Rams News: John Bonamego Has Previous Relationship With Johnny Hekker After Scouting Him For Jaguars
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After a somewhat disappointing 2019 season, the Los Angeles Rams upper management has elected to make some changes to their coaching staff in hopes of rebounding in 2020.

One of those changes was unexpected as former special teams coordinator John Fassel left to take the same position with the Dallas Cowboys. For his replacement, the Rams have brought in 17-year veteran coach John Bonamego.

Bonamego has coached with a number of teams throughout his career, but this will be his first stint with the Rams. Despite that, Bonamego already has some relationships with some players on the team, including punter Johnny Hekker, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:

“A lot of those guys I’ve looked at coming out of the draft,” Bonamego said. “I had a pretty good relationship with Johnny before he signed here. I was in Jacksonville at the time, we took a kid by the name Bryan Anger instead, but I remember those conversations.”

Bonamego was the special teams coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars during the 2012 season when Hekker entered the league out of Oregon State.

Although it appears that Bonamego had some interest in bringing in Hekker, things clearly did not work out and he slipped through the draft entirely. Of course, the Rams eventually signed the undrafted free agent and he has been with the team ever since, developing into perhaps the best punter in the league.

Bonamego emphasized his belief in communication and routine for his players. Hopefully having a previous relationship with Hekker will help make their line of communication even better.

Hekker, along with kicker Greg Zuerlein and long snapper Jake McQuaide, have comprised the Rams’ special teams unit since 2012. Although the trio had been coached by Fassel for a majority of their careers, their bond should be able to ease Bonamego’s transition.

While the rest of the team has had their ups and downs recently, the kicking unit has been consistent and hopefully that will remain the case in 2020 despite the coaching change.