LA Rams News: Staley’s Defense betting on versatility for success

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams News Brandon Staley
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

LA Rams News: DC Brandon Staley is betting on versatility, or the ability to effectively fill multiple roles on defense. How can that be valuable?

The LA Rams shopping list for defense has changed in 2020. Now with the team’s defense led by defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, the team’s interest in players has shifted. The team has moved away from “excellent at what he does” type of players to “very good at multiple roles” type of players. Will that prove to be a major mistake, or are the Rams turning the corner on revitalizing their defense for the 2020 season?

The crux of the entire matter is the shift from a WYSIWYG defense to a Prestidigitation defense. In the WYSIWYG or “what you see is what you get” version, the LA Rams lined up on defense and tried to outplay offenses on sheer toughness and athleticism. Throw in an occasional blitz wrinkle, and the flip from a base 3-4 to the nickel package 3-3-5 formation, and that pretty much sums it up.

To a savvy quarterback, the Rams were an easy mark. A quarterback could set a receiver in motion, and easily determine whether the Rams were in zone or man to man pass coverage.  Setting a running back into motion dictated how the Rams planned to defend the run, cover the running back on passing routes, and which defenders would likely be rushing the passer.

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While the 2019 LA Rams defense had some very talented players, the team surrendered far too many points than the defense’s talent suggested.  Opposing offenses scored more easily against the predictable defense.