LA Rams finally have the safeties envisioned by their coaching staff, but for how long?
The LA Rams position coaches have a bit of farming and parenting in them. You see, farming, parenting, and coaching football are three vocations that require an incredible amount of patience. And patience is needed to see the results of careful planning and long-enduring effort. So it is with the LA Rams coaching staff, particularly safeties coach Ejiro Evero, who is finally coaching the safeties group that he has envisioned all along.
In 2020, the safeties in the room are all players Evero helped to bring to the Rams. They are “his” players, the group he worked diligently with the personnel department to vet, with scouts to define and with upper management to approve.
Built to specs
While there is no shame or hesitation to coach any player at a position in the NFL, inherited players can create challenges. How so? Simply stated, because the inherited players are not as “custom-fitting” to the role a coach is trying to fill. So either the coach “makes do” by altering the scheme, or the player is forced to “make do” by playing a position in a way that simply does not align with his strengths and talents.
Well, there are no compromises required for the Rams now. The Rams starting corps of John Johnson III and Taylor Rapp are very similar players. They are both strong in pass defense, both solid run stoppers, and both excel at tackling. In essence, it’s practically a mirrored image in terms of defensive skillsets.
Of course, this group is only going to be together for one season. Right now, cornerbacks Troy Hill, Jalen Ramsey, Darious Williams, Donte Deayon, and safety John Johnson are playing on contracts due to expire in 2021. Will this be the Rams swansong? Or will the team’s defensive backfield play a rotation that ensures quality defense for years to come?
However 2021 turns out, the Rams are in a wonderful position to reset the bar for secondary play to new heights. In theory, each of the four starters in 2020 can compete for a Pro Bowl nomination, plus the play of Darious Williams (should he claim the slot CB role) could make it a clean sweep. Will the Rams figure out a way to flourish in 2020, but come back just as strong in 2021? Stay tuned…