Liam Coen, next Rams offensive coordinator to become head coach?

Three of Coach Sean McVay’s former offensive assistants have turned their success with the Rams into NFL head coaching jobs.

Will Liam Coen be next?

Coen, the Rams’ new offensive coordinator, has yet to set up a meeting or help McVay design a play for the Super Bowl champions.

But Coen, a former Rams assistant who was Kentucky’s offensive coordinator last season, is aware that Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur, Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor and Minnesota Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell have all seen their career trajectories soar after working closely with McVay. Chargers coach Brandon Staley is a former defensive coordinator for the Rams.

“If those opportunities arise at some point, then great,” Coen said Wednesday during a video conference call with reporters. “That’s obviously the pinnacle of your career in terms of this profession, becoming head football coach in the National Football League. And to say that wasn’t my goal or that’s not my goal, I would lie.

“But that’s not why you’ve come to take this job after all. …Sean and this staff and this organization are always adapting, always evolving, and that’s something I want to continue to be a part of.

Coen, 36, first joined the McVay staff in 2018 as an assistant wide receivers coach. He held the same position in 2019 before becoming assistant quarterbacks coach in 2020.

Coen took many concepts from the Rams to Kentucky, where he designed the offense and called plays for a Southeastern Conference team that finished 10-3.

When the Vikings hired O’Connell, the Rams’ offensive coordinator for the past two seasons, McVay brought Coen back.

“I loved my time in Kentucky, in the SEC, in college football again,” Coen said, “but this opportunity was too good to pass up.”

Liam Cohen spent a season as Kentucky’s offensive coordinator before returning to the Rams’ coaching staff.

(Michael Clubb/Associated Press)

McVay said last month that Coen was someone he “leaned heavily on” before Kentucky hired him. And the two coaches stayed in touch.

“I really like the way he sees the game,” McVay said. “We see him through a very similar lens, and he has a great understanding.”

Coen, a Rhode Island native, played quarterback at the University of Massachusetts and in the Arena Football League before beginning a coaching career that included stints in Brown, Massachusetts and Maine before McVay took him on. hiring.

Coen said he watched the Rams last season and used their game footage to instruct Kentucky players. He said he stayed in touch with several Rams assistants and players. He also witnessed the Rams’ NFC playoff win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“Just to feel the love when I went back to Tampa for that game…I really felt like home again,” he said. “I had no idea that kind of achievement at the time, but it was nice to come back to this experience after a year away from this place.”

As he prepares for his sixth season, McVay remains the playmaker and primary architect of an offense led by quarterback Matthew Stafford and featuring receivers Cooper Kupp and new addition Allen Robinson, among others. .

Coen said his primary role would be to help McVay devise game plans and lead meetings when McVay’s varied responsibilities pull him in different directions.

“Being a sounding board for Sean,” Coen said.

O’Connell was one of six assistants who left the staff after the Rams defeated the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.

Coen was among the new recruits, and McVay also promoted and given new responsibilities to other assistants, ostensibly to bolster their resumes.

Thomas Brown, assistant head coach last season and running backs coach the past two seasons, will serve as the tight ends coach. Ra’Shaad Samples replaces Brown as running backs coach.

Zac Robinson is the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Chris Shula, who coached the linebackers last season, will coach defensive backs and serve as the defensive passing game coordinator.