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5 things to know about Rams defensive coordinator Chris Shula

The Rams filled their vacant defensive coordinator position on their coaching staff by promoting Chris Shula, who last season served as linebackers coach/pass rush coordinator. 

Here are five things you should know about him:


1) Worked his way up

An original member of head coach Sean McVay's coaching staff when McVay arrived in 2017, Shula started out as an assistant linebackers coach and spent time coaching the linebackers, outside linebackers and defensive backs at various points over the next seven seasons before becoming defensive coordinator. 

2) Historic football lineage

Shula is the grandson of Don Shula, the late Hall of Fame coach of the Miami Dolphins. 

Chris' father, Dave, served as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals from 1992-96. 

Altogether, the Shulas are one of two three-generation coaching families in NFL history. 

3) Experience at each level of the defense

As indicated with his positional coaching experience, as well as his time as pass rush coordinator, Shula has spent time working with both the secondary and the front seven. 

4) Linebackers enjoyed productive seasons under his guidance

The most recent example was Ernest Jones' franchise-record and career-high 145 total tackles in 2023. 

In years past, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd had a career-best 10.5 sacks in 2020; outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. had a career-best 11.5 sacks and 58 total tackles in 2019. In 2018, Cory Littleton had a team-high 125 total tackles, which was also tied for the 10th-most total tackles. 

5) College teammates with McVay at Miami (Ohio)

A linebacker for the Redhawks from 2004-08, Shula and McVay both played together at Miami (Ohio) for four seasons.

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