Sean McVay, the current head coach for the Los Angeles Rams, is well known for having a near-photographic memory. He can recite the sequence of plays for an entire football game just from his memory and he can recall extremely minute details from games that happened a decade ago.
“I’m not like that, but I can’t lie: I’ve got some pretty damn good recall,” Liam Coen said in his interview to be the new offensive coordinator for the Kentucky Wildcats.
This quote came after he recalled defensive coordinator Brad White’s number and “neck roll” from when he played in high school. Coen and White played at rival high schools 20 years ago.
Everyone that knows Coen continues to heap praise on the 35-year-old NFL assistant. From current Rams quarterback Jared Goff to Coen’s college roommate Victor Cruz, there is no shortage of awe about his offensive mind.
Kyle Tucker and Bruce Feldman of The Athletic talked to many people in the football word about Coen’s past and what he will bring to the Kentucky coaching staff.
“He wasn’t the tallest, didn’t have the biggest arm, wasn’t the strongest or fastest, but the one thing he could do better than almost anybody was dissect a defense,” Cruz said of his time playing with Coen. “He always knew exactly what was going on pre-snap, and if things moved around post-snap, he’d react to that on the fly. He was exceptional at that.”
After leading UMass to an FCS national championship game, Coen coached at Brown, Rhode Island, and UMass before working for two years at the offensive coordinator at Maine. He has spent the last three seasons with the Rams coaching wide receivers and quarterbacks.
“Liam has been really good for me and my development,” Rams quarterback Jared Goff told The Athletic. “He’s smart, does a lot of our breakdowns through the week and has great ideas that we use all the time in games. We’ll miss having him for sure, but Kentucky got a great one.”
Mark Stoops was apparently blown away by Coen and his clear vision for the offense in his interview. In addition to plans for meeting schedules and implementation of the offense by position, Coen also broke down film from Kentucky’s offense and showed Stoops things he would keep and do differently.
Coen really nailed down the job by going over his plan for more of a balanced offense. For any fans looking for an air raid, you should know that is not what Kentucky is getting. Bunch formations, play-action, bootlegs, and lots of variation within sets is the plan for the future of the Kentucky offense.
However, Coen convinced Stoops that not only are these plans philosophically sound but they also get the most out of a receiving room with no All-American’s sitting around.
It seems that after seven years of a ground and pound offense that sometimes looks afraid to throw the football, things may actually be changing in Lexington. There is a new offense completely laid out that should set the Wildcats, regardless of personnel, up for success. While we will not see any of that offense until spring football, it all is already in place in the mind of Liam Coen. And if you believe anyone who has ever worked with him, that is very safe place to get your game-plan.
Read more of these interviews and commentary about Coen’s vision here at The Athletic.