Perhaps the biggest surprise is the way the Rams will make use of All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Offenses plan each week to launch two blockers at him virtually every week in their game plan. Oftentimes, three offensive linemen will surround him forming a holding pen to neutralize him. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.
But the offensive linemen almost always know where to find him. If he is not at the defensive end down position, he is rotating in as the nose tackle. However the LA Rams line him up, he is always facing an offensive lineman, with another offensive lineman on either side. But let’s imagine a configuration where the offensive line needs to look for him?
Donald does standup
The LA Rams have some serious star power on the defense right now, and it’s going to get better over the course of the season. Hopefully, NT A’Shawn Robinson will return to the Rams this season. And the wealth of young rookie talent may take a while to heat up this season. In the meantime, why not confuse offenses by giving All-Pro Aaron Donald some different looks.
Standing him up and rushing from the outside creates such a mismatch in favor of the LA Rams, it’s almost a ridiculous scenario. Imagine Donald only facing one offensive lineman between him and the quarterback? While this should be used sparsely, the impact is huge. Giving the quarterback pause to determine where Terrell Lewis and Aaron Donald are lined up distracts him from accurately noticing the coverage. A few surprises could be in store for 2020.