In 9th Coaching Role, Rams New TE Coach Thomas Brown Still Looking to Grow – Sports Illustrated

Brown is making the switch from running backs coach to tight ends coach, while maintaining lead assistant duties

It can’t get much better for an NFL team than winning a Super Bowl. But for the Los Angeles Rams and the coaching staff, the focus is on next season and the challenges that lie ahead.

This is especially the case for Rams lead assistant and tight ends coach Thomas Brown, who spoke to the media Wednesday about what’s in store for next season. Brown coached the running backs last year but is making the switch to tight ends this season.

Thomas Brown

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“I’m kind of a weird guy,” Brown said. “I was obviously excited to win (the Super Bowl) that night … but after that my mind was on moving forward. I’ll probably appreciate it more as my career goes on.”

A sixth-round pick by the Atlanta Falcons in 2008, Brown played running back in the NFL for two seasons. Now, he finds himself in a unfamiliar situation full of challenges that he’s ready to take head on.

Thomas Brown (left) and Darrell Henderson Jr.

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“It’s going to be very beneficial for me as a coach and be able to challenge me, force me to grow, which is what I’ve always asked for and prayed for is to be in an opportunity where I have access to knowledge,” Brown said. “But also, I think places of comfort are great, but you never grow in places of comfort. Being able to get outside my comfort zone and force myself to grow and have some more involvement and keep rollin’ here with the Rams.”

Sean McVay

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay gestures against the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Luckily for Brown, he’ll have a deep group of tight ends to watch over in 2022. Last season, Tyler Higbee was the team’s third-leading receiver (560 yards) and caught the second-most passes (61) to go along with five touchdowns. Backup tight end Kendall Blanton was serviceable during the postseason run, catching a touchdown in LA’s win over Tampa Bay in the Divisional Round.

Thomas Bryant

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And with Blanton banged up and an MCL sprain keeping Higbee out of the Super Bowl, third-stringer Brycen Hopkins stepped up at the right time in the big game, catching all four target for 47 yards. He had just one catch on the season before that.

The group should make the transition easier for Brown, who is still less than two months into his new role. 

Thomas Bryant

Aug 21, 2020; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams running back Thomas Brown (left) talks with running back Cam AKers (23) during training camp at Cal Lutheran University. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“It’s not that I don’t feel like I could be great at (tight ends coach), it’s just cause I’ve committed so much time and history when it comes to being (running backs coach),” Brown said.

Sean McVay

Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay celebrates after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

“From a challenge standpoint, to me, it’s just being able to be in a different environment, different coaching techniques when it comes to my role and responsibility. I’ve always tried to take a big-picture role when it comes to what we do. It was always kind of just seeing the entire big picture, just being able to have now an opportunity to get my hands involved in the coaching is going to be a big part of it.”

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Brown interviewed for the Miami head coaching job and the vacant offensive coordinator seat with the Vikings, but he’ll remain a vital piece of LA’s staff as the team gears toward a repeat. And if he keeps this up, head coaching offers will likely be flying his way. 


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