Reason 4 – Rams defensive back play improves in 2020
The LA Rams pass defense improves simply by bringing back cornerback Jalen Ramsey for an entire season. Nobody needs a history lesson of the way the Rams two starting cornerbacks began the 2019 season with huge fanfare, only to be shredded by then Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting quarterback Jameis Winston by allowing 385 yards and four touchdowns.
And then things got worse. Cornerback Aqib Talib suffered a season-ending injury. And the other starter, Marcus Peters, was simply not a fit for the Rams style of defense. In a shocking move that almost nobody is talking about, the LA Rams refurbished the defensive backfield in mid-season. Gone was safety John Johnson (injury), CB Talib (injury then traded), and CB Peters (traded). In fact, the only starter to play all season was now-retired Eric Weddle. He won’t be back in 2020.
Darkest before the dawn
So how can the defensive backfield be improving? Well, it already began in 2019, and the trend should accelerate in 2020. Through 2019’s challenges, the Rams discovered that rookie safety Taylor Rapp, and cornerbacks Troy Long and Darious Williams are all very very good. Adding to that mix is a healthy John Johnson and a full season from All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey, and you’re looking at one of the best defensive backfields of the NFL this season. But the Rams did not stop there.
The team added safety Jordan Fuller and versatile defensive back Terrell Burgess to an already immensely talented backfield. And the team is bringing back David Long Jr., Adonis Alexander, Donte Deayon, and a host of other players, many of whom would be competing for starting roles on other teams. And to top it all off newly arrived defensive coordinator Brandon Staley will be disguising all those coverages. That will give opposing quarterbacks reason to pause.