THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – By Wednesday, the NFL film would drop into the system, and on those mornings, the first thing then-University of Kentucky offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Liam Coen did was come in and watch tape of the Rams' most recent game.
"It was more so because we, we would cut that film up and show it to our players in a Friday meeting every week," Coen said during a video conference Wednesday. "And it wasn't always about the plays, right? I mean, we ran a lot of the same concepts, even though the Rams started to evolve in a different way. It was the fundamentals, the techniques, the things that really ultimately help college football players get better off of NFL film."
Even if the primary purpose was to instruct his players, it still gave Coen the chance to keep tabs on the Rams' offense from afar as it evolved over the course of the season. Now, as it looks to take another step, Coen will be tasked with helping it move forward as the Rams' new offensive coordinator.
For Coen, who is back for his second stint on Los Angeles' coaching staff, accomplishing that objective will be helped by those Wednesday film sessions in Lexington. While some weeks weren't as much of deep-dives based on what the gameplan called for in a given week, he still had a pretty good idea of how the Rams' offense changed over the course of the regular season.
"You really started to see the evolution of the gun run really early on, especially in the beginning of the season, and then the drop back pass was kind of ever-evolving," Coen said. "Then you started to see, when they hit that a little bit of that lull there for a few games, them truly get back to running the football and getting a little bit more of that identity back until they were really comfy in terms of getting (to), 'Alright, this is who we are, this is what we need to do to be successful moving forward.'"
It also helped that one of his good friends on staff, current pass game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson, was still on staff and easily accessible, which proved beneficial in multiple ways.
"I would see something on film on those Wednesday film reviews, and I would text Zac Robinson and be like, 'Hey, what are you guys doing here?'" Coen said. "He's one of my best friends, so I was able to have dialogue there and be able to get some answers, which helped me as a coach be able to present that to the players at Kentucky in a better way."
The next iteration of that offense will be pieced together in the coming months, first during the offseason program scheduled to begin Tuesday, April 19 and continuing through training camp later this summer, with new personnel like wide receiver Allen Robinson to work with. And as the regular season showed, what gets put it during those times isn't the final product as defensive schemes and available personnel sometimes dictate.
Throughout that time, Coen will have a solid foundation to work with during that time thanks to those Wednesdays in Lexington.
"I think being able to keep up with it throughout the season really helped me be able to walk into this building and understand more," Coen said.