Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
At the beginning of the 2017 NFL off-season, the Los Angeles Rams were searching for a new head coach after firing Jeff Fisher during the regular season. They would find a young, vibrant, and energetic Sean McVay the former offensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins and hired them as the teams new head coach.
They young McVay first added to his coaching staff a veteran coach that had previous head coaching experiences with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. He essentially added to his staff Aaron Kromer the Rams offensive line coach who once was the interim head coach for the New Orlean Saints after the "Bounty Gate" scandal. McVay also brought back the former Rams offensive coordinator Greg Olson who helped Marc Bulger to pass over 4,000 yards in one season.
McVay also hired young assistant coaches to his staff, such as Matt LaFleur as the offensive coordinator, Shane Waldron as tight ends coach, and Zac Taylor as the assistant wide receivers coach. However, with the immediate success of the 2017 Rams season, teams started inquiring on the young coaches.
However, before the young coaches sought after, John Gruden accepted the head coaching job with his former team of the Oakland Raiders. Olson primarily helped ignite a young Jared Goff just in his second season to help engineer the Rams offense to put up league-leading numbers to win the NFC West Title. Gruden quickly asked for permission to speak with Olson and eventually hired him as the Raiders next new offensive coordinator.
LaFleur, the former Atlanta Falcons quarterbacks coach, had to stomach the debacle of the Falcons in Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots. McVay hired LaFleur as the offensive coordinator. After one season with success, the Tennessee Titans requested permission to seek an interview with LaFleur.
After the Titans hired Mike Vrable, the Patriots former all-pro linebacker as their new head coach, he quickly sought-after LaFleur. After meeting with LaFleur, the Titans organization promptly hired LaFleur soon after completing their coaching recruiting.
Zac Taylor & Shane Waldron
In the McVay's motto, "We Not Me" adopted another locker room slogan, "Next Man Up!" From that McVay would promote Zac Taylor from his assistant wide receivers coach position to the quarterback's coach. McVay also promoted tight ends coach Shane Waldron as the passing game coordinator an co-offensive coordinator. Coach Kromer in addition to his offensive line coaching duties also promoted to co-offensive coordinator position as the run game coordinator.
Repeating another season of the success of the Rams winning 13 of 16 games, another pro bowl selection of quarterback Goff, the dominant passing game with the Rams offense, it is déjà vu.
By the end of the 2018 season, there were eight head coaching vacancies. As vacancies arise, coaches are needed to fulfill those vacant head coaching jobs. Therefore the hottest commodities from the Rams coaching staff are Waldron and Taylor. Go figure, as Goff nearly passed for 5,000 yards and once labeled as a bust, and receivers Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods both posting over 1,200 receiving yards, several organizations have opened eyes for these two young coaches.
Several NFL teams such as the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals are have drawn interest in Taylor and the Bengals and Broncos for Waldron. However, rumors have circulated after the Detroit Lions fired Jim Bob Cooter as the offensive coordinator, that the Lions may seek after Waldron. Waldron coached with Matt Patricia, the Lions head coach in their days in New England under head coach Bill Belichick.
Surrounding last weeks media discussions, reporters asked Coach McVay what advice did he offer to the Taylor and Waldron. He would comment by this:
“I think just be yourself. Be confident. Don’t try to force the issue. I think just make it more of a dialogue than anything else – it is a conversation,” McVay said. “You’re interviewing for a job, but you also want to be able to find out some answers to help gain a perspective on the type of situation that you would be going in to. Just relax and enjoy it. It’s a great opportunity to be able to do this. All you can do is compete to the best of your ability like we talk about all the time. That’s really all I’ve said.”
When approached with the question on teams requesting for permission to speak to Waldron and Taylor, McVay had this say how he felt on potentially losing the two:
“Zac's got a full docket this week. He's going to talk to three of the teams,” head coach Sean McVay said Wednesday. "He's a great coach — he and Shane both. We've got a lot of great coaches on our staff. But, certainly it's exciting for those guys to get the opportunity to go compete for one of these head jobs. If it works out for those guys, we'll be very sorry to see them go, but very excited for them as well — just looking at the career trajectory and the success that these guys have had and how influential they've been on some of the success we've had here."
Addressing the issue of not wanting them to leave however in a unselfish way of encouraging to accept an offer McVay humbling responded:
“If it’s something that we can provide a better opportunity or something that makes it enticing to want to stay, then that’s what you look into,” he added. “But, I don’t think you worry about that. I think these are positive problems that guys are getting great chances and usually it’s a reflection of our team’s success.”
In just his second full season as the Rams head coach, the Rams have gone into a healthy direction that fans have dreamed about for years, and long before their return from St. Louis. The Rams under McVay have won two NFC Titles, two playoff appearances, and more wins in his first two seasons with 25 wins as Fisher's 27 wins in four seasons.
McVay speaks about his influences and potentially of promoting and hiring new coaches if Taylor or Waldron becomes hired elsewhere. McVay predicated his success from his grandfather and shared his answer:
“I think that was one of the things, just going back to the influences that you have. My grandfather's history with the 49ers, there was so much success that they were able to sustain over time and I think a large part of that was credit to the success, but also them being invested in attracting good coaches because of the way that they help them grow,” McVay said. “You see a lot of guys become a head coach from kind of that Bill Walsh tree. Certainly, I'm not making that comparison by any stretch — but I think it is about the people.
The Rams will sit and watch this week NFL Wild Card games between the Seattle Seahawks vs. Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium, and the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. The Rams will more than likely have their eye on the Eagles and Bears games, the two teams that handed the Rams back-to-back losses this season.
However, the Rams likely are expecting for the Bears to defeat the Eagles defending World Champion, as they look to avenge their loss. The Rams dealt with the adverse weather in Chicago as temperatures dropped into the low teens. The subpar Rams offense were affected the entire game as the defense played one of their better game in weeks. However, from aside of all the Rams turnovers, the defense became exposed to long to the cold element. This time around the Rams will be more focused and seeking to send the Bears hibernating for the winter.