Los Angeles Rams Hire Former Chargers Interim Head Coach As Defensive Line Coach.

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams first coaching vacancy was created when Eric Henderson left for the USC Trojans. As of today, that spot is filled. Friday evening it was reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that the Rams hired Giff Smith as their new defensive line coach/run game coordinator.

Giff Smith With the Los Angeles Chargers and Beyond

Most recently Smith was made the interim head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers after they fired Brandon Staley.

Smith had been with the Chargers organization since 2016 and was previously the edge rushers coach. In the NFL, he got his coaching start with the Chan Gailey-led Buffalo Bills, where he worked under defensive coordinator, Dave Wanstedt. In 2014-15, he served under long-time Steelers DB’s coach, Ray Horton in Tennessee. He also worked in the college ranks for Georgia Southern (1996-98), Tulane (1999-2003) and Georgia Tech (2004-09). Georgia Southern was his first and only official foray into offensive coaching.

Then-Chargers head coach Mike McCoy hired Smith, he was retained by Anthony Lynn and eventually promoted by Staley. The Chargers interim head coaching position is Smith’s first crack as a head coach.

The Mableton, Georgia native was a three-time All-America defensive end at Georgia Southern and a team captain as a senior. Smith was a part of three NCAA I-AA national title teams for the Eagles and is a member of the Georgia Southern Athletic Hall of Fame.

NFL: New England Patriots at Los Angeles Chargers
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Giff Smith on the Los Angeles Rams Staff

Smith will inherit a line with future Hall of Famer, Aaron Donald and rookie phenom, Kobie Turner. He has big shoes to fill. Henderson did a fantastic job developing oft-overlooked talent into premium starters for the Rams. Turner is certainly one, as well as, Greg Gaines. Gaines joined the team as an undrafted free agent in 2019 and after a year with Henderson, he was a starter on the Super Bowl-winning team of 2021.

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