After the 2022 season, the Los Angeles Rams were expected to make changes across the board in the offseason.
Sean McVay’s coaching staff has been overhauled the past few weeks, with a new set of coaches for each side of the field. McVay is used to having to find replacements for his staff, but this offseason is a pivotal one as he tries to lead the Rams back to the postseason after missing it for just the second time during his tenure with the team.
Mike LaFleur and Raheem Morris will be McVay’s offensive and defensive coordinators, respectively, but there was still a vacancy for special teams coordinator after Los Angeles parted ways with Joe DeCamillis.
However, it seems the Rams have found their replacement as they’ve reportedly hired Chase Blackburn as their new special teams coordinator, via Mike Garofolo of NFL Network:
The #Rams are hiring Chase Blackburn as their new special-teams coordinator, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. Blackburn joins Sean McVay’s coaching staff after stints with the #Panthers and #Titans. Seven seasons in coaching after 10 as a player.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 21, 2023
Blackburn spent the 2022 season with the Tennessee Titans as an assistant special teams coach, but now gets a promotion with the Rams. Blackburn has a wealth of experience coaching special teams as he started out with the Carolina Panthers as an assistant between 2016-2017 before becoming their special teams coordinator for the 2018-2021 seasons.
An undrafted rookie during the 2005 NFL Draft, Blackburn signed on with the New York Giants where he played eight seasons for them. He was a member of the Giants’ two Super Bowl teams before finishing his career with the Panthers.
It’s an intriguing hire for the Rams who have largely struggled with their special teams units under McVay. While the offense and defense have been near the top of the league in terms of production, special teams has always been lacking which gives Blackburn a chance to prove what he can do.
So far, he has gotten results as his final year leading special teams for Carolina they were one of the best overall units in the NFL. The Panthers were ranked eighth in punt return average allowed, eighth in field goal percentage, 13th in punt return average and 17th in kickoff return average. Those are all solid results and would be improvements for the Rams who struggled in most of those areas last season.