Another day, another couple HC candidates have been reported for the Rams. Anthony Lynn the Offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills and Vance Joseph the Defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins. For now, let’s take a look at Anthony Lynn and see what he may bring or may not bring to the table.
At for 48-years old Lynn has already worked his way around the league. He is responsible for success at the RB position being a former NFL RB himself, he understands what it takes. His philosophy is a ground-and-pound style that involves many unique run reads. As far as the idea of getting an offensive minded coach to help out Goff, Lynn wouldn’t be the help for so much Goff, as he would for disgruntled second year franchise RB Todd Gurley.
Over his career Lynn has worked in a respectable coaching tree, learning under the likes of Mike Shanahan, Jack Del Rio, Bill Parcells, Romeo Crennel and Rex Ryan. Lynn has worked with some serious talent at the RB position, but that shouldn’t take away what he was able to do with it as a RB coach. In 2003-2004 when Lynn was in Jacksonville, Fred Taylor ran for over 1,200 yards rushing both years. Lynn left and went to the Dallas Cowboys from 2005-2006 and sculpted a nice one-two punch of Julius Jones and Marion Barber. Jones just missed 1,000 yards in Lynn’s first season by seven yards, but then in 2006 Jones had 1,000 yards to go with Barber’s 650-plus and 14 touchdowns which placed them third in rushing touchdowns for the league. After Lynn left Jones would never run for at least 700 yards again and Barber would take over as the feature back nullifying the one-two punch Lynn had in place.
Lynn would go on to Cleveland to work with Jamal Lewis. Lewis finished with a 1,000 yard season in each of the years Lynn was there. After Lynn left Lewis would hit a wall and retire. Lynn went on to New York with Rex Ryan. Lynn’s first year with the Jets he pushed out Thomas Jones’ best season of his career at the age of 31 and went from the ninth rushing offense the year before he got there to the number one rushing offense. The next season in 2010, Lynn lost Jones to free agency and the Jets brought in 31-year old LaDainian Tomlinson who rushed for over 900 yards as Lynn still had the Jets as a top three rushing offense. Lynn in 2011 and 2012 somehow even turned Shonn Greene into a back-to-back 1,000 yard rusher. In 2013 the run game took a step back after new OC Marty Mornhinweg took over, but in 2014 which was Lynn’s last year with the Jets they finished third in rushing.
Now, Anthony Lynn is in Buffalo reunited with Rex Ryan and now he’s taken a the leap of faith from RB’s coach to Offensive coordinator. Apparently Ryan was so ready to make Lynn his OC he fired Greg Roman after just two weeks into the 2016 season. Albeit a little unprofessional, Lynn has answered the bell. Roman in his first year as OC led the Bills to the number one rushing offense after Nathaniel Hackett, the coordinator before him was 25th in rushing. Lynn has maintained the number one rushing offense, but has arguably made it better. For starters, he has gotten more out of star RB LeSean McCoy. In Roman’s time, McCoy finished with not even 900 yards and only three touchdowns. With Lynn, McCoy still has two games to go and has 1,129 yards on two more carries than he had last year and he has 12 touchdowns to go with that. Touchdown vulture, RB Mike Gillislee has seemingly replaced what rookie RB Karlos Williams brought to the table last year. Gillislee has the same amount of touchdowns and is only 71 yards behind Williams who started in two more games than Gillislee last year. What Lynn has done in Buffalo has been incredible. He has also had to do it with a less effective Tyrod Taylor and an injured Sammy Watkins all year.
With the Bills as the number one rushing offense in the league, it is still alarming that they are the 31st passing offense. Of course, bear in mind with Tyrod Taylor he runs for about 600-700 yards so that takes away from the passing game. With Lynn in Los Angeles he would be working with a much better passer in Jared Goff. The passing game wouldn’t be 31st and he wouldn’t be losing a ton of talent at the RB position since he would have Todd Gurley and Benny Cunningham at his disposal.
Now, does the idea of getting a QB minded HC to help out Goff sound great? Yes, but if Lynn could make the Rams the number one rushing offense in the league it would sure make Goff’s life easier as it would open up more opportunities down field, it would kill the clock and would help the Rams win the kind of close games they continuously lost this season and lastly it would keep the defense off the field with long intricate drives that would only complement a defense that is already pretty good to begin with.
Am I saying hire Anthony Lynn right now? No, but he’s worth a second look and as far as I am concerned I think he would be a better option than David Shaw. As far as McDaniels and Shanahan go, that would be tough to pass up on two QB gurus, but we do want to see the old Gurley back again and Lynn would certainly make that possible.