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Report: Aaron Kromer no longer on Rams coaching staff

Cameron DaSilva
February 18, 2021 7:24 pm


The Los Angeles Rams coaching staff is undergoing a lot of changes this offseason. According to Gary Klein of the LA Times, Aaron Kromer is no longer with the team.

Kromer has been the Rams’ offensive line coach since 2017 when Sean McVay was hired as the head coach. Kromer has also been the run game coordinator since 2018.

Kromer is the seventh coach to leave McVay’s staff this offseason, with Brandon Staley, Joe Barry and Aubrey Pleasant among the others. McVay will now need to find a new O-line coach and decide what to do about the run game coordinator position. Shane Waldron, the team’s pass game coordinator, left to join the Seahawks as their OC.

Kevin O’Connell remains on the staff as the offensive coordinator, so it’s possible McVay won’t hire run and pass game coordinators.
 

Raheem Morris lays out vision for Rams defense

Raheem Morris has a pretty good idea of what he's inheriting at his new job, especially when it comes to personnel.

In defensive lineman Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey, he has two players who are not only multi-All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections, but in his words on the Rams Revealed podcast, also "potential gold jacket guys" – meaning potential future hall-of-Famers.

"You don't mess them up," Morris said during a video conference Thursday when asked how he intends to use the duo. "Let's let these guys get going."


Raheem Morris on becoming Rams' next defensive coordinator, defensive philosophy, Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey


It's a wise approach to take, as the two will be the cornerstones of a defense that won't be undergoing wholesale changes with Morris overseeing it.

Morris began his coaching career gaining extensive experience in the Tampa-2 defense, a system traditionally employed in a 4-3 (four down linemen, three linebackers) alignment that creates a three-deep look in Cover 2 with the middle linebacker dropping back to cover the middle of the field.

However, Morris is aware of the way defensives are evolving, particularly when it comes to the trends involving the usage of sub-packages. The Rams are going to "look like a 3-4 base team," as in, a three-down lineman, four linebackers alignment, but won't strictly be that for their base scheme.


"When you go into your sub-packages, which the league has kind of developed into, you see a lot more four-down fronts," Morris said. "Whether you're talking about odd or even fronts, whether you're talking about bringing different people in to do some different things, you're going to do all those things, you're going to have all those different types of packages. Obviously, you'll talk about who you are and what you are. We're going to look like a three-four base team, something that we tried to look like in Atlanta."

This aligns with Rams general manager Les Snead's end-of-season comments about head coach Sean McVay wanting to "keep the DNA" of Brandon Staley's Vic Fangio-influenced defensive scheme, with Morris adding his own twist. It was a similar approach taken by Staley after he took over for Wade Phillips, who deployed a base 3-4 scheme during his three seasons with the Rams. Staley kept the 3-4 but also deployed a variety of alignments and fronts.

Like his predecessor, Morris will also look to find ways to capitalize on Ramsey and Donald's versatile skillsets.

"Jalen is a great player," Morris said. "He's probably rare. He's unique. He can be a shutdown corner. You can move him inside. He can play at the nickel position. He's smart. You see his toughness oozing all over the tape. You see his competitive nature just all over the tape. You see the exciting plays....
 

Joe DeCamillis outlines the approach to Rams special teams

Approaching nearly three decades coaching special teams in the NFL, Joe DeCamillis knows what it takes to put together a successful group.

He's guided punters, kickers, coverage units, and return units to statistically strong finishes at every stop. Most recently, in each of the last three years with the Jaguars (2018-20), his units placed seventh, fifth, and 13th respectively in veteran NFL reporter Rick Gosselin's annual special teams rankings.

Now, he's bringing those core principles with him to Los Angeles as the Rams' new special teams coordinator.

Early in his introductory press conference, DeCamillis pointed to two foundational pieces to his success: His passion and the quality of players.

"I would say the secret to success is, my father-in-law, is Coach Reeves, Dan Reeves," DeCamillis said during a video conference Thursday. "So, that was a long time ago, but he told me to be myself. That was one of the biggest things that we talked about. So, I've tried to follow that as much as I can. Be as passionate every day as I can and just enjoy the job. That's really what it's all about."


Joe DeCamillis on becoming Rams' next special team's coordinator, special teams philosophy


Like the other phases in the game, DeCamillis said the more talented players you have, the greater chance of success.


In that regard, he feels confident in where the Rams stand at punter – four-time Pro Bowl selection Johnny Hekker enters his 10th NFL season in 2021 and has a career average of 46.9 yards per punt. DeCamillis also likes the trajectory of kicker Matt Gay, who made 14 of 16 field-goal attempts and 16 of 16 extra-point attempts in seven games with Los Angeles last season.

"It's to field as much as we can in coverage, which means just trying to put it in small areas, which we've got a great punter to do that," DeCamillis said. "The kicker, I think it's going to get better as we go. Then the return game, you want to spread the field, make it as wide as you can, get as many gaps as you can for your return team, and then get a great return. We've got to get a guy that can ring the bell and drop the ball over the goal line."

The Rams were notorious for trick plays under John Fassel, their special team's coordinator from 2012-19. Hekker didn't attempt a pass under Fassel's successor, John Bonamego, last season, but DeCamillis indicated he was open to it.

"I think it depends on what the head coach's plan is, what your team plan is," DeCamillis said. "You want to play complementary football as much as possible. Sometimes, they come up. Sometimes they don't. In Jacksonville, we were very successful the last few years doing that and I know having the talent that John has, I hope we're able to continue the 'trickeration.'"

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