Tim Walton – heard of him? Probably not until right now but get used to hearing his name because by the end of this week, he will likely be Rams’ new defensive coordinator. What is not shocking is that Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher, is looking to hire someone who has familiarity with his coaching style. Walton, who spent the last two years with the Detroit Lions as coach of their defensive backs and 3rd down packages, worked under head coach Jim Schwartz who just so happened to have spent 8 years as Jeff Fischer’s defensive coordinator while in Tennessee. Yes, the Tennessee mafia continues to migrate to St. Louis.
Now for the good news: During the last two seasons, with Walton as a part of the Lions’ defensive coaching staff, they improved from 23rd in the league in 2011-12, to 16th in 2012-13; just one spot behind the Rams in rushing yards allowed at 16th. They also improved from 22nd in the league in 2011-12 to 14th in the 2012-13, in passing yards allowed; one spot better than the Rams. Overall, in comparing the Lions defensively to the Rams, the number of similarities between the teams is a good thing if Walton becomes the guy.
While he’s only got two years of experience as a coordinator at the collegiate level, one with Miami in 2007 and the other with Memphis in 2008, has 14 total years of collegiate coaching. So even though he’s not a seasoned veteran as a DC, he would be joining the ranks of Fischer and his defensively minded coaching staff which will only better polish him at the position. It’s definitely worth noting that Walton has had a hand in the shaping of players like Patriots’ safety Brandon Merriweather, Jets’ safety LaRon Landry, Giants’ safety Antrel Rolle, Bears’ wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester and Giants’ corner back Corey Webster.
Walton knows about trials and tribulations too as his defensive backs in Detroit suffered through injuries all through the 2012-13 season forcing him to work with 13 different defensive back combinations. In Today’s NFL, being able to move guys and fill gaps in lineups that are injury stricken, is something that is a requirement, not an amenity. The Rams already have the bulk of the pieces in place defensively and are looking forward to 2 first round draft picks in the 2013 draft. Hopefully by the end of the week, the Rams will have officially mended the hole in their staff and can begin the process of mending the holes in the offensive line.