Dec 2, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins (21) is congratulated after recovering a fumble for a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defeated the 49ers 16-13 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Three Defensive Players That Need To Step Up This Season

Earlier today we posted an article about the three offensive players that need to step up this season in order for the Rams to break through this season. Everybody know the Rams are now built around their defense, and in order for the team to be successful, the defense needs to be successful. Here are the three defensive players that need to step up.


Darian Stewart

Darina Stewart is in his 4th season and he is the veteran safety on the team. Stewart doesn’t have a lot of starting experience and yet he will be one of the Rams starting safeties this season. It has been said that the Rams have one of the weaker safety groups in the league, and although that may be true, Stewart needs to step up and prove otherwise. Stewart needs to be able to be reliable in coverage and not be afraid of coming up to the line to make a tackle. Steware may be the key to the Rams secondary this season.

Alec Ogletree

Ogletree will only be a rookie, but his role on the defense is important. With the Seahawks and 49ers having speedy quarterbacks that are willing to run the ball, and having running backs that are capable of making plays on the outside, Ogletree needs to be able to put a stop to it, and be a difference maker on defense. Ogletree has had a history of off the field issues, so he needs to be able to step up and stay out of trouble as well as silence his critics in that regard. Ogletree could turn out to be one of the Rams premier defensive players.

Trumaine Johnson

The Rams got rid of Bradley Fletcher in free agency who was underrated and was a solid CB for the Rams the last couple of seasons. Now that Fletcher is gone, Johnson will be expected to take over that nickleback spot. Johnson played there a lot last season, but Johnson still has something to prove. Johnson also needs to come out strong because of his off the field issues this summer. Johnson has been suspended for receiving a DUI earlier, Johnson needs to put that behind him and come out strong.

Honorable Mention

T.J. McDonald is a rookie that the Rams have put a lot of faith in. The Rams are empty at the safety position and have put McDonald and Steward in charge of it. McDonald will have to get up to NFL speed quick in order to not be a liability to the defense.


The Rams defense is pretty solid to say the least and there aren’t a lot of players that need to step up in order for the Rams to be successful as there was on offense. You can expect Brockers, Laurenaitis, Long, Quinn, Jenkins, and Finnegan will all play well anyway and don’t have to step up so to speak. These are the players that need to step up in order for the Rams to take the next step.


Tags: Alec Ogletree Darian Stewart St. Louis Rams Trumaine Johnson

  • James Mullen

    I would like to see K. Langfords name up there. I was hoping we could get another big body next to Brockers. Maybe next year. I’d also like to see us resign Q. Mikell. He actually had a pretty productive year last year. The safety positions could be a problem for us. One thing for sure, Our offense should be able to keep the Defense on the sidelines a little longer. I agree with your picks. I just think as good as we looked last year on D., we still need one more good Draft. I hope I’m wrong. I guess we’ll find out real quick, just how good T.J. McDonald is. Ogletree should be just fine. I always liked Fletcher & hated to see him go, but Trumaine looked good at times. It seems like everyone gets thrown right into the mix nowadays. There is no grooming process. No time to jell. I guess you have to try to get as much as you can out of a player before they hit free agency. Oh & D. Stewart, his shoulders will be bearing a lot of weight this year. Hopefully he stays healthy. Good article Blaine. Thanks for your comments.

    • Blaine Grisak

      Thanks, always appreciate the feedback James! I agree with your assessment of Langford, he kind of started off slow last year, then played better as the season went on. One more big body in the middle and the Rams may have the best D-Line in football. The safety position is real concerning, Im really hoping we don’t consistently get beat over the top this season. I think signing Mikell at this point isn’t likely, the Ram just dont have the cap. Stewart will have to play well and show some veteran leadership. I liked Fletcher as well I thought he was a really good player, disappointed to see him go. I think Johnson will be able to fill the hole nicely though, as long as he can stay out of trouble.