THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – What quickly became apparent during stints with the Buccaneers, Washington Football Team and Falcons has been established again in shorter order with the Rams.
Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris brings an energetic approach to the job, but he also knows how to effectively connect with his players.
"Raheem is an amazing coach," safety Taylor Rapp said during a June 9 video conference. "He knows how to get to his guys. He's very high-energy. You can feel his energy from across the field, probably across this whole state. Super excited to work with him."
With on-field workouts returning this bring, Rams players got to witness this approach beyond the constraints of a computer screen – in many cases, up close and personal.
It wasn't uncommon to see Morris take a hands-on approach to drills for every defensive position group. Sometimes it was watching outside linebackers Leonard Floyd and Chris Garrett as they worked on their hand technique. Other times, it was watching the inside linebackers and holding one of them accountable if they didn't do a drill correctly. Morris would also be seen throwing passes to linebackers and defensive backs during drills to help them work on their hands.
"It's like home. It's funny. Him and I get along really well. I love it," said defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day during a June 1 video conference, noting their shared New Jersey background between Morris' high school playing days and Joseph-Day's college playing days. "But he's also very intense and intentional about what he's trying to do. He knows how to turn it on and off, but he also knows how to have fun with it."
As seen in the clip above, linebacker Kenny Young experienced this first-hand during one of the Rams' organized team activities practices. However, Young knows that coaching comes from the right place.
"The way he relates to guys, the way he relates to me, it just comes from an area of, 'Hey man, look, you're not too far off where you're trying to hit. Let me give you a pointer or something on how to be a step closer or a thought faster on something,'" Young said during a June 8 video conference.
Just because Young responds to that type of coaching doesn't mean the rest of his teammates do, too. Safety Taylor Rapp said this is something Morris recognizes, similar to the approach predecessor Brandon Staley took to the job.
"He knows how to get to certain players," Rapp said during a June 9 video conference. "Certain players respond to different types of coaching differently, and I think he's really doing a good job in figuring how to get to each player, how to coach each player, and stuff like that."
The sample size from the four-week offseason program has Rapp excited about continuing to work with Morris during training camp later this summer.
"Really looking forward to getting back here for camp and getting ramped up for the season with him," Rapp said.