Rams Hiring Giff Smith As Defensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator

Rams Hiring Giff Smith As Defensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator


The Los Angeles Rams’ coaching staff is undergoing significant changes this offseason, which is par for the course in the Sean McVay era.

One change will be coming on the defensive line as Eric Henderson, a long time favorite of Aaron Donald, accepted a job as the co-defensive coordinator at USC.

While McVay currently has his plate full filling a number of positions it appears that he has already found Henderson’s replacement. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, the Rams are bringing in Giff Smith to be their defensive line coach/run game coordinator:

Smith has been a football coach since the 1990s and a coach in the NFL since 2010, spending time with the Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Chargers organizations.

After joining the Chargers in 2016, Smith held a couple of different positions under a few different head coaches, including defensive line coach and outside linebackers coach. After Brandon Staley was fired in the middle of last season, Smith took over as the team’s interim head coach for the remainder of the year, showing the respect that he had in that organization.

With Jim Harbaugh taking over as head coach though, Smith’s position was not retained although he will not have to move cities now that he’s joining McVay’s staff.

Smith has a strong unit to work with on the Rams’ defensive line, led of course by Donald. Other young guys like Kobie Turner, Bobby Brown and Byron Young also emerged throughout the course of the 2023 season and should only continue to improve moving forward under Smith’s watch.

The biggest position on McVay’s staff that needed filling was defensive coordinator after Raheem Morris landed a head coaching job with the Atlanta Falcons.

For the first time in the McVay era, he decided to promote someone from within to a coordinator role as Chris Shula landed the job.

Shula has been in the Rams organization for a long time so is very familiar with their personnel and schemes. He is also familiar with Smith having coached with him on the Chargers in 2016, so Shula likely played a role in this hiring as well.


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