The Los Angeles Rams’ coaching staff under Sean McVay has undergone significant changes this offseason, with former defensive coordinator Raheem Morris most notably being named the new head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.
The Rams have already found a replacement for Morris in Chris Shula, who served as the team’s pass-rush coordinator and linebackers coach this past season.
Shula originally joined the Rams organization in 2017 and has held various roles during that time. He originally began his NFL coaching career in 2015 at the age of 29 as a defensive quality control coach for the San Diego Chargers.
As he prepares for his new position, Shula said the team will use a similar defense as the one Morris ran last season, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“I think we’ll use a lot of the same structures, the same 3-4 structure and some of the same core beliefs,” Shula said. “But it’s all about the players. So we’re going to do whatever the players can execute at a high level, where they can go out and play fast and play with confidence. And whatever the offense gives us, we’ll be able to have answers to, and they can go be the best version of themselves.”
Shula will oversee a young Rams defense that overachieved in 2023. Among the standouts were Ernest Jones, who broke James Laurinaitis’ franchise record for most tackles in a season with 145. Kobie Turner also tied Aaron Donald for the most sacks by a rookie defensive tackle with nine.
Shula is the son of former NFL head coach Dave Shula and the grandson of Hall of Famer Don Shula, so there is no shortage of coaching acumen in his lineage. Shula’s experience and familiarity should help him find immediate success in his first opportunity as a defensive coordinator
Chris Shula will collaborate with Ernest Jones on where he will call defensive plays for Rams
Shula said he is undecided on whether he will call plays in the booth or on the field next season, and will collaborate with Jones to see what works best for the team.