The Los Angeles Rams had a historically bad special teams unit during the 2023 NFL campaign. The Patriots reportedly have tabbed an assistant coach from said unit to take over their own special teams.

Jerod Mayo and New England are hiring Jeremy Springer as their special teams coach, as first reported by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport on Wednesday. It’s not confirmed what that means for longtime Bill Belichick assistants Joe Judge or Cam Achord, or if Springer will officially be given the coordinator title.

While Springer is viewed as a rising, high-energy young coach, and, again, while Springer was an assistant and not LA’s special teams coordinator (Chase Blackburn), the hiring has perplexed many fans and media members.

The common theme: Why hire an assistant from the league’s worst unit?

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Aaron Schatz, creator of DVOA and current chief analytics officer of FTN Fantasy, took to the X platform earlier this month to reveal the Rams had the sixth-lowest special teams DVOA in history.

Schatz also noted the Rams special teams unit was almost three times as bad as any other unit in the league.

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Schatz on Wednesday responded to New England’s reported hire on X: “OK, I guess, but the Rams special teams were historically bad last year.”

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Schatz was not the only one to draw that conclusion. Many casual fans took to X with the same gripe.

Before LA’s regular-season finale, USA Today Rams Wires’ Cameron DaSilva criticized the special teams unit. At the time, DaSilva wrote: “Everything has gone wrong on special teams for the Rams.”

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The Rams missed 11 field goals and 16 total kicks, per Statmuse. LA’s 74.4% field-goal percentage (32-for-43) was dead last while its 86.5% extra point percentage (32-for-37) was second to last. Only the New York Jets allowed more return yards per punt, indicating punt coverage was a major issue, as well.

New England’s special team unit, as Patriots fans would point out, hasn’t been much better in recent years. And that’s true. Bill Belichick, who is as much of a special teams enthusiast as any coach in the league, and then-assistant Achord struggled to get production from that unit.

Springer’s job will be able to get that unit back on track.

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Featured image via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images