Sean McVay announces coaching staff: Can it make the Rams playoff contenders?

Sean McVay announces coaching staff: Can it make the Rams playoff contenders?
New Rams Coach Sean McVay answers a question during his introductory news conference. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Sean McVay said he would surround himself with experienced veterans and up-and-coming assistants on his Rams coaching staff.

The staff, finalized Wednesday with the addition of offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur, reflects McVay's vision.


The question: Can it take the Rams from a 4-12 finish in 2016 to the level of playoff contender?

McVay, 31, announced a staff that features nine coaches in their 30s, three in their 40s, four in their 50s and 69-year-old defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. One offensive and one defensive assistant are in their 20s.

The average age of coaches on the staff, including McVay, is 41.

"We have a great group of talented coaches that I'm very excited to work with this year," McVay said in a statement. "They have a vast array of experiences and the qualities we are looking for as we build this staff.

"Their unique insight to the game will collectively make this team better as we prepare for the 2017 season."

Most of the assistants have experience as NFL coordinators or position-group coaches. Three — tight ends coach Shane Waldron, cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant and safeties coach Ejiro Evero — will be in charge of NFL position groups for the first time.

The staff met for the first time Tuesday and began an intense evaluation of the roster in preparation for the NFL scouting combine, the start of free agency and the draft.

Their mission is to help turn around a franchise that has not had a winning season since 2003 and has been absent from the playoffs since 2004.

Special teams coordinator John Fassel, running backs coach Skip Peete and offensive line assistant Andy Dickerson are the only holdovers from former coach Jeff Fisher's staff.

Phillips, an NFL coach since 1976, was in place when McVay was introduced as Rams coach last month. McVay and Phillips then convened near McVay's home in Virginia to interview many prospective assistants.

Matt LaFleur smiles during the Atlanta Falcons' photo day.
Matt LaFleur smiles during the Atlanta Falcons' photo day. (Associated Press)

LaFleur, the Atlanta Falcons' quarterbacks coach the last two seasons, was the final piece. The Rams had to wait until Monday to request permission to speak with LaFleur because the Falcons advanced to the Super Bowl, where they lost to the New England Patriots.

LaFleur, McVay and quarterbacks coach Greg Olson will now turn their attention to developing quarterback Jared Goff, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft. Goff started the final seven games last season but struggled in the NFL's worst offense.

Offensive line coach Aaron Kromer will be charged with fixing a position group that struggled mightily to open holes for running back Todd Gurley and protect Goff.

Kromer was the Buffalo Bills' offensive line coach the last two seasons. He also has coached in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders.


Other offensive staff members include: Eric Yarber (receivers); Zac Taylor (assistant wide receivers); and Zak Kromer (offensive quality control).

Other defensive staff members include: Bill Johnson (defensive line); Joe Barry (linebackers); Chris Shula (assistant linebackers) and Thad Bogardus (defensive quality control).

Ted Rath is the strength and conditioning coach.


The Rams announced their coaching staff Wednesday. Here is a list of staff members with their most recent coaching stops:

Head coach: Sean McVay

(Offensive coordinator, Washington Redskins, 2014-16)

Offensive coordinator: Matt LaFleur

(Quarterbacks coach, Atlanta Falcons, 2015-16)

Defensive coordinator: Wade Phillips

(Defensive coordinator, Denver Broncos, 2015-2016)

Quarterbacks: Greg Olson

(Offensive coordinator, Jacksonville Jaguars, 2015-16)

Running backs: Skip Peete

(Running backs, Rams, 2016)

Receivers: Eric Yarber

(Receivers, UCLA, 2012-2016)

Offensive line: Aaron Kromer

(Offensive line, Buffalo Bills, 2015-16)

Tight ends: Shane Waldron

(Offensive quality control, Washington Redskins, 2016)

Defensive line: Bill Johnson

(Defensive line, New Orleans Saints, 2009-16)

Linebackers: Joe Barry

(Defensive coordinator, Washington Redskins, 2015-16)

Cornerbacks: Aubrey Pleasant

(Assistant defensive backs coach, Washington Redskins, 2016)

 Safeties: Ejiro Evero

(Defensive quality control, Green Bay Packers, 2016)

Special teams coordinator:  John Fassel

(Special teams coordinator, Rams, 2012-2016)

Assistant offensive line: Andy Dickerson

(Assistant offensive line, Rams, 2012-16

Offensive quality control: Zak Kromer

(Offensive quality control, Buffalo Bills, 2016)

Assistant linebackers: Chris Shula

(Defensive quality control, San Diego Chargers, 2015-16)

Assistant wide receivers: Zac Taylor

(Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks, University of Cincinnati, 2015-16)

Defensive quality control: Thad Bogardus

(Defensive quality control, Denver Broncos, 2015-16)

Strength and conditioning coach: Ted Rath

(Strength and conditioning coach, Miami Dolphins, 2016)

Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein