February 29, 2024

Sean McVay is breaking from tradition.

For the first time since he became the Rams’ coach in 2017, McVay is staying in house and promoting a defensive coordinator from within.

McVay is hiring longtime assistant Chris Shula to succeed Raheem Morris, a person with knowledge of the situation said Thursday.

Shula, 37, this past season coached linebackers and also was pass-rush coordinator. He also has coached defensive backs and outside linebackers.

Shula, the grandson of legendary NFL coach Don Shula, was college teammates with McVay at Miami, Ohio.

Shula becomes the fourth defensive coordinator to work with McVay. Wade Phillips oversaw the defense from 2017 to 2019. Brandon Staley held the job for one season in 2020 before he was hired to coach the Chargers. Morris succeeded Staley and was with the Rams for three seasons before he was hired last month to coach the Atlanta Falcons.

Before selecting Shula, McVay reportedly interviewed Staley, who was fired by the Chargers, and defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant. Shula reportedly had been scheduled to interview with the Dolphins about their defensive coordinator position.

The promotion of Shula is the latest of several moves that have affected the Rams’ coaching staff.

Morris hired quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson to be the Falcons’ offensive coordinator. He also hired assistant head coach Jimmy Lake to be defensive coordinator.

The New England Patriots hired assistant special teams coach Jeremy Springer to be their special teams coordinator.

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