The coaching carousel is in full swing, and while it doesn’t seem like the Tennessee Vols will go through any major changes during this edition of the carousel, it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibilities.

Some of the biggest coaching staff changes tend to happen when they’re least expected.

That’s why fans should always be guarded and aware of potential staff change possibilities.

NFL opening that could affect Tennessee

The Los Angeles Rams parted ways with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips on Monday. For now, it doesn’t appear there are any leading candidates to replace Phillips.

This is pure speculation at this point, but it’s possible that Vols defensive coordinator Derrick Ansley could be of interest to the Rams.

Ansley was impressive during his one year stint as the Oakland Raiders’ defensive backs coach. Jon Gruden told reporters when he hired Ansley that the young coach is “going to be a star in this profession”.

Ansley was set to become the defensive coordinator at Colorado State when he was scooped up by Gruden. Ansley essentially passed up his first defensive coordinator job for the NFL, which tells me he probably has some interest in returning to the NFL at some point.

Tennessee Vols

Los Angeles could be the right situation for him. Ansley has some shared connections with Rams general manager Les Snead. Both are from Alabama (their hometowns are about a hour apart) and both played college football at Troy (Snead as a tight end at Troy in the early 90’s before transferring to UAB and Auburn, Ansley as a defensive back in the early 2000’s).

There’s no doubt that Ansley has a bright future in football. It seems likely that he’ll be either a coordinator in the NFL or a head at the college level in the near future. It would be a bit of a surprise to see a NFL team take a chance on him with only one year of coordinator experience, but his background with Nick Saban and Jeremy Pruitt might making him a tempting coach to take a chance on.

If Ansley were to end up in the NFL next year, it would be a significant loss for the Vols. Tennessee’s defense improved dramatically as the year progressed. But with Jeremy Pruitt at the helm, it wouldn’t be a move that would sink the ship. Pruitt would be able to quickly find a suitable replacement.

Featured image via Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports/
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