Arguably the best addition by any team this offseason was when Rams head coach Jeff Fisher made up with his former defensive coordinator in Tennessee, Gregg Williams, and then in turn signed him to the coaching staff.
Last season the St. Louis Rams’ defensive coordinator, Tim Walton, got in way over his head, and because of that, the defense never really got to its full potential. According to Cortland Finnegan, in an interview with the Miami Herold (Special thanks to Cover 32 Rams).
“Walton’s defensive system was “atrocious. From the game plan to technique to fundamentals, they weren’t in line with a defensive coordinator who knew what he was doing. He was a great defensive backs coach, but when you’re in over your head, it’s kind of tough…”
With Williams calling the shots now, it is expected that the Rams defense becomes one of the more aggressive defenses in the NFL, and take that leap that they were supposed to, last season. Here are three players that will benefit the most from Gregg Williams.
When Alec Ogletree fell to number 30 in the 2013 NFL Draft, Jeff Fisher and Les Snead were jumping up and down. Ogletree is a fast, athletic linebacker that fits exactly what the Rams want to do on defense.
Ogletree struggled at times in coverage during his rookie season, but so did the rest of the Rams defense. Going into his second year, there is no question with Williams now calling the shots, Ogletree will thrive in this aggressive scheme.
In an interview with the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Ogletree said,
“It’s like night and day,” he said. “When I first started last year, I was kind of nervous, trying to learn the position and to learn what I needed to do on the play. This year, I feel a lot more comfortable. I just feel like I’m able to go out there and just play and have fun.”
This is a player that lead the entire defense in tackles, a title that had previously been held by James Laurinaitis. Ogletree did have his downsides, but with stability at coordinator, and an even more aggressive front four in front of him, Ogletree could benefit greatly from having Gregg Williams at defensive coordinator.
Coming off of his exciting rookie season, Rams cornerback Janoris Jenkins had high hopes going into his second year. Unfortunately, high hopes don’t create high results as Jenkins at times looked like he barely belonged on the field.
Jenkins thrived playing bump and run coverage his rookie season, but under Walton, he was forced to give up 10 yard cushions, which caused Jenkins to struggle.
In his rookie season, Jenkins was consistently making plays that changed the game. Jenkins was in contention for defensive rookie of the year, but looked nothing like that in 2013.
Jenkins will be able to get back to playing the aggressive style that he enjoys playing under Gregg Williams. Although it was Trumaine Johnson who looked more like the number one cornerback last season, it will be Jenkins who excels at that role in 2014 under Williams.
3. Robert Quinn
Rams defensive end Robert Quinn had his best year under Tim Walton, a career year. Although it wouldn’t be fair to expect Quinn to put up 20 sacks and be near the top in forced fumbles once again in 2014, there is no doubt Quinn will benefit from Williams.
This season teams are going to have their eyes on Quinn and game plan for him. Williams will certainly keep that in mind and will be able to put Quinn in the best situation to succeed, even if it means moving him around on the line.
Having a special player like Quinn on your defensive front is a luxury, and Williams realizes that. Although Quinn may not put up as high of numbers as he did last season, there is no doubt Quinn will play a huge role once again in 2014.
Really, everybody is going to benefit from having Williams, an experience coordinator, calling the shots, but at the end of the day, these three players will be the three that benefit the most.
Tags: St. Louis Rams