As is normally the case every offseason for the Los Angeles Rams, head coach Sean McVay has had to replace a number of different members of his coaching staff with them earning better opportunities elsewhere.
The most notable of the bunch was defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, who earned a well-deserved head coaching opportunity with the Atlanta Falcons. He will be taking Zac Robinson and Jimmy Laker with him to Atlanta as well.
As McVay begins filling those open spots on his coaching staff, finding a defensive coordinator is the No. 1 priority.
The Rams have been interviewing a number of different candidates from inside and outside the organization, including but not limited to Ron Rivera, Brandon Staley, Aubrey Pleasant, Chris Shula, Dennard Wilson and Aden Durde.
After interviewing all of the candidates, it appears the Rams have landed on someone internally as their pass-rush coordinator and linebackers coach Shula will take over as defensive coordinator, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN:
A replacement for Raheem Morris: Rams are promoting their pass-rush coordinator and linebackers coach Chris Shula to defensive coordinator, per league sources.
Miami wanted to interview him for its defensive coordinator job.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 1, 2024
The son of former NFL head coach Dave Shula and the grandson of Hall of Famer Don Shula, Chris has no shortage of coaching acumen in his lineage.
He began coaching at the college level in 2010 before making his way at the NFL in 2015 at the age of 29 with the San Diego Chargers.
Shula then joined the Rams organization in 2017 where he has remained since in a variety of roles, including assistant linebackers coach, outside linebackers coach, linebackers coach, passing game coordinator and defensive backs coach and then in 2023, pass-rush coordinator and linebackers coach.
Having all those different roles and learning the different aspects of the defense undoubtedly prepared Shula to be a coordinator, and now he will get his first shot for a young Rams defense that overachieved in 2023 under Morris.
This marks the first time in McVay’s tenure with the Rams that he has promoted someone from within the organization to a coordinator role, typically looking outside the organization to fill those positions.
Chris Shula was set to interview with Dolphins before Rams promoted him
The Rams making this decision now doesn’t seem to be a coincidence as it was reported earlier on Thursday that Shula was set to interview with the Miami Dolphins for their defensive coordinator position.
Instead of allowing him to take that interview, it appears that McVay’s mind was made up and Shula will be the Rams’ next defensive coordinator.