Transforming LA Rams defense to 4-3 could solve these 3 nagging problems
By Bret Stuter
Aaron Donald needs help
2020 was intended to be the year where the Rams found a way to take some of the burden off their star defensive lineman Aaron Donald. While Donald certainly had a great season in 2020, how much of it was his doing, and how much of it was the defensive scheme of Staley?
While it was clear that Donald was in the best shape of his football career this season, the defense around Donald seemed to peak at about the midpoint. The Rams saw action out of rookie outside linebacker Terrell Lewis in just three games. Combine that with the Rams getting just eight games out of free-agent defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson, and you can see why the defense left some money on the table.
And the wear and tear are beginning to frustrate the Rams All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald. His tearful moment after the Rams lost to the Packers was not about not winning one game. It was the realization that, despite his tireless efforts all season, it ended in one game. And there was nothing his injured body could do to prevent it. He played injured because many believed that a partially effective Donald was the best chance that the Rams had to win.
With a 4-3 defense, the Rams will have four big bodies on the line of scrimmage. So the downside of Donald on the sidelines is minimized. After all, the Rams could get a solid pass rush from a defensive front of Michael Brockers, Sebastian Joseph-Day, A’Shawn Robinson, and Terrell Lewis. And for what it’s worth, the Rams have plenty of defensive linemen ‘waiting in the wings’ so to speak. So converting to a 4-3 would allow the Rams more opportunity to distract blockers from Aaron Donald, and give him a better chance of rushing the quarterback.