3 things we now understand about Brandon Staley’s LA Rams defense
The LA Rams defense entered the 2020 NFL season as a mystery. The LA Rams defense was too good to be true. The LA Rams defense was too-old to some, too-young to others. It was the hope for an LA Rams return to the NFL Playoffs, or the anchor that would drag the LA Rams to the bottom of the NFL ranking.
In the end, we’ve looked at this defense from both sides now, from up and down, and still, somehow, It’s just illusions we recall. We really don’t know this D, at all. I apologize for the Joni Mitchell moment. Her song “Both Sides Now” was published in 1967 by Gandalf Publishing. It’s a beautiful song about how we perceive experiences and how we never really get a wholesome view. In the end, all we have is our five senses and the experience to record the qualities of something we want to define.
Define Staley’s defense
The problem with the limits of defining something is the definition itself depends on previous experience. So when confronted by something new and unusual, we must define it with known values. So let’s start with the defensive snap counts, as those are common statistics in each defense. So who got the lion’s share of the defensive snap counts?
Surprisingly there were just three players who were on the field for every defensive snap: Inside linebacker Micah Kinser, cornerback Jalen Ramsey and safety John Johnson III.
Rookie safety Jordan Fuller missed one snap. Cornerback Troy Hill missed two snaps. Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd saw significant time on the field, as did slot cornerback Darious Williams. Rotations at the defensive line and linebacker positions were rather vigorous. Physical defenders remained fresh and strong. So we know how Staley will staff the defense. Let’s dig deeper.