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 by Elvis
2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   24195  
 Joined:  Mar 28 2015
United States of America   Los Angeles

https://www.therams.com/news/rams-annou ... -additions

Rams announce 2020 coaching additions

Stu Jackson

The Los Angeles Rams announced the additions of offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, defensive coordinator Brandon Staley and special teams coordinator John Bonamego on Monday. The team will hold an introductory press conference on Wednesday, February 12 at 11 a.m. pacific time, and it will be streamed live on the Rams' Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels.

Ahead of time, here is more information on each of the new hires and what you should know about them.

Offensive coordinator: Kevin O'Connell

O'Connell, 34, spent the previous three seasons with the Washington Redskins, working his way up from quarterbacks coach in 2017 to offensive coordinator in 2019.

Prior to landing in Washington, he spent the 2016 season as an offensive assistant on then-head coach Chip Kelly's 49ers staff and the 2015 season as the Cleveland Browns' quarterbacks coach.

A native of Carlsbad, California, O'Connell was a quarterback and 4-time captain at San Diego State before being chosen 94th overall in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots.


2015: Cleveland Browns quarterbacks coach

2016: San Francisco 49ers offensive assistant

2017: Washington Redskins quarterbacks coach

2018: Washington Redskins passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach

2019: Washington Redskins offensive coordinator

What you should know about him:

• NFL teammates knew he'd make a great coach: In a December 2011 feature in the New York Times, then-Jets rookie quarterback Greg McElroy and starter Mark Sanchez shared how impressed they were with teammate O'Connell's football knowledge. "He's a coach with a lot of football talent," McElroy said, adding that O'Connell could "see the game vertically, as if watching film, from the sidelines."

• His attention to detail: That same New York Times story reported that he kept a personal journal in which he wrote down plays and coverages that confused him and his response to situations. Those intensive film study habits carried over into the pros, too – at the time of the article's publication, he had filled four notebooks during the Jets' 2011 season.

Defensive coordinator: Brandon Staley

Staley, 37, joins the Rams after spending last season as the Denver Broncos' outside linebackers coach. The 14-year coaching veteran also held the same position on Broncos head coach Vic Fangio's staff when Fangio was the Chicago Bears' defensive coordinator in 2017 and 2018.

In 2018, Staley worked directly with first-team All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack, who joined Texans defensive end J.J. Watt as the only players in the NFL with at least 12.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles and 4 pass breakups. Only Watt and Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald recorded more quarterback hurries than Mack (27).

That season, Staley also helped coach a Bears defense that allowed the fewest points per game (17.7), collected the most takeaways (36) and third-most sacks (51), allowed the third-fewest total yards per game (299.7) and ranked fourth in third-down defense (34.2 percent).


2006-08: Northern Illinois University defensive graduate assistant, working with secondary (2006-07) and linebackers (2008) as well as special teams all three years

2009: University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) defensive line coach and assistant special teams coach

2010-11: Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College associate head coach/defensive coordinator; also coached linebackers and assisted special teams

2012: University of Tennessee defensive graduate assistant, working with inside linebackers and special teams

2013: John Carroll University defensive coordinator/secondary coach

2014: James Madison University defensive coordinator/linebackers coach

2015-16: John Carroll University defensive coordinator/secondary coach

2017-18: Chicago Bears outside linebackers coach

2019: Denver Broncos outside linebackers coach

What you should know about him:

• Converted quarterback: Staley played quarterback in college, but when he got his first coaching job, he switched over to the other side of the ball and started as a defensive graduate assistant.

• He worked with a flexible 3-4 defense under Broncos coach and former Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio: "Coming to the NFL, you hear a lot about systems, and sometimes those systems don't work if they don't have the right players," Staley said during a December 2017 appearance on the Bears coaches radio show. "Vic's system is extremely flexible, it's extremely multiple, and at the same time, he's really specific in game-planning."

Special teams coordinator: John Bonamego

Bonamego, 56, arrives in Los Angeles after spending last season in his second stint as the Detroit Lions' special teams coordinator.

In his first stint with the Lions (2013-14), Bonamego helped punter Sam Martin record the top-two single-season marks for net punting average in team history with a 40.4-yard average in 2013 and a 40.1 mark in 2014.

When overseeing the Jaguars' special teams in 2012, he was instrumental in the development of rookie punter Bryan Anger, who set franchise records for punting average (47.8) and net punting average (40.8), with both totals leading all rookie punters.

A 17-year NFL coaching veteran, Bonamego also has extensive experience at the college level, including serving as the head coach at his alma mater Central Michigan from 2015-18 before joining the Lions again.


1987: Mount Pleasant (Mich.) High School junior varsity co-coach

1988-91: University of Maine assistant coach

1992: Lehigh University assistant coach

1993-98: Army assistant coach

1999-01: Jacksonville Jaguars assistant special teams coach

2002: Jacksonville Jaguars special teams coordinator

2003-05: Green Bay Packers special teams coordinator

2006-07: New Orleans Saints special teams coordinator

2008-10: Miami Dolphins special teams coordinator

2011: New Orleans Saints assistant special teams coach

2012: Jacksonville Jaguars special teams coordinator

2013-14: Detroit Lions special teams coordinator

2015-18: Central Michigan University head coach

2019: Detroit Lions special teams coordinator

What you should know about him:

• NFC team personnel voted him NFC North Special Teams Coach of the Year via The Athletic.

• His punt and kickoff coverage units were sound last year: The Lions held opponents to only 4.5 yards per punt return in 2019 with zero touchdowns as Detroit, good for the second best punt coverage unit in football. The league punting average was 7.6 yards per return this past season.

 by Horny Mcbae
2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   1438  
 Joined:  Mar 12 2018
United States of America   South Bay, Los Angeles
Pro Bowl

Best of luck to all of them. I have high hopes for Staley just based on his resume.

Clean slate. Let’s go!!!

 by Elvis
2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   24195  
 Joined:  Mar 28 2015
United States of America   Los Angeles

https://www.therams.com/news/brandon-st ... erspective

Brandon Staley sees the field from a unique perspective

Stu Jackson

New Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley's college playing days consisted of preparing against the side of the ball where he has spent the majority of his coaching career so far.

Unorthodox as the quarterback-turned-defensive coordinator route may seem, it has played an instrumental role in his career and uniquely shaped the approach to his job.

"What being a quarterback has done is really opened up my lens, and from a defensive perspective, try and get the player to understand what he's looking at and how they're operating," Staley told theRams.com. "And so, it's really meant a lot to me in my career. I would say that it's been the biggest benefit for me."


The decision to make the switch, according to Staley, was not his but former Northern Illinois head coach Joe Novak's.

In 2006, Staley joined Novak's staff as a defensive graduate assistant after his college career as a quarterback concluded. According to a story published on broncos.com last November, Novak loved that angle because a quarterback is responsible for all 22 players on the field.

"You have to command the huddle, you have to be able to reach everybody on the team," Staley told broncos.com. "And as a defensive graduate assistant, that's kind of your role. You're running the scout team, you're kind of the quarterback of the scout team. He really liked that."

Novak's guidance paid off, as Staley was named 2016 FootballScoop Division III Coordinator of the Year in his final season overseeing John Carroll's defense 10 years later. The award's recipient is chosen by previous winners. The Blue Streaks ranked fourth nationally in scoring defense, sixth nationally in pass efficiency defense, third nationally in total defense and 13th nationally in rushing defense that year.

At the professional level, it remains a prudent approach as NFL offenses evolve and attempt to exploit defenses by spreading them across the line of scrimmage and creating mismatches in space.

Take, for instance, the 2018 season when all 32 NFL teams combining to score a new league record 1,371 touchdowns and the second-most total points with 11,292, according to a January 2019 article by the New York Times.

"A quarterback is responsible for all 22 players on the field," Staley said. "As a defensive coordinator, when you operate like that, you know the tempo and the rhythm that you have to be able to function at to be able to compete with these guys. There's only 32 starting quarterbacks in the world and they're all really, really special. So if your defenses can't operate at the same speed that the quarterbacks and the offenses do, then you're just going to be behind."

Perhaps it's no surprise that a former quarterback sees communication as a cornerstone of his defensive philosophy, and Staley has current Broncos head coach Vic Fangio to thank for that.

Fangio gave Staley his big break into the NFL, hiring him as outside linebackers coach for the Bears defensive staff in 2017. When Fangio departed two years later to become the Broncos head coach, he brought Staley will him to fill the same position in Denver. Staley credits those three seasons working alongside Fangio for accelerating his growth as a coach.

"You got to think about being a great teacher for your players, and I think that's something that Vic is exceptional at," Staley said. "To be a defensive coordinator in the NFL for over 20 years and to do it at the level he's been able to do it at and now as a head coach, to have that type of consistency, you have to be a really good teacher, you have to be a really good communicator. You have to be someone that people believe in, you know, as a leader."

Staley said there won't be "wholesale changes" to the Rams defense.

The 3-4 scheme will remain, and the transition sounds a lot like the one he made at the beginning of his coaching career.

"The roles and responsibilities of a lot of the guys is going to remain the same, just, schematically, and maybe fundamentally, situationally, there'll be some some new things for them," Staley said. "But in terms of the jobs that they're going to be doing, they're going to be doing the same job. So I think that gives the players a lot of confidence to know that, 'Hey, I'm going to be performing the same role. Just maybe a little bit different.'"

 by Elvis
2 weeks ago
 Total posts:   24195  
 Joined:  Mar 28 2015
United States of America   Los Angeles

Rich Hammond on the new setup:

https://theathletic.com/1603872/2020/02 ... =twittered

A streamlined offensive staff

After two seasons that were either innovative or unwise — choose your adventure — the Rams have returned to a more traditional setup with their offensive staff. McVay remains at the top, as the architect and play-caller, closely supported by assistants O’Connell and Shane Waldron.

With a full-time offensive coordinator, the Rams are now in line with 29 of the 31 other NFL teams. O’Connell is expected to fill a role similar to that of Matt LaFleur in 2017 before LaFleur took the same job in Tennessee (with play-calling responsibilities) and became head coach in Green Bay last year.

After LaFleur’s departure, the Rams shuffled the coaching board. Offensive line coach Aaron Kromer became run-game coordinator but still oversaw the linemen. Waldron, the tight ends coach, became pass-game coordinator but also the quarterbacks coach. Jedd Fisch was brought in as an “assistant offensive coordinator,” even though the Rams didn’t have an offensive coordinator. All three coaches reported to McVay.

Got all that? A flow chart seemed necessary at times.

Now, things are a little more straightforward. McVay is expected to have a bigger role in the preparation of the defense, so he will be able to lean on a full-time offensive coordinator in O’Connell.

The biggest remaining question involves Waldron’s role. Waldron no longer is quarterbacks coach, and O’Connell is expected to assume that duty and work closely with Jared Goff. Waldron retains the title of pass-game coordinator and is expected to take on many of the duties filled by Fisch, who last month was hired by New England in an unspecified offensive role. Waldron, a source said, will assist McVay across the entire offense and will be tied less to one specific position or role.

Regardless of how the Rams assign titles, though, this means more change for Goff. Since being the No. 1 overall pick of the 2016 draft, Goff already has worked with four position coaches — Chris Weinke, Greg Olson, Zac Taylor and Waldron — and now is on his second offensive coordinator.

Goff will get significant input from O’Connell, the former San Diego State quarterback who bounced among five NFL teams from 2008 to 2012 before starting his coaching career. O’Connell worked under McVay mentor Jay Gruden from 2017 to 2019 in several roles, most recently as offensive coordinator.

O’Connell said he knows Goff only “casually” but is familiar with his three full seasons as a starter.

“You just see some of the physical talent he has put on tape,” O’Connell said, “him making some throws and some of the intangible traits that I think have really jumped out from afar, from observing him. That’s why I just can’t wait to be around him and kind of help him take whatever that next step is for him. We’ll figure out exactly what that means and do everything we can to help him.”

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13 posts Feb 28 2020