The coaching dominoes keep falling into place, including several connected to the New England Patriots. The latest is Ryan Wendell, who will join the Los Angeles Rams as their new offensive line coach.
Wendell, 36, spent the last four seasons as assistant O-line coach with the Buffalo Bills. However, the Patriots invited him last week to interview for a position on their own staff; Wendell was one of two outside candidates the team brought in to possibly help fill its open offensive line coaching spot.
The job eventually went to the other contestant, University of Oregon assistant Adrian Klemm. Instead of re-joining the Patriots, Wendell therefore went to look for other opportunities. He found one in the Rams’ vacant O-line coaching gig, according to a report by ESPN’s Dan Graziano.
The Patriots looking at him in the first place did make plenty of sense. Not only did they have an opening on their staff, Wendell also had plenty of experience both as a coach and a player — and plenty of ties to New England.
An undrafted free agent out of Fresno State in 2008, he spent the first eight seasons of his nine-year career with the organization. Wendell appeared in a combined 91 regular season and playoff games for the club, including 56 as a starter at either center or right guard. Among those starts was the Patriots’ win over Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX; Wendell went wire-to-wire at right guard in what turned out to be his final start as a member of the team.
He spent one final season in Carolina in 2016 before calling it a career. Two years after his retirement, Wendell resurfaced as a member of the Bills’ coaching staff.
Now, he is headed to Los Angeles instead of coming back to his former team.