Run Game Coordinator/DL Coach Eric Henderson
The loss of LA Rams Run Game Coordinator/DL Coach Eric Henderson is one that no words can truly quanitfiy. As much of a loss to the Rams coaching staff as you might imagine this to be, it's a bit greater. Coach Henny was not only the premier defensive line coach in the NFL, but he was a quality gentleman off the football field as well.
Yes, USC got a good one.
Perhaps some of the lesser understood contributions from Coach Henny is hos consistently he managed to have his players at a point to perform on game day, regardless of where or how they round their way onto the Rams roster. Coach Henny had a keen eye that saw a player beyond how they performed on any individual snap of the football. He insisted on only adding players who never took a play off.
What I loved most about Coach Henny's perspective is that he valued his players for more than quarterback sacks or tackles. He had a broad perspective on what each player on that defense needed to do, and applauded his players for performing their roles and responsibilities. In other words, he was just as apt to get excited about a blocker gobbler keeping two or three blockers tied up to free up a teammate to make a tackle for a loss as he was about a QB sack.
It was that chess-move strategy that applauded the contributions of everyone who played for him that I think will be missed the most. Eric Henderson possessed a quality that few persons do in modern times. Coach Henny remained humble enough in a world of social media, influencers, and self-proclaimed celebrities to be grateful for the achievements of others.
It was, and is, his willingness to lean into every interaction with a kind word, an infectious roar of laughter, a reassuring hand on the shoulder, or a sympathetic ear that not only ensured he would connect with his many players, but that each player knew that he was genuinely concerned with their well-being. Coach Henny brought out the fight in his players, not out of fear of letting the guy down, but out of love for the man who did and will always have their backs.