The LA Rams certainly did benefit from the physical play of defensive back Jordan Fuller in 2020. Unfortunately, that same physical play put him on the bench for a number of key games. Surprisingly, the absence of Fuller seemed to be the tread that made the entire defense unravel. While the Rams were a 2-2 team in the four games without Fuller, the team lost to the San Francisco 49ers and to the Miami Dolphins in ways that left doubt as to the game’s outcome if Fuller were on the field.
The Rams were fortunate to have veteran John Johnson III holding down the fort and showing up each week in 2020. But with Johnson playing for the Cleveland Browns, personnel changes for injuries will have an unpredictable impact on this Rams secondary. After all, the entire secondary with the exception of All-Pro Jalen Ramsey is a pretty young bunch of guys. Second-year players who have a year’s worth of starting under their belts are the sage voice of reason on this team.
Fuller intercepted three passes, and recorded 60 tackles, in just 12 games. Turn that into 17 games, and he is in the 90 tackles five interceptions neighborhood. That’s very impressive indeed for a second-year player.
There is a difference to Jordan Fuller this year. He has taken it upon himself to add more muscle mass or as he described it, more protection. He also knows what to expect, how to train, what to look for against NFL quarterbacks, and even knowing that he is a starter out of the gates.
That can make a lot of difference. Fuller is a smart defensive back. He studies plays and tendencies, knows where to be to make a play on the ball and then executes. He is so very good for the LA Rams defense because he has a ton of trust in teammate Jalen Ramsey to do his job without question. Tha allows Fuller to cheat by focusing on fewer targets on each play. The trick is to keep him on the field.