11 (!) Rams Coaching Candidates If Sean McVay Bolts

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demeco ryans

When/if Sean McVay does decide to step away, step down, mutually agree to separate from the Los Angeles Rams, who would be in line to take his place? The NFL Coaching Carousel is spinning fast and the football world is waiting for McVay’s decision, and here, we are breaking down Rams coaching candidates.

McVay said in Monday’s press conference that he was going to take some time to decide on his immediate future, but from all looks, it seems like he’s going to walk away. Maybe he’s a little tired, maybe he doesn’t see much a future with the Rams right now, maybe he’s trying to build a family with his new wife.

Maybe it’s all three.

When/if McVay departs, the Rams job will be enticing for those spinning on the carousel. Yes, they did just go 5-12, but they won the Super Bowl last year. The roster is still full of elite talent with Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp.

So if McVay goes, who are the candidates to replace him? We broke it down into three categories, the favorites, the hmmms, and the wowzers.

The Favorites

Sean Payton

The 59-year-old Payton went 152-89 with the Saints and won Super Bowl XLIV. He’s the hottest name on the carousel right now and already drawing interest from the Broncos.

Payton makes a lot of sense for the Rams. He’s got a good personality. He’s been a winner. Payton’s enhanced his rep with his TV work the past year. It’s clear he wants to coach again.

The drawback is he still is Saints property, and the Rams would have to give up assets for him, like draft picks…which they don’t exactly have.

Raheem Morris

Morris was McVay before McVay. He was the youngest coach in the NFL back in 2009 when he took over the Bucs. He lasted three years with Tampa Bay, went 10-6 his second year and then everything fell apart, but he’s revitalized his career after working for the Falcons and has been the Rams defensive coordinator for the last two years.

If the Rams just want to keep things status quo, Morris is the pick.

DeMeco Ryans

Ryans has emerged as the hot name among NFL assistants. He was interviewed for the Vikings job last year but decided to return to San Francisco and stay as the Niners defensive coordinator.

Ryans had a great NFL career as a player, 10 years with the Texans and Eagles. For the Rams he makes a lot of sense, because they have to get by the Niners in the NFC West, but he may be partial to going to Houston.

The Maybes

Joe Lombardi

It’s only a matter of time before Lombardi is a head coach in the NFL. He’s spent the last two years as the Chargers offensive coordinator, before that he spent most of his career with the Saints as quarterbacks coach working with Drew Brees.

Lombardi also spent a few years in Detroit as offensive coordinator. Who was his quarterback in Detroit? Matthew Stafford.

If McVay leaves, expect Lombardi’s name to get thrown around quickly because of his name and LA connections.

Lincoln Riley

Speaking of LA connections….Riley spent five years at the University of Oklahoma, putting up big wins and big numbers, before taking the USC job last year. He directed the Trojans to an 11-3 record and Cotton Bowl berth. Hey, the Rams have hired the USC coach before (John Robinson). Riley is clearly ambitious. He’s good with quarterbacks and his offense would translate into the NFL.

Frank Reich

When the Colts let go of Reich this year, most of the NFL was like, “what?” The 61-year-old was the offensive coordinator with the Eagles when they won the Super Bowl. He took the Colts to the playoffs twice in his career and went 40-33-1 with them. He never should have been fired and the next team to hire him will be lucky.

Lane Kiffin

Nah….right? Lane loves to do the dance with just about every big-time college and NFL opening and I wonder if he still has the itch to get back into the NFL after his flame out with the Raiders.

After leaving/getting fired by Al Davis, Kiffin has improved his coaching rep with stints at Tennesssee, Florida Atlantic, USC (sort of) and now Ole Miss. He’s a cameraman’s dream, and his style fits the Rams. You know he’d love to come back to LA and prove himself as a winner.

That Would Be Something

Chip Kelly

People forget that Kelly had the Eagles going his first two years in Philadelphia, they won the NFC East and went 10-6 twice. Then they made him the GM and they went 6-9 and he was done. His tenure with the Niners was one-and-done.

Kelly, like some other people on this list, has improved his resume since. He’s been good at UCLA, especially the last two years. You have to believe he would like back into the NFL.

Kliff Kingsbury

Just fired as the coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Kingsbury had the Cardinals rolling in 2021, going 11-6 and making the playoffs.

At Texas Tech, he seemed to fail up, going 35-40 and then getting an NFL job, but he did work with a certain quarterback named Patrick Mahomes with the Red Raiders.

This comes down to whether you believe Kingsbury was the problem in Arizona, or Kyler Murray? Kingsbury is probably going to have to be an OC somewhere first.

Chris Shula

The grandson of NFL legendary coach Don Shula, and um, just former NFL coach Dave Shula (Dave went 19-52 in four-plus years with Cincinnati), Shula has been on the Rams staff for the last six years, this year as passing game coordinator and DB coach.

By the way, those assistant coach titles mean nothing in the NFL. Chris was also a coach with the Chargers for two years.

Chris Shula is at least worth an interview with the Rams.

Robert Saleh

So in New York, the chatter is that Saleh isn’t getting along with management because of quarterback Zach Wilson. It seems like the owner wants Wilson to play…Saleh thinks Wilson stinks (so do Jet fans). Saleh has done good things with the Jets in two years, and you’d have to be crazy to think that there isn’t a current NFL coach who isn’t going to jump ship. Saleh has a West Coast background working for the 49ers and fits the Rams profile.