Why LA Rams base 3-4 defense means very little

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /
4 of 5
LA Rams
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

Different faces, same results

That same type of defense dictating the direction of offense happens any time the Rams throw a new wrinkle at the offense. That’s why the Ram emphasized versatility on the defense. Players like Terrell Burgess, Jordan Fuller, Adonis Alexander, even Clay Johnston give the Rams players who can line up in one role, but take on a different role as soon as that ball is snapped.

The Rams can even change up elite players into unexpected roles.  The LA Rams traded a pretty stiff package of draft picks to bring in elite cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the team. So now that they have him on the roster, he’ll play shutdown outside cornerback exclusively, right? Not if you believe the recent statements Staley has made about his star defensive back. In short, Staley believes that Ramsey could dominate in virtually any defensive back role on the team.

Must Read. “Jalen’s wild” as DC Staley deals winning hand for LA Rams D. light

Why mess with success? More success

The LA Rams will face San Francisco tight end George Kittle twice a season. In 2019, he feasted on the Rams for 13 receptions, 182 yards, and a touchdown in just two games. One of the first objectives for the Rams defense in 2020 is stopping that type of house burning performance from an opponent.

Kittle typically draws the slot cornerback. But what if the Rams were able to position Jalen Ramsey as his primary defender? That would force the 49ers to either throw into one of the NFL’s best pass defenders or direct the ball to another receiver. That not only shuts Kittle down, but it would force 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to read his progressions, giving Aaron Donald and the Rams defense more time to zero in on him. But if that’s the case, what are the goals of the defense?