point that many do not emphasize is the symbiotic relationship between DC Chris Shula and veteran ILB Ernest Jones. After all, in much the same way that HC Sean McVay must run his offense through veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, Shula must run his defense through Jones.

It is not lost on me that Shula and Jones have had a strong trust and relationship since Day 1. It's that iron-clad trust in one another, forged through the past three seasons together, that will prove to be the difference-make for this team in 2024:

Sports Illustrated's Ricardo Klein captures that trust in a recent article, as displayed in Ernest Jones' comments about the new defensive coordinator.

"No matter what is happening, up or down, he is always steady. He is super intelligent; the way he has been able to transfer my game from a pre-snap position is second to none. … Players love him, and he is going to fit in perfectly."

Ernest Jones re: DC Chris Shula

Players ultimately decide the success for failure of a coach or coordinator. It bodes well that the guy who will be calling the defensive plays for the team this season already sounds like he will take a bullet for his defensive coordinator.

Still, talk is cheap. How is the defense looking in early OTAs?