THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – New Rams defensive coordinator Chris Shula held a video conference with reporters Tuesday morning following his promotion to his new role, discussing the value of his various roles from his time on staff so far and his initial thoughts on scheme and defensive philosophy, among other topics.
Here are some of the top takeaways from that virtual media session:
Different roles equips over time on staff him with valuable problem-solving skills
Shula has worked with the inside linebackers, outside linebackers and defensive backs during his time on Los Angeles' staff, and also run some pass rush planning meetings, so he has a fairly comprehensive view of how the defense operates.
When asked how that will help him as he takes on the responsibilities involved with his new role, he indicated understanding the intricacies of those positions, or levels of the defense, will help when it comes to problem-solving with those respective coaches and players.
"I think it organically happened just kind of over the years," Shula said. "I alluded to (head coach) Sean (McVay)'s belief in me earlier, and the ability to move around and work with all those spots, and just kind of some of the nuances of each position – I think when you're coaching, some stuff you don't know until you actually get in there and coach a specific position. So to be able to know some of the problems that the coaches have to work through, to work with the coaches on those problems, and kind of become a problem-solver for the players and become a resource for the players, it's all those experiences of coaching those positions (which) are stuff I'll draw back on."
Base scheme philosophy
In terms of the Rams' base scheme for the upcoming season, Shula said that is "a work in progress," but preliminarily indicated there wouldn't be wholesale changes.
"I think we'll use a lot of the same structures, the same 3-4 structure and some of the same core beliefs," Shula said. "But it's all about the players. So we're going to do whatever the players can execute at a high level, where they can go out and play fast and play with confidence. And whatever the offense gives us, we'll be able to have answers to, and they can go be the best version of themselves."
Ultimately, Shula said his philosophy is that it's "all about the players," reiterating it's about what they can execute at the highest level and what they do best.
Excitement surrounding "young and hungry" group, and what that group taught him
When Shula looks at this roster, what excites him most about the group is going to work with is the fact that it's "just a bunch of young and hungry guys."
He has relationships already with several of those players from his various roles on staff, or knows them well already as a result. Shula said it's going to be "really fun" to call plays into linebacker Ernest Jones IV, who wore the green dot as the Rams' on-field defensive signal-caller and has worked extensively with Shula over his first three seasons.
The youth of last year's roster will also prove impactful as he dives into his new role. What he learned from that group was how important it is for all the coaches to be aligned.