Players returning from 2019
The LA Rams returned 13 players from 2019’s offensive line, and only lost RB Todd Gurley and WR Brandin Cooks from last year’s starters. On defense, the Rams are virtually intact on the defensive line and secondary, with only the linebacking corps experiencing wholesale changes from a year ago. On whole, the Rams returned 46 players from the 2019 53-man roster. How is that possible?
Keep in mind that the team had 20 injured players, many of whom were on the injured reserve list at season’s end.
Perhaps a more accurate way of assessing the Rams roster returning is the fact that the Rams returned over 87 percent of their offensive snaps from 2019, while only returning 58 percent of their defensive snaps from last year. Before focusing too hard on that defensive number, keep in mind that the team lost starter linebacker Micah Kiser in the last preseason game, that the Rams traded away both starting cornerbacks mid-season and the team cut starting OLB Clay Matthews while opting out of renewing Nickell Robey Coleman’s contract.
Rams return offense, revamp the defense
The Rams offense finally fell into its stride in December 2019, when the team began to use heavy doses of two tight ends. That allowed the Rams runs to attack the defensive perimeter, and afforded Goff enough time to make more accurate throws. Those adjustments are now baked into the 2020 playbook. Look for some new innovations as offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell’s previous offensive line woes will give him a better perspective of how to tweak the Rams offense.
The defense may not have as many snaps returning, but the roles of rotational players like Samson Ebukam, Troy Long Jr., Troy Reeder, and others will have a stabilizing effect on the defense as their roles simply expand this year. The Rams will flex a new 3-4 defense this year. Anchored by All-Pro DL Aaron Donald and DB Jalen Ramsey, the outlook for the defense is quite promising indeed.