Kentucky appears to have gotten a gem in Liam Coen.
After an offseason full of praise for the program’s new offensive coordinator, Coen’s former boss with the Los Angeles Rams doubled down on that optimism during SEC Media Days this week.
When asked for the “skinny” on Coen, Rams coach Sean McVay texted ESPN analyst Joe Tessitore to say that Kentucky’s newest play caller was “one of (his) most trusted coaches” behind the scenes in Los Angeles.
“He was a great quarterback at UMass. Has a great feel and understanding of the game from an all-22 perspective,” McVay said in a text message. “Expect him to use motions, formations, tempo as a weapon to apply pressure to the defense. Spent the last three seasons as one of my most trusted coaches who I heavily relied on behind the scenes.
“Strong communication skills, great ability to connect with the guys.”
“Spent the last three seasons as one of my trusted coaches who I heavily relied on behind the scenes.” ? Sean McVay pic.twitter.com/OVMbKrkOJ7
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) July 20, 2021
During Kentucky’s time in the spotlight in Hoover, head coach Mark Stoops said that after a full spring and summer with Coen calling the offensive shots, he couldn’t be more pleased with his hire.
“I really like the changes that I made in the coaching staff. I needed to,” Stoops said. “Offensive coordinator Liam Coen coming in from the Rams and hopefully continuing to push us forward and to give us the balance that I’m searching for.”
Stoops added that he has “full confidence” in Coen’s ability to call plays and move the ball down the field.
“That’s a big reason why I hired Liam,” Stoops said of UK’s anticipated growth in the passing department. “It took me some time to clearly look at what I wanted our team to look like and what I felt like we can do. So I spent quite a bit of time researching people and systems and ultimately came down to Liam. So I have full confidence and trust in him, and that is part of his system, part of the offense to be able to play action pass and get the ball down the field.
“I felt like this spring we got the ball down the field better than we have in years, so I feel very good about it.”
Have to feel confident about that.