The Rams confirmed his leave of absence on Friday in a statement. They told NFL.com that “we are aware of the charges filed against Ted Rath. We take these allegations very seriously. Once the charges were filed, we decided Ted would take a leave of absence from the team as this matter works its way through the justice system.”
The alleged incident occurred on June 15, 2018 at a private residence in the Los Angeles area. According to TMZ Sports, Rath groped a woman multiple times without her consent.
Rath was arrested and released on bail on Jan. 15, 2019 which is five days before the Rams beat the Saints in the NFC Championship Game in New Orleans.
Rath did not travel with the team to that game or to the Super Bowl two weeks later. The Rams said he was recovering from an injury at the time.
The coach’s attorney pleaded not guilty on his behalf on Friday and is ready to go to trial if necessary.
“Mr. Rath takes these allegations very seriously,” Vicki Podberesky said in a statement issued to the AP. “Ted is a man who has led a law-abiding life. He is a husband, a father and a dedicated family man. He has the utmost respect for women and would never intentionally act in a manner that was demeaning or otherwise inappropriate.
“We intend to defend this matter to the fullest extent possible in a court of law, and we believe that after there has been a full vetting of the facts of this case Mr. Rath will be shown to be not guilty of these charges.”
In addition to being in charge of the Rams’ strength and conditioning, Rath is also known as the “get back” coach in football circles.
That coach’s job is to make sure the head coach doesn’t step too far onto the field while coaching from the sideline.
Rath frequently has to tell coach Sean McVay to “get back” or even just manually pull him backwards as depicted in an NFL Films video that quickly went viral when it first came out.
As the game plays on, Sean McVay and his “Get Back Coach” tango on the sideline.
Expect more of this at #SBLIII ?@RamsNFL #NFLFilmsPresents: Get Back Coach airs this Tuesday at 6pm ET on @FS1! pic.twitter.com/5FMyWH4gzT
— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) January 21, 2019
The strength and conditioning prowess of Rath played a big role in enabling the Rams to finish the 2017 season as the healthiest team in the NFL based on adjusted games lost according to Football Outsiders.
Rath has been an NFL strength coach since the 2009 season and previously worked for the Dolphins and Lions.
A former linebacker at Toledo, the Rams team site also notes that Rath is married and has three children.
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