Why LA Rams hiring RB Coach Ron Gould may be a bigger deal than you realize

Ron Gould, Norm Chow
Ron Gould, Norm Chow / Kent Nishimura/GettyImages

There were problems with the LA Rams running game in 2022. The offensive line was riddled with injuries. The running back room was hit by injuries as well. Rookie RB Kyren Williams suffered two injuries that combined to derail his first NFL season. Feature RB Cam Akers was still bothered by his devastating Achilles Tendon injury, and really didn't look to be the same rusher. The Rams tried to get RB Darrell Henderson to handle the lion's share, but as we know when the Rams needed Darrell Henderson to suit up, they didn't always get Henderson onto the field.

Whether it was simply a matter of too inexperienced to handle all of the trouble shooting that came with the job in his first NFL coaching role, Rams RB Coach Ra'Shaad Samples was in over his head. That point became quite obvious when RB Cam Akers had a come-to-Jesus meeting with Rams head coach Sean McVay. The immediate outcome of that meeting was benching Akers as the Rams tried to find a team willing to trade for him.

Eventually, Coach Samples left to return to a college coaching role, TE Coach Thomas Brown returned to oversee the Rams running backs too, and RB Cam Akers returned to play for the Rams, and earned his way out of the dog house by finishing the 2022 NFL season with three consecutive games of 100+ rushing yards, all behind a makeshift offensive line.

Gould will be gold for the Rams running backs

The Rams lost Coach Samples during the 2022 NFL season, and Coach Brown after the 2022 season. Unlike 2021, the Rams had time to be deliberate with coaching hires, and recruited one of the best coaches in the business, Coach Ron Gould.

If you want to know who Gould has coached over the years, how's this? Gould has coached seven NFL Pro Bowl selections. Better still, five of the past nine Super Bowls have featured a running back whom Gould has coached, Like who? Here is a quick sampler:

  1. Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks),
  2. C.J. Anderson (Denver Broncos) and
  3. Shane Vereen (New England Patriots),
  4. College standouts Bryce Love (Stanford)
  5. J.J. Arrington (California)
  6. Jahvid Best (Detroit Lions)
  7. Justin Forsett (Baltimore Ravens)

You can judge the quality of a coach by the quality of the players who he was worked with over the years, and Coach Gould has a list of performers who excelled in the NFL.

His career has come full circle, as he was an NFL intern for three years, working with the San Francisco 49ers in 1998, the Atlanta Falcons in 1999, and the Green Bay Packers in 2000. All told he brings over 33 seasons of coaching experience to the LA Rams coaching staff, with chapters at California, Stanford, and UC Davis.

Gould not only has the ability to coach up running backs, but he has a fine eye for talent, as his list of successful rushers proves. It was clear that the LA Rams had a new hand guiding the selection process this season, as the team drafted Ole Miss RB Zach Evans and then doubled down by signing Louisville RB Tiyon Evans after the draft. Both Evans and Evans (coincidence) stand over 5-foot-10 and weigh 210 pounds or better.

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How much of an impact will Coach Gould make on the Rams running attack in 2023? Well, it will take time for him to prune and graft the right players for his running philosophy onto the Rams roster. But, from what we have seen already, the Rams running game could be very effective in 2023.