Los Angeles Rams Interested In Bringing Back A Familiar Face To Replace Raheem Morris

The Los Angeles Rams search to replace Raheem Morris is now underway and a familiar face is at the top of the list. Brandon Staley has emerged as one of the first candidates for the newly opened defensive coordinator position. Staley’s once meteoric rise started when Sean McVay hired him in 2020 to replace Wade Phillips.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers
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Los Angeles Rams Defense Under Brandon Staley

The Rams defense went from 17 in points allowed and 13 in yards allowed in 2019 under Phillips to first in both respects in 2020 under Staley. They also had the second-best success rate, allowing teams to have success on just 39.3 percent of play. They also limited explosive passing plays with a league-leading 5.1 net yards per passing play.

Related: Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator candidates 2024

Under Staley, Aaron Donald had the second most sacks of his career and Leonard Floyd had the most of his.

After Staley’s departure, the Ram defense regressed to the middle of the pack.

Rams Defense: Now and Then

The Rams defense looks much different than it did in 2020. They had Jalen Ramsey, Michael Brockers, John Johnson, and brought on Leonard Floyd. The current defense has pieces, but it certainly isn’t what it was when Staley took over and turned it into the best unit in the league.

The Rams do head into the 2024 offseason with a lot of capital to improve the talent of the defense; 11 draft picks (The Rams will receive an additional 3rd rounder in 2024 for Raheem Morris’ hiring) and nearly $28 million in cap space. Much of those resources will likely go to improving the defense, particularly edge rusher, safety, and outside cornerback.

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports