Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Could the Rams Break the Single-Season Sack Record in 2014?


 

This season the St. Louis Rams have a chance to challenge a record that has stood for 30 years. Flaunting the most talented and deepest defensive line in the National Football League, they have the potential to be one of the most disruptive front-fours the league has seen in quite a while. The Chicago Bears earned 72 sacks in 1984, and newly drafted DT Aaron Donald’s arrival to St. Louis could push the Rams to surpass that mark this season.

Proving just how special this group is, four first-round picks will likely be starters when game one rolls around on September 7, when the Vikings come to town. Furthermore, two backups – DT Kendall Langford and DT/DE William Hayes have starter ability, and are relegated to backup roles on this Ram squad. Not to mention DE Robert Quinn, the most dynamic 4-3 pass rusher in the league, rising star DT Michael Brockers, and the relentless DE Chris Long all return healthy for the 2014 season.

Apart from the addition of Donald, four other factors should contribute to more sacks this year. The first is defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who is renowned for exotic blitzes and putting pressure on quarterbacks. Tim Walton was a terrible defensive coordinator last season and he still managed to get 53 sacks out of this defense in 2013, which was good for 3rd in the league. Williams is more accomplished and competent than Walton, and he is sure to be more creative with how he uses defensive personnel.

Next is the addition of Lamarcus Joyner, who is an adept blitzer from the nickel position. Joyner lead college DB’s in sacks, with 5.5  in 2013. Williams loves blitzing from the secondary and Joyner should thrive in that role. Also, OLB Alex Ogletree may get more opportunities to blitz in Williams’ defense. His speed off of the edge could produce some sacks if he is used correctly in that role.

Lastly, the Rams should be more competitive with a healthy QB in Sam Bradford and a deep and talented offensive arsenal to work with. That means the opposing team will need to throw the ball more, so the defensive line should get plenty of opportunities to pin their ears back and get after the passer. The Rams may not break the record held by the Bears, but they sure have a shot at getting close this season.

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Tags: Sacks St. Louis Rams

  • Jim

    Gonna have to agree on one condition. This secondary will have to be loads better. I think it will be but Jenkins will need to breakout, Tru Jo will need to be more steady against top flight talent and McDonald will need to drastically improve in coverage. Having a great pass rush only goes so far as this D showed last year. I have faith in Williams though. And I also wouldn’t peg Donald as a starter just yet. Langford played great last year and if he isn’t a cap cut he will be the week 1 starter until Donald becomes more than just a pass rusher. Other than Long and Quinn I doubt we have true starters. There’s so much talent to rotate in and out. Until this group of WRs shows that someone can step up I also would count on this being a good offense. It will be better. But unless a couple WRs realize there potential it’ll still be average at best.

    • pboi619

      Well most of our Secondary problems was Tim Walton who for some reason decided to play off coverage instead of playing to our CBs strength which is man or press coverage….and peopl for some reason think Donald is just a pass rusher and they are wrong he did great against the run he had 29 tackles for lost…when he played Notre Dame he had to get double teamed and face masked most of the time by Zac Martin who is a top tackle in this draft….just watch the tape on him he beats out everyone he faces and is stout against the run and thats why Fish and Snead got him…. Long, Quin, And Brockers are true starters Langford got better at the end of the season like he does every year….i do agree about our WR its a lot of Question marks but we will run first and use play action which Bradford does great at some im not really concerned as in future past…i said it will take about 3 years to get the talent we need and Im standing by it an i believe we make a run this year and years to come

      • Jim

        I agree on Walton’s scheme, but Fish took over halfway through and they still got burned. Jenkins grabs recievers probably 50% of the time (maybe exaggeration but he does way too much) and constantly was getting beat. McDonald is not good in coverage and Tru Jo is not going to lock top end talent down. Donald was a beast in college. But I’d give him maybe a 20% chance of starting week 1. There’s just no need to rush him and he will have to adjust to the NFL. With all the talent on the dline he can rotate in and acclimate to the pro game slowly. I agree he will be the starter at some point, maybe even this season, but not week 1. And the run first offense is great, and wins some games, but when we play teams that score alot of points like the Saints, Packers, Broncos and Eagles they won’t be able to rely on the ground and pound game.

        • pboi619

          I They said that but was still playing off coverage so i dont believe he took over 100%
          they where giving 10 yard cushin compared to fisher first year where he actually maned the D we played Man press coverage….so i dont believe that he took over more likely giving ideas of sort….but i believe in Greg to get us back…i would actually like to see Joyner at safety and McLeod at Nickle…McLeod did a fantastic job at nickle compared to free safety only giving up 164 an a td when in the slot

          • Jim

            They played MUCH less off coverage the second part of the season. Jenkins didnt improve much at all. As for Bradford, he has everything you need to be a great QB. Except health. Hopefully he manages to stay on the field this season. The only thing Bradfor doesn’t do really well is picking up the blitz, and changing up plays under center.

          • Gary Stewart

            i have complained about bradfords blitz recognition, however a bit of research reveals he did not always have the right to call off plays my guess is fisher will or has talked to shotty about loosening the reins we shall see. but i believe the 3rd and 8s will result in a lot more 50 yard pass attempts this year he(bradford) just can’t wait for the wideouts to get open , but rather anticipate they will and go deep if it is intercepted its simply a 50 yard punt on 3rd down not the worst that could happen. if its caught, or if the opponents commit PI we get 50 yards that way as well!!

        • Glenn HENDRIKSEN

          ……agreed !…..sooooooo will Bradford be able to get his CACA together then?………………hhhhmmmmmm

      • Glenn HENDRIKSEN

        ……….like I said before……BRADFORD………….hhhhhhmmmmmm

    • Glenn HENDRIKSEN

      ….and then lastly but not LEASTLY there is Bradford……….???….hhhhmmmmm

      • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

        Yeah, Sam Bradford will be the 4th “game managing QB” to win a SuperBowl behind Jim McMahon, TRent Dilfer and Brad Johson oh yeah he’s better than the 3 of them combined.

    • Gary Stewart

      donald had a boatload of TFLs last year which includes tackling RBs in the backfield 2nd and 12 and 3rd and 9 are the passing down and distance williams likes and donald will help in that regard to say he isn’t a run stuffer is inaccurate!!

      • Jim

        He may have been in college. But he is undersized and when he’s going against NFL guards every week it’ll take him time to break through and get up to the pro speed. Not saying he will be a bust, just saying he won’t be the starter talent week one.

  • NaturalM

    ….and hopefully Mr SEC co-D Player of the Year makes an impact