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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Cameron DaSilva

Rob Havenstein shares one ‘really important’ trait that OL coach Ryan Wendell brings to Rams

The Los Angeles Rams didn’t just make personnel changes this offseason. Sean McVay’s coaching staff also looks very different after letting several assistants go and bringing in replacements.

Among the new faces on the Rams’ staff is Ryan Wendell. Fans might recognize his name from his playing days, spending nine years in the NFL from 2008-2016. He even won a Super Bowl as a starter with the Patriots in 2014, playing 80 total games in his career.

His experience as a player is something that’s very evident to Rob Havenstein already, in a good way, too. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Havenstein mentioned how impressed he’s been with Wendell thus far, particularly because he knows what it’s like to be in the players’ shoes.

“You can tell he’s played before. And that’s something that’s really important,” Havenstein said of Wendell. “I mean, you don’t have to have to have played – obviously, there’s a lot of great coaches who haven’t played – but in terms of like relating to a new group, and especially a young group, because, I mean, he did it for nine years, right? So he understands the game, he understands the politics, he understands about being in the seat, like a player’s seat in the meeting room, and kind of how things are. So he’s very specific with his words and how he words things and what he’s telling guys, and I think it’s a good thing because it’s a good, uniform message, and especially with how young we are, everyone’s hearing the same thing.”

Wendell replaced Kevin Carberry, who spent two years with the Rams in 2021 and 2022 before joining the Saints as their assistant O-line coach this year. Los Angeles didn’t bring Carberry back, likely in part because of the struggles along the O-line in 2022.

Wendell will hopefully get the blocking back on track this year and it sounds like he’s already off to a good start.

“He’s not a screamer, he’s not a shouter,” Havenstein continued. “He’s gonna make sure you know what you’ve gotta do, and then he’s gonna put it on you to go ahead and get it done. And I think that’s the way NFL football should be. At the end of the day, it’s up to the player. The coach can’t play on Sunday. I think we’ve got a really good relationship going in here – not just myself, but everyone in the room – and gonna continue to build that here in training camp and see where he can take this thing.”

Wendell is in his first year as an offensive line coach, spending four years as an assistant O-line coach with the Bills. McVay is confident the 37-year-old can right the ship up front in L.A. and Havenstein seems to share the same feeling.

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