As training camp begins today, the St. Louis Rams have officially announced the addition of two full-time assistant coaches and four training camp interns who are part of the Bill Walsh Minority Fellowship program.
The two full-time additions are assistant wide receivers coach Kenan Smith and assistant strength coach J. Aggabao. Smith previously worked for three years as the receivers coach at Butler University. He played four years at Sacramento State before working his way through the ranks at the University of Michigan, Ball State, and Anderson University. Now he’ll work with head receivers coach Ray Sherman to try to further develop a young group of Rams wideouts.
Aggabao, who served as an officer in the Navy for five years, has since worked his way up through the strength training ranks as an assistant at Washington State and Illinois State. He served as an intern on the Rams’ staff before being promoted earlier this spring.
The four minority fellowship coaches are John Simon, who will help with the running backs; Tony Brown, who will assist with the defensive tackles; Mike Peterson, who will help out with the linebackers; and Pierson Prioleau, who will work with the defensive backs.
Simon, who serves as the running backs coach at Southern Miss, played for three years with the Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins. He’s ascended quickly up the ladder in athletics, starting out as the wide receivers coach at Roosevelt High School in 2008 and ending up as the athletic director there in 2012. He’s hoping to stay on the same fast track as a coach.
Brown, a former defensive tackle who had an eight-year NFL career with the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, and Tennessee Titans, will help out defensive line coaches Mike Waufle and Clyde Simmons and hopefully have a positive impact on young defensive tackles like Aaron Donald and Ethan Westbrooks.
Peterson had a long and distinguished 13-year career as a linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Atlanta Falcons. He worked as a student assistant on Will Muschamp’s staff at Florida and now will try to help out an extremely young Rams linebackers corps which only has two players with more than a year of experience.
Prioleau had a successful 11-year career as a safety in the NFL, playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, and New Orleans Saints. He could definitely provide help to a very young and inexperienced group of Rams safeties, particularly rookie Mo Alexander.
All of these young coaches have significant connections to people in the Rams organization: Simon and Brown played for head coach Jeff Fisher in Tennessee, Peterson played for Atlanta while general manager Les Snead, director of player personnel Taylor Morton, and offensive line coach Paul Boudreau were there, and Prioleau followed defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to four different spots during the course of his career. Each of these former players will stay for the duration of training camp and attempt to parlay their experience into full-time coaching jobs in the NFL.