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Make 2022 your best year yet and let this Moon Reading decode your destiny with precise wisdom you can’t find anywhere else!

K.J. Black has entered the second phase of his NFL coaching career with Los Angeles Rams — Andscape

Get This Before It Disappears!


Get This Before It Disappears!

Make 2022 your best year yet and let this Moon Reading decode your destiny with precise wisdom you can’t find anywhere else!

IRVINE, Calif. – Phase two of Kenneth “K.J.” Black’s NFL coaching career is underway, and he’s attacking his new role with the same zeal as he displayed in his previous one.

After cutting his teeth last season as a diversity coaching fellow with the Los Angeles Rams, Black, who is African American, entered training camp as a full-fledged member of coach Sean McVay’s staff. The plan is for the offensive assistant to work closely with the team’s wide receivers, following a path similar to that of other young coaches who have climbed the ladder under McVay.

The former college quarterback is learning a new way of looking at things while taking another step, and that’s a great combination at this point of his career.

“It’s a good opportunity for me,” Black said last week as the team prepared for practice at the University of California, Irvine. “It’s basically [Rams management] saying, ‘Hey, we trust you, we see what you know.’ Now, they’re giving me a chance to teach it to a bigger group. … More is expected, which is exactly what I want, so I’m excited.”

Essentially, Black is serving as an assistant to longtime Rams receivers coach Eric Yarber, and as a resource and a sounding board for the wideouts. The group is led by All-Pro wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who was the MVP of Super Bowl LVI. Together with the rest of the coaching staff and players, they’re determined to help the Rams rebound after going 5-12 last season following their Super Bowl-winning season.

As the Rams begin anew, Black has his sleeves rolled up.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp hauls in a pass during training camp at the University of California, Irvine, in Irvine, California on July 27.

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Throughout the offseason, Black grew more familiar with the group he’ll help guide, “and there’s going to be a lot of back-and-forth, it’s going to go both ways,” he said. “There may be times where I’m like, ‘Hey, this is what the quarterback is seeing, so this is why we have to run this route this way.’ But I’m also taking information from them.

“I’ll ask Cooper, ‘Hey, Cooper, why are you running the route that way? Why do you see it the way that you see it? I don’t understand what you see there. Show me what you see.’ That’s why I say it’s gonna go both ways, because there are things I can learn from them as well. I’m gonna bring the quarterback perspective to [the wideouts’ room] and try to make it the best room that we can.”

Quarterback is the position Black knows best.

Formerly the co-offensive coordinator at historically Black Florida A&M University, Black also played quarterback in college, first at Western Kentucky University and then at historically Black Prairie View A&M. As part of the league’s wide-ranging effort to address its inclusive hiring crises at the club level, the Rams hired Black as a coaching fellow on offense before the 2022-23 season (NFL fellows can be female or a member of an ethnic or racial minority group).

The coaching fellowship, which was implemented last season, is the first hiring mandate in the league’s history. During an era in which NFL franchise owners prefer to fill head coaching openings with coaches who have experience on the offensive side – and with the development of young quarterbacks being paramount in the league – top decision-makers hope that Black and other candidates eventually will enter the hiring pipeline for top-rung positions as NFL offensive coordinators and head coaches.

Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Todd Bowles of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and DeMeco Ryans of the Houston Texans are the league’s only African American head coaches among six minority head coaches overall. This always bears repeating: The NFL has 32 teams.

Black was impressive last season while working primarily with then-Rams offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Liam Coen, who left the franchise after last season and returned to the University of Kentucky for a second stint as its offensive coordinator. Coen was replaced by Mike LaFleur, the New York Jets offensive playcaller a season ago.

In assembling his current staff, McVay was set on retaining Black. Cincinnati Bengals coach Zac Taylor, who coached under McVay for two seasons with the Rams, Coen and current Rams pass game coordinator/quarterbacks coach Zac Robinson also worked extensively with the team’s wide receivers. That’s the right direction for Black to head next, McVay decided.

“It’s about continuing to own your role,” said McVay, who is beginning his seventh season leading the Rams. “And the best guys that I’ve been around get opportunities to get exposure to a bunch of different positions. He’s obviously got great background in the quarterback position, and our receivers are asked to do so many different things.

“For him to be able to see it through those lenses … that’s an opportunity. When you talk to guys like Zac Taylor, Zac Robinson, who have been through similar trajectories in terms of quarterback background and working with the receivers, you see how they embraced it. He’s really embraced that role, too.”

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay (left) and offensive coordinator Liam Coen (right) on the sidelines during a preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium on Aug. 13, 2022, in Inglewood, California.

Harry How/Getty Images

It’s easy to see the road when others have already cleared it.

“If you go back and look at the path for Liam, Zac, others, they did the same thing. They were in the QB room and the receiver room,” Black said. “They were able to take that QB mindset, the way that the quarterback looks at the game, bring it to the receivers and help them see things. That already happened a couple times during [organized team activities].

“That’s a good experience. And when you have those types of experiences, and there are guys who have already done what I’m doing now and you see where they are now, it definitely makes sense to you. You focus on where you are right now and doing the best you can. That’s what you have to do. But you also believe you’ll have opportunities in the future if you just do what you’re supposed to do.”

McVay is watching.

“There are certain things that guys who separate themselves do,” McVay said. “It’s one thing to have a defined role, and then it’s another thing to say, ‘Well, I’ve found ways to even create more value and make it more beneficial.’ Whether that’s by making game plan suggestions, coming up with different ideas, whatever, it’s about owning your role and then figuring out ways that you can create value and continuing to be a great advocate for this coaching staff.

“He’s got a great demeanor about himself. I’ve seen that from the moment he joined us. Now, he’s really continuing to get immersed in all of it. He’s continuing to get immersed in everything that we want to be able to do. From there, it’s really about picking and choosing your spots to keep adding value, keep connecting with the players and coaches. You keep doing that, and then you find other ways to contribute to some of the things we’re trying to do big in terms of the big picture.”

Black has his eye on it. And although he still has a long road ahead to get to where he hopes to be, he’s enjoying a new part of the journey.

Jason Reid is the senior NFL writer at Andscape. He enjoys watching sports, especially any games involving his son and daughter.


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