Can a healthy Terrell Lewis boost the LA Rams pass rush?

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Can the return of rookie OLB Terrell Lewis be enough to boost the LA Rams pass rush?

The LA Rams are a veteran offense and a young defense. What that means on the football field is that the offensive will come out and put up a consistent performance. This is an offense that will run for over 150 yards, pass for over 250 yards, and average nearly 30 points per game. That’s an incredible performance for a team that counted on a healthy offensive line to outperform an injured offensive line, focused on committing to their best receivers, and spreading the workload among three running backs.

The Rams defense is on a different development track. It’s a complex defense of deception and disguise.  Part of that requires a limit to what the team can do to rush the passer.  The secondary is very active already with showing one coverage and delivering another. For the Rams pass rush, that will most likely need to come from the three down linemen, and the two outside linebackers. So far, the only consistent pressure from the outside has come from veteran Leonard Floyd.

Cutting edge defense

The Rams should be happy with their signing of Leonard Floyd. So far, the veteran outside linebacker has eight tackles, four quarterback pressures, and two sacks in three games. Unfortunately, he is the lone edge player who has found his way to the quarterback.  But that could be over soon.

Rookie Terrell Lewis remains on the reserve list, as the team has not yet made a decision about his status just yet. But the Rams are eager to get him back.

And he is eager to get back onto the football field. So what sort of impact could the Rams expect if and when he becomes available? Well, that does depend on how soon he gets into the rotation. And it depends on whether the Rams will do some shopping at the NFL Free Agency market.

Lewis keeps everyone fresher

The LA Rams have settled into a tight rotation at the outside linebacker position so far. Veteran Leonard Floyd has gotten 90 percent of the defensive snaps. Samson Ebukam has gotten 58 percent of the defensive snaps. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is getting 25 percent of the snaps. Newly signed Justin Hollins is getting 13 percent of the snaps, and Jachai Polite is getting 1 percent of the snaps.

While some believe that Lewis shows up and the sacks just start to happen, that’s not as likely as he simply eases into the rotation. But that could be enough to trigger better production. After all, the idea behind rotating players is to keep defenders fresh on the field. As the Rams’ young edge players discover they are sprinting for ten plays, rather than trying to run 20 plays, they can ramp up their energy levels. And as they use up more energy levels, so too will offensive players.

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So while Lewis himself may not get to the quarterback multiple times in his first start. Getting him healthy is exactly what this defense needs. And with the Rams facing their final two NFC East opponents, this is a good time for it.