Wild Rams Proposal Has Team Hiring Red Hot Candidate if McVay Walks

Sean McVay

Getty Pete Carroll and Sean McVay shake hands after their January 8, 2023 game in Seattle.

For the second straight offseason, the future of Sean McVay with the Los Angeles Rams has returned to focus.

Many across the league are wondering if the Super Bowl winning head coach is leaving the coaching profession following the Rams’ tumultuous 5-12 season — which saw the Rams shatter the NFL record for most losses by a defending champ the following year. McVay deflected questions from the media about his future following the Sunday, January 8 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks 19-16. But if McVay does walk, Jake Ellenbogen of Downtown Rams proposed this wild idea if the team doesn’t hire from within.

“IF McVay leaves and you don’t go in-house I’m all for the Rams hiring DeMeco Ryans,” Ellenbogen shared on Twitter.

That’s right — the defensive coordinator from the rival San Francisco 49ers. Plus the same Ryans who has risen as one of the top head coaching contenders for this upcoming 2023 cycle by leading the NFL’s top defense.

Could Ryans Work if Brought Over?

Making the attempt to lure Ryans to the “Rams House,” if it does end up swinging that way for the Rams, won’t be an easy task.

For starters, multiple head coaching jobs are projected to open on “Black Monday,” when NFL teams decide if they want to keep or fire their head coaches the day after the season finale. Ryans’ name has surfaced as one of the top head coaching candidates available by Heavy NFL senior reporter Matt Lombardo and through other national outlets.

Defense was never the problem for the Rams during their disappointing 2022 season. Even without Aaron Donald for the remainder of the season starting on December 4, plus while having to start rookies in the secondary and move defensive tackle Michael Hoecht to outside linebacker, the Rams still managed to keep games close — with eight of their games being decided by 10 points or less and the Rams going 3-5 in those contests. This output can give the Rams leverage into promoting defensive coordinator Raheem Morris to head coach if McVay leaves — which additionally gives L.A. a previous head coach and one who’s already immensely popular with players.

But still, the allure of Ryans in L.A. is what Ellenbogen says should be the first move if the franchise opts to not elevate a staff member to head coach.

“I understand trying to keep everything stable and going with the in-house options and would prefer that but if not yes DeMeco needs to be the move,” Ellenbogen posted.

While Ryans played as a 3-4 (three defensive lineman, four linebackers) linebacker with the Houston Texans, his 49er defenses operate with an even front. But he’s confused and pounded offenses with an array of exotic blitzes and coverages that’s been integral to the 49ers’ winning streak. A scheme like his is perfect for Donald to be moved around, Greg Gaines (if resigned) as a D.J. Jones/T.Y. McGill type and Hoecht along the line of scrimmage. Plus at linebacker, Ryans can give Bobby Wagner four down linemen in front of him just like his Pro Bowl days in Seattle. And, Leonard Floyd would give Ryans a long edge rusher if brought over.

But again, so much hinges on what McVay decides, which will cause some ripple effects inside the “Rams House” if he steps down. League insiders Jay Glazer of Fox Sports and Mike Florio of NBC Sports‘ Pro Football Talk both believe McVay won’t be back.

Ryans Already Mentioned With Ex-Rams Assistant for One Opening

The Denver Broncos currently have one of the more intriguing openings for 2023 after firing Nathaniel Hackett — which was set up by the Rams in their Christmas Day 51-14 rout.

Already per ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter on Saturday, January 7, the team was given permission to interview Super Bowl winning head coach Sean Payton, formerly of the New Orleans Saints. Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network then reported Sunday that the team plans to interview Michigan head coach and Ex-49ers head man Jim Harbaugh.

But prior to Payton and Harbaugh, Ryans had been labeled as a potential contender for Denver by Lombardo and other analysts. Ryans isn’t the only current defensive coordinator linked to the Broncos’ opening. Former Rams defensive assistant and current Broncos DC Ejiro Evero has been listed as a contender for the job.

Evero already turned down the interim head coaching job the Broncos offered after firing Hackett. But general manager George Paton told the Denver media on December 27 that they hope to interview Evero down the road.

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