Earlier today we discussed the St. Louis Rams players on offense that have struggled and are on the hot seat, now it’s time to move to the other side of the ball. Going into the season the Rams defense was described as being underrated and potential top ten defense. This defense finished so well last season, but have struggled mightily in 2013.
The Rams not only not a top ten defense, but they are a bottom ten defense. You can blame the offense all you want but if you cant stop the opposing team from scoring, you arent going to win very many games. The only time you might do ok is if Drew Brees is your quarterback…flashback to last season. Here are three Rams players that are on the hot seat through four weeks.
The Rams defensive line was said to be one of the best in the league, and they potentially are. Honestly potential should just read “refer to St. Louis Rams” in the Webster Dictionary, because that’s what the Rams are, just a lot of potential. Unfortunately the Rams defensive line just hasnt been that dominant and at times has been pushed around. With a defensive line as good as the Rams’, 175 and 153 yards in back to back weeks should not be possible.
Unfortunately that has been the case, and for me it all starts with Chris Long. This guy is in my opinion the best player on the Rams defensive line, yet he has yet to manage a full sack this season. he finally recorded his first sack statistic Thursday against the 49ers. You can say all you want that it’s becuase he gets double teamed and quarterbacks are sliding the protection his way and so on and so fourth. However, do you not think teams have done the same things to other top defensive players such as Demarcus Ware in his prime and Dwight Freeney in his prime? I can guarantee you many teams tried and failed. Chris Long has got to find a way to get to the quarterback more often rather than just open things up for Robert Quinn and Michael Brockers.
Last offseason the pickup of Cortland Finnegan in the offseason was seen as a big move for the St. Louis Rams, however he is another player that has just not played up to what he is capable of. In Tennessee Finnegan was seen as a shut down cornerback that really got into other receivers heads. Finnegan brought some of that getting into receivers head to the team and was an alright coverage corner. He wasnt as good as he used to be, but wasnt a liability. All that has changed in 2013.
Finnegan has just plain gotten beat on many occasions in 2013. On Thursday Finnegan was just plain bad while trying to cover Anquan Boldin. On the 49ers first touchdown drive Finnegan misjudged a pass and let Boldin and the ball get behind him for a big gain. Then on 3rd and 19 Finnegan failed to make the touchdown saving tackle. Finnegan had three interceptions last season, but as of right now it seems like his career is on the back end and has seen its better days. At this point it might be smart to put Jenkins at one, Johnson at two, and Finnegan as the nickel, or even put McGee in the nickel and try and move Finnegan to safety.
Dont worry Rams fans, James Laurinaitis isnt the on the hot seat for his play on the field. As bad as the Rams defense has been, he has, as usual, been one of the good things on the defense. The reason I am putting Laurinaitis on the hot seat is because of the overall play of the defense.
Laurinaitis is the leader of this group and he has to do something to get these guys to play better. That’s what the great players and great leaders do, they push the players around them to play better and go to their limits, Just look what Ray Lewis did last season for the Ravens. This defense can go no where but up right now. Laurinatis needs to be the one to Ram up and rise up.
The Rams defense has been disappointing to say the least. These last few weeks have been hard to watch and what makes it hard is because everyone knows this team is capable of a lot lot more than this. Hopefully the Rams will be able to turn this around and turn it around fast.