Rams Adding Super Bowl Winner With Tom Brady Connection: Report

Sean McVay

Getty Sean McVay on January 1, 2023 in Inglewood.

The Los Angeles Rams are in the process of finalizing their offensive line coach position by turning to a past Super Bowl winner connected to Tom Brady.

First reported by Dan Graziano of ESPN on Thursday evening, February 8, the Rams are hiring Ryan Wendell to the vacancy. Wendell not only will come over from the Buffalo Bills where he was an assistant offensive line coach helping protect Josh Allen, but during his playing career he once had to keep defenders from Brady while with the New England Patriots — ultimately winning Super Bowl 49 together as Wendell handled right guard duties.

Wendell was one of two names attached to the Rams OL coach opening that once belonged to Kevin Carberry, who was let go by the Rams and head coach Sean McVay in a round of staff changes. John Benton, who was with the New York Jets and also coached the offensive trenches for the San Francisco 49ers, was the other candidate who was in the mix for the opening.

But now, the Rams are adding youth and a fast riser in the coaching realm who’s also a native of Southern California.

Wendell’s Background, Including Playing for Ex-Bill Belichick Assistant

Wendell will have a Southern California homecoming by joining the Rams staff.

The 36-year-old grew up in Diamond Bar, California near Orange County. His high school ended up retiring his number and is inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.

He was a two-star prospect by 247Sports Composite who was offered by six different schools — with Power 5 programs Colorado (then with the Big 12) and nearby UCLA as two of his opportunities. However, he chose to trek north and committed to Fresno State — where he was coached by Ex-offensive line coach for the Cleveland Browns under Bill Belichick Pat Hill.

Wendell immediately cracked the starting line in 2004 during his true freshman year and started in nine games. He went on to earn Co-Freshman of the Year honors for the Western Athletic Conference. He continued to earn All-WAC accolades by bouncing between guard and center before ultimately settling for the latter position his senior year. One of the players he blocked for with the Bulldogs: Future top 15 draft pick Ryan Mathews at running back.

Another decorated lineman he got the chance to line up along the line with during his run with Fresno State? A future Patriot teammate of his and seven-time Pro Bowler Logan Mankins.

Wendell in the NFL Including as a Coach

Wendell entered the league as an undrafted rookie in 2008. But ultimately, he won over Hill’s former Browns head coaching boss Belichick with the Pats — emerging as a starter in 49 games and played in 80 contests.

He eventually worked his way to a two-year, $3.25 million deal with the Pats on March 28, 2014. That was the same season Wendell got planted at guard and began to protect Brady and the Pats offense while on their way to the franchise’s fourth Vince Lombardi Trophy in Glendale, Arizona.

He played his final season in 2016 with the Carolina Panthers as an injury to starter Ryan Kalil helped persuade his addition on November 29, 2016.

Wendell got his first coaching start with the Bills in 2019. The first Bills OL unit he helped oversee allowed 40 sacks. But in the next two seasons, the protection cut down on the number of sacks: 27 in 2020 and 26 sacks of Allen in 2021. The 2022 Bills surrendered 33 sacks of Allen.

He’s the latest to add to the Fresno State representation on the Rams, as he joins running back Ronnie Rivers in the “Rams House.”

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