Rams defensive coordinator Chris Shula plans to use "a lot of the same structures"

With Raheem Morris departing the Rams to become the Falcons head coach, Los Angeles promoted Chris Shula to defensive coordinator.

Shula, who was a college teammate of Sean McVay at Miami University, has been with the Rams since McVay took over as head coach in 2017. Shula has coached all over Los Angeles’ defense, including outside linebackers, linebackers, and defensive backs. In 2023, he was the team’s pass rush coordinator and linebackers coach.

“I think it organically happened just kind of over the years,” Shula said during his Tuesday video conference of coaching multiple positions. "I think I alluded to Sean's belief in me earlier and the ability to move around and work with all those spots and just kind of some of the nuances of each position. I think when you're coaching, some stuff you don't know until you actually get in there and coach a specific position.

“To be able to know some of the problems that the coaches have to work through, to work with the coaches on those problems, and kind of become a problem solver for the players and become a resource for the players, it's all those experiences of coaching those positions are stuff I'll draw back on.”

Shula is the grandson of Hall of Fame coach Don Shula and the son of former Bengals coach Dave Shula. He said he learned plenty from both men and that “it's just been an honor to be a part of [our] family and something that I take a lot of pride in.”

But when it comes to how he’ll coach Los Angeles’ defense, Shula said the scheme is “a work in progress.”

“I think we'll use a lot of the same structures,” Shula said. +”The same three-four structure and some of the same core beliefs — but it's all about the players. We're going to do whatever the players can execute at a high level where they can go out and play fast and play confident and whatever the offense gives us, we’ll be able to have answers to and they can go be the best versions of themselves.”