LA Rams safety John Johnson III defense field general

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

LA Rams starting safety John Johnson III making defensive calls

The LA Rams defense will be a bit unorthodox at times this year. With the arrival of defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, the mystique about the defense has only grown over time, While the Rams seem to be running a 3-4 defense, and times it will be a 3-3 and other times it can be a 4-2. How will defenders keep it all straight?

Well, this year the defensive dispatch will fall upon safety John Johnson III. At least, that’s how the defense was described when ILB Micah Kiser spoke with J.B.Long in a recent Rams Revealed podcast. In that interview, near the 5:00 minute mark, JB Long mentions the fact that defensive play-calling will be made by John Johnson. What does that all mean for this year’s defense? Can it be as effective?

LB shuffle

Well, some things will remain traditionally intact. the line of scrimmage will continue to be set by the interior linebacker. That will fall upon Kiser.  And where he was projected to start next to Travin Howard, recent reports indicate that Howard injured his knee in practice Thursday.  While we have no further details, we can confirm that the Rams started ILB Kenny Young in his place for the second scrimmage. To fill Young’s spot, the team moved drafted ILB Clay Johnston to the second-string.

All in all, the consensus appears to be that the LA Rams defense has a good grasp of the new scheme.  Of course, having a wrecking ball on the defensive line in All-Pro Aaron Donald, and an All-Pro in the secondary in Jalen Ramsey does tend to help the defense along.

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The defense is in good hands with Johnson making defensive-coverage calls.  So far, both he and Ramsey have had great chemistry in the secondary. The one disappointment is the fact that second-year safety Taylor Rapp has not had time to synchronize with the other defensive backs. If you recall, it was Rapp’s mental error that allowed the 49ers to find Emmanual Sanders on a third and long last season. The point being? Rapp could use the work.

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The Rams will make roster cuts this week as the team now turns their attention to face the Dallas Cowboys in week one. In the meantime, keep your eye on our Roster tracker for the latest updates about roster cuts, status updates, and practice squad signings this week.