The St. Louis Rams added to their coaching staff this offseason, naming Tim Walton as the defensive coordinator for the 2013 season. If Walton’s former boss is correct, however, Walton may not be there for long as he seems fast-tracked towards a head coaching gig sooner rather than later.
Walton was the secondary coach for the Detroit Lions in 2012. His former boss, Jim Schwartz, heaped praise on the assistant coach at the NFL Combine and stated that he didn’t think it was long until he got to run his own team in the NFL:
“In a couple of years, he’s going to be standing up on this podium [as a head coach] also. Tim’s a sharp guy, a charismatic guy. He’s been a little bit of an under-the-radar guy, but not for long.”
That is higher praise than what would be considered obligatory coach-speak, and the Rams seem to have seen something in him they like. And St. Louis may be the right opportunity for him to make another move upward in the near future.
The Rams became instantly more competitive under coach Jeff Fisher last season and have a roster filled with good, young talent, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Their defensive line can get after the quarterback, their secondary is taking shape and they have a franchise-type middle linebacker to build around. The team also holds four first-round picks over the next two years to continue stock-piling talent.
In other words, Walton is in a good spot to look like a very smart coach. He will have the players under him to put together a tough defense and parlay this job into something bigger down the line. Rams fans would likely accept the trade-off of a couple years of excellent defense for a defensive coordinator who becomes a head coach elsewhere.