As NFL draft season approaches the Rams have started putting the finishing touches on their new-look coaching staff.
Rounding out the new cast of characters is new Special Teams Coordinator John Bonamego.
Unlike the other new hires McVay has hired this offseason, Bonamego is coming in with a wealth of coaching experience. He is also over the age of 50, so lets squash that ageism myth right now! OK, I don’t think anyone other than me was thinking that.
Bonamego was hired on February 8th to replace John Fassel. One John for another seems fair. As mentioned Bonamego is coming in as no spring chicken. He has already amassed 17 years as either a special teams coordinator or assistant in the NFL. He got his start with the 1999 Jaguars and has since made stops along the way in Green Bay, Detroit, Miami, and New Orleans. the longest of his tenures came with the Jaguars.
John is a deeply rooted Michigan man. He played his high school ball there, followed by a college career at Central Michigan, where he played QB and WR.
He has had two stints with the Detroit Lions, and he also returned to Central Michigan to help the program as their head coach.
He led the team from 2015 to 2018, where the team made three bowl games in the first three years. Bonamego’s time came to an end after a season that saw the team go 1-11, worst in school history. Also of note, during his last season as the head coach with Central Michigan his wife Paulette got banned from Kelly/Shorts Stadium where the team played their home games. I mean…wow. (Pictured below with the Detroit Lions)
The story goes after a tough loss she overheard the teams play by play broadcaster Don Chiodo make some comments about the teams effort on the post-game broadcast that did not sit well with her. She found him in the hallway after taking a bathroom break and a verbal altercation ensued. After the dust settled she got banned, and Chiodo quickly returned to the booth. So I’ll let you read between the lines as to who was in the wrong here. I will say this, at least John has a ride or die chick on his side. Paulette is on Instagram Rams fans, so before you go criticizing the special teams this year you better keep those thoughts to yourself or at least not on the gram. Her bio on her profile did crack me up I have to admit. It has the two hashtags you would expect every coach’s wife from pee-wee to the NFL to have- #FamilyaboveEverything and #CoachesWifeLife. I assume the #LiveLoveLaugh will be coming sometime this season.
That whole story is just wild though. Can you imagine if an NFL head coach’s wife was banned from their home stadium?!…it would definitely be John Gruden’s wife right? You have to be just a little crazy to deal with that guy on the daily.
Anyway, back to the field. Here is why you should be excited and happy to have Bonamego as part of the staff. He is well respected among his peers and his Lions special teams was really good last year. They were 2nd in the league in punt return yardage allowed at 4.5 and were 7th in the league in kickoff return yardage with 24.5 yards allowed per return. And maybe most importantly McVay believes in him enough to give him the reigns.
Here is why you should be worried or skeptical. He has been with 5 different NFL franchises during his NFL career. If he was really good or worth keeping, you would think he would have found a long term home by now or as a dedicated member of another head coach staff.
His longest tenure with one club is four years, which in the grand scheme of 17 years, is not that long.
Oh, and his wife might beat you up if you come into the Rams house talking that ish. It could also be positive if I am being honest.
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