The search for the new Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator will include two long-time members of their coaching staff. The Athletics Rams beat writer, Jourdan Rodrigue reported that defensive backs coach and pass game coordinator, Aubrey Pleasant, and Chris Shula, linebackers coach and pass rush coordinator, will interview for the job.
The defensive coordinator job has been open since last week when Raheem Morris was hired by the Atlanta Falcons as their new head coach.
Chris Shula’s Journey With The Los Angeles Rams
Chris Shula has been with the Rams since Sean McVay was hired by the team in 2017. The two met in college while playing for the Miami (OH) Red Hawks. Shula and McVay even lived with each other in 2017.
Shula took his first coaching position with the famous coaching factory of John Carroll University. There, he took over for Brandon Staley as the defensive coordinator in 2014. Shula has slowly but surely made his way up the ladder to his current position.
Shula is the grandson of Hall of Fame football coach Don Shula. Ernest Jones is Shula’s shining achievement, taking him from a third-round draft pick in 2021 to one of the best middle linebackers in the NFL.
Aubrey Pleasant’s Time With The Los Angeles Rams
Aubrey Pleasant also started with McVay in 2017. Pleasant is yet another member the vaunted Washington football team coaching staff of the early to mid-twenty-teens.
Since joining the Rams Pleasant has coached the secondary. In 2021 he moved to the Detroit Lions to be the defensive backs & passing game coordinator and was fired early in the 2022 season. For the remainder of the year, he served as a consultant to the Green Bay Packers with former Rams coach Joe Berry.
Pleasant rejoined the Rams heading into the 2023 season to coach a young and inexperienced group of defensive backs. While the defense wasn’t among the top of the class, they vastly over performed expectations.
The Coaching Search
Sean McVay has opted to hire from outside of his coaching staff for his high-level coordinators. So Pleasant and Shula don’t have history on their side. The Rams have already interviewed Brandon Staley and Ron Rivera for the position.
A decision will be made sooner than later with the opening of free agency a mere six weeks away.