If Baker Mayfield sticks with Rams, he’ll likely have new coaches

After his heroic debut performance with the Rams, quarterback Baker Mayfield thanked the coaches who helped with his crash course in learning the offense in two days.

Among them was offensive coordinator Liam Coen.

But if Mayfield stays with the Rams beyond this season, he may be tutored by a new coordinator.

Coen has been in talks with Kentucky about returning as offensive coordinator, the position he held before rejoining the Rams to replace Kevin O’Connell, coach Sean McVay confirmed Friday.

“We’ve talked about this being a possibility,” McVay said during a video conference call when asked about an ESPN report. “I don’t think anything’s official yet, but if he goes in that direction then he’ll do just as good a job as he did before.

Kentucky offensive coordinator Liam Coen is conducting a drill in 2021.

Then-Kentucky offensive coordinator Liam Coen is conducting a drill in 2021.

(Michael Clubb / Associated Press)

“He and I have a great relationship no matter how it ends. He will do great work with us for the rest of the year.”

If he leaves, Coen could become the third offense coach to leave during or after the season. Running backs coach Ra’Shaad Samples took a job at Arizona State, and offensive assistant Jake Peetz could reportedly join Nebraska’s staff.

Mayfield’s performance in the closing minutes of the Rams’ 17-16 win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Thursday night — just 48 hours after joining the team — doesn’t erase the Rams’ seasonal deficiencies on offense, which contributed heavily to the defense steep fall of the Super Bowl champion.

Before he was placed on injured reserve with a spinal cord contusion described by McVay, quarterback Matthew Stafford wasn’t doing nearly as well as he did in 2021.

Running play was virtually non-existent, new receiver Allen Robinson was slow to adapt and the offensive line was riddled with injuries.

Prior to the season, McVay transitioned Thomas Brown from running backs coach to tight ends coach to create the assistant’s resume in anticipation of potential coordinator or head coaching opportunities.

Will McVay, who remains the play-caller, consider Brown a candidate to succeed Coen?

“Sure,” McVay said. “Thomas is a great coach who can do more than that.

“There are still so many things that are going to happen over the next month as well that I’ll start thinking about them once we get there.

“I think the focus and concentration will be on this team ending this season on the right way. Hope we can have more fun games like What [Thursday] It was night and then after the season we will deal with a lot of different things.”

Stafford will not play the remainder of the season as Mayfield is auditioning for a role as backup – or as a channel for drafting indemnity capital if he signs with another team.

Stafford’s condition will not require surgery after the season, McVay said.

“To my knowledge, there is nothing of the sort that will be required or necessary,” he said.

McVay plans to start Mayfield in the last four games against the Green Bay Packers, Denver Broncos, Chargers and Seattle Seahawks.

But on Friday, McVay and the Rams were still processing Mayfield’s performance and the win that ended a six-game losing streak. After taking a “deep breath,” the Rams will work to acclimatize Mayfield so they can expand the playbook, McVay said.

“We’re going to start working out a plan together for the Packers and I think we’re going to have at least a little more normalcy on a weekly basis,” he said. “What he did [Thursday] The night was wonderful. … We I just want to take it one day at a time and it will be fun to see what we can do with it for the latter part of the season.”

On Thursday night, Mayfield had help from Rams receivers — and the Raiders — during the game-winning drive.

An interception by Raiders safety Duron Harmon was canceled for a pass interference penalty on cornerback Amik Robertson.

At the next game, the Raiders sacked Mayfield, but after lineman Jerry Tillery whistled, he knocked the ball out of Mayfield’s hand and was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

And the Raiders played press coverage against Van Jefferson, who hit it for the game-winning touchdown catch from 23 yards.

“I was really shocked that they pushed him up with 15 seconds left because I knew we didn’t have any more timeouts,” Mayfield said after the game. “He did a great job winning from the line of scrimmage and going and making a play.”

Mayfield said he’s grateful for the help from coaches and teammates in his offense-absorbing “crash course,” and he sounded excited about what comes next with more typical prep.

“I can’t control the future,” he said. “I know I have the next four games here. I try to build on that and just be the best version of myself and improve.”

Etc.

Receiver Jacob Harris suffered a pectoral muscle tear against the Raiders and will need surgery, McVay said. “He’s done a really good job and I’ve seen a lot of growth from Jacob and it’s a shame to end his season like this,” McVay said. Defensive lineman Marquise Copeland suffered a high ankle sprain.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/rams/story/2022-12-09/baker-mayfield-rams-assistant-coaching-changes If Baker Mayfield sticks with Rams, he’ll likely have new coaches

Emma Bowman

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