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Rams planning to promote LBs coach, pass rush coordinator Chris Shula to defensive coordinator

The Rams have their Raheem Morris replacement.

Los Angeles is planning to promote linebackers coach and pass rush coordinator Chris Shula to its defensive coordinator position, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday, per sources.

Shula, the grandson of legendary Dolphins head coach Don Shula, also interviewed for Miami's DC position on Thursday. Rather than follow in the footsteps of his Hall of Fame grandfather, though, he'll be paving his own way with the Rams.

Shula has been in L.A. with Sean McVay since the start of the head coach's tenure in 2017, starting as the team's assistant linebackers coach and working his way up the ladder.

Before that, he spent two seasons as the Chargers' defensive quality control coach, and his lone year as a defensive coordinator was spent in the college ranks, at John Carroll University in 2014.

As Shula takes over Los Angeles' defense, there's room for improvement as a whole.

In 2023, the Rams ranked 19th in points and 20th in yards, similar to their 21st and 19th ranking, respectively, the year before, and a steep decline from 2020, when the team finished with the league's top defense in both categories.

Aaron Donald is sure to make any DC's job easier, but with a prior focus on the middle and back end of the Rams' defense, Shula will also be counting on players like Ernest Jones and Jordan Fuller -- if the pending free agent stays with the team -- to pave a better future.

Should Shula and the defense up their level of contribution to match McVay's oft-stellar offense, the Rams could soon make a trip beyond the wild-card round that tripped them up this season.

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