Former NFL coach Jay Gruden has spent a lot of time with Sean McVay. First while on his brother’s coaching staff on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Also when McVay was Gruden’s offensive coordinator for three years in Washington, and most recently when McVay hired him as a consultant on the L.A. Rams in 2022.
Given that relationship, you might think that Gruden is biased in favor of the Rams but now that he’s a free agent he’s open to sharing his skepticism of L.A.’s ability to surprise people this year. Especially on defense.
Making an appearance on VSIN last week, Gruden was asked if he thinks the Rams can have a comeback season in 2023 after the team’s struggles last year, when he was a consultant on McVay’s staff.
Gruden is optimistic that Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp would be healthier and that the receiving corps and offensive line is “a little better”, but said he is concerned about the defense.
“Aaron Donald is obviously a great player, but I don’t know if they have the guys on defense that they really need to get a lot of stops on defense.” Gruden added that the loss of Jalen Ramsey is also significant, although Ramsey won’t even be playing for the Dolphins this season until December at the earliest, per reports.
Of course, Jay Gruden is not the only person who is skeptical of how the L.A. Rams defense will come together given how many unknowns there are around Aaron Donald. It’s just interesting to hear it coming from someone who was literally on the coaching staff last season and who had some first-hand experience with many of those unknowns.