Rams News: Ernest Jones Believes Chris Shula Will ‘Fit In Perfectly’ As Defensive Coordinator
Chris Shula, Rams
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

When the Atlanta Falcons hired away Raheem Morris from the Los Angeles Rams to become their new head coach, it forced head coach Sean McVay to hire his replacement.

McVay has grown accustomed to replacing members of his coaching staff as the assistants and coordinators under him have made for popular hires around the NFL. Normally, McVay likes to bring in external candidates to fill holes on his staff but this year he made an exception and promoted Chris Shula to become the Rams’ new defensive coordinator.

Shula originally joined the team as an assistant linebackers coach in the 2017 season before moving up the ranks of the defense. He spent last season as the pass rush coordinator and linebackers coach, but will now get his opportunity to run the defense in his vision.

Players have gravitated toward Shula’s coaching style and personality and Ernest Jones believes he’ll be the perfect leader for the unit in 2024 and beyond, via Eric Williams of FOX Sports:

“No matter what’s happening, up or down, he’s always steady,” said Rams inside linebacker Ernest Jones. “He’s super intelligent; the way he’s been able to transfer my game from a pre-snap position is second to none. … Players love him, and he’s going to fit in perfectly.”

Jones has spent plenty of time learning under Shula since Los Angeles drafted him back in 2021 and has gotten better each and every year. Last year marked Jones’ first time being named a team captain and he should earn that honor again when the Rams vote on captains before the regular season begins.

Shula’s biggest challenge, though, will be figuring out how to keep the defense among the league leaders in several metrics after Aaron Donald announced his retirement. Los Angeles had Donald propping up their defense for a decade, so without him there are several questions that will need to be answered.

However, both McVay and Shula have noted that there’s no player that can ever replace Donald by themselves so they’ll look to fill the void with a committee of contributors. How Shula goes about that will be interesting to watch, but it sounds like he’s got supporters in the building.

Rams’ Ernest Jones unconcerned about playing 2024 season on last year of rookie deal

Although he’s extension-eligible, Ernest Jones and the Rams didn’t come to terms on a new deal. However, Jones isn’t concerned about playing on the final year of his rookie contract in 2024.