“In-House Promotion That Will Be Celebrated by All” – Rams Make Chris Shula Defensive Coordinator

Chris Shula appeared to be on the brink of moving on from L.A. The Rams, however, made the swift move to keep him -- what was the reaction?

There were growing concerns around the Los Angeles Rams that Sean McVay was going to lose some prominent coaching staff members to promotions around the league. This thought intensified once defensive coordinator Raheem Morris was named head coach of the Atlanta Falcons during the final week of January.

But on Thursday, McVay and the Rams made the integral decision to hand the defensive coordinator reins over to Chris Shula, the team’s linebackers coach.

Chris Shula’s Rams Promotion Earns High Praise

Shula, the grandson of the legendary Hall of Fame head coach Don Shula, was met with plenty of online praise on the national side.

Peter Schrager of NFL Network is one who took a liking to the job promotion inside the “Rams House.”

“Chris Shula has earned this opportunity,” Schrager began on X (formerly known as Twitter). “Seven years patiently waiting for his shot to be Rams DC, he was apparently incredibly impressive in his formal interview. An in-house promotion that will be celebrated by all in the building.”

One Los Angeles fan account was another who raved about the internal decision the team made — and how it’s gotten two legendary football names smiling.

“John McVay and Don Shula are both smiling down. Entirely confident that Chris Shula is the right hire. Love a good internal promotion,” the account posted.

One more Rams fan, while admittedly skeptical at first, still took a liking to the move. The fan especially liked how McVay has a lengthy relationship with Shula.

“I really like the Chris Shula hire. I think there were better options available but I stand by this. Sean McVay trusts him, they played football together at Miami (OH), he has the bloodline, he started from the ground up, and is now getting his SIXTH promotion with the Rams. Even more so I love the idea of promoting from within and will never shame that decision,” the fan shared.

Shula is credited for the development of third-year linebacker Ernest Jones — who went from third-round selection to captain and delivered 145 total tackles in 2023. Shula also had a strong hand in molding rookie Byron Young who found eight sacks. He’s coached Leonard Floyd, Von Miller, and Bobby Wagner, too.

Were the Rams Ever Close To Losing Shula?

Another reason why promoting Shula became a worthwhile decision is that he was being considered for another high-profile job.

The Miami Dolphins, as noted Thursday by PFN’s Adam Beasley, were in  the mix to bring a Shula back “home.”

MORE: Dan Quinn Leaves Dallas Behind

Shula’s name surfaced as one of the potential replacements for Vic Fangio, who parted ways with the Dolphins following their playoff loss in the Wild Card round to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Adding to the intrigue behind Shula’s possible Miami hire was the connection McVay shares with Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel. Both were once on the same Washington staff that featured names like Kyle Shanahan and Matt LaFleur.

With Shula being taken out of the mix for Dolphins DC, the remaining possible replacements per Beasley are plentiful.

  • Current Miami linebacker coach Anthony Campanile
  • Dolphins outside linebacker coach Ryan Slowik (brother of the Houston Texans offensive coordinator Bobby Slowik)
  • Former Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier (who was also the interim head coach of the Minnesota Vikings in November 2010)
  • Texans linebackers coach Chris Kiffin
  • Baltimore Ravens associate head coach Anthony Weaver
  • Another former Rams coach — former DC and Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley.

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