Upside I – Veteran Floyd knows Staley’s system
Veteran outside linebacker Leonard Floyd knows how to shine in Brandon Staley’s defense. Most of the projections for Floyd this year ignore the fact that he is so experienced with Staley and Staley with him. Compounded that underestimation, Staley is a bit of an expert at elite outside linebacker play, having coached both OLB Khalil Mack and Von Miller. So why did he settle for Leonard Floyd?
“Settling” is the first mistake. The Rams signed Floyd with a specific skill set in mind, and the team got the guy they wanted. So what are those skills? Ideally, he is the veteran outside linebacker who will be the cover guy as well as the edge setter and the pass rusher. While some had pointed out his declining sack numbers, keep in mind that the Bears picked up Mack to rush the passer. That forced Floyd to be the “other guy” on the defense.
Rams’ role for Floyd
The Rams have neither Von Miller nor Khalil Mack. That means that the primary “rusher” role is up for grabs, and will certainly feature Floyd this year. That will not only serve the team’s needs this year. But the following year, as Lewis assumes Floyd’s vacated spot, he will be the featured pass rusher for next year.
Floyd is a very cerebral player. He is a solid tactician on the field but is fundamentally solid as well. Until now, he’s been a team-first player. While he is still a team player, the move to the Rams has been his wake up call. He needs to focus on his production as well, and that will be something to look for from him this year. I’m convinced the Rams will be pleased with what develops from Floyd, and the entire linebacking group, this season.