LA Rams: Creating a new role for DB Jake Gervase at ILB

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Are the LA Rams getting desperate, or just very creative? To be honest, is there a distinguishable difference? After all, the truth could be that the LA Rams are just so desperate to retain the special team tackling specialist of Jake Gervase that the front office is willing to do just about anything to keep him, including negotiating with the coaching staff to find the most probable way of keeping the young man on the roster.

On the other hand, it could be a simple gamble by the much-maligned Gervase to switch lanes out of a deep and talented safety room, and into a soon-to-thin-out inside linebacker room. A strategic and calculated risk of earning a spot on the practice squad in 2021, and then springboard from there to a starting or rotational role on the team in 2022.

Of course, it could simply be an extension of infusing athleticism across the roster.

Why move from safety to inside linebacker?

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams /

Los Angeles Rams

Well, to be honest, that is one of the premium defensive roles nowadays.  And we’ve talked about how the new defensive coordinator Raheem Morris loves that Super-Saiyan role in his defense. Part-backer-part-safety, this role is the modern NFL defense’s solution to quicker-paced offenses that disguise their multiple receiver formations. The problem is that college defenses are not producing enough of that type of player to meet the NFL demand. So some teams are cross-training their own hybrid ILB/S players.

At 6-foot-1 and 212-pounds, Gervase is a big defensive back, a small inside linebacker, or an ideal Super Saiyan type player. He has been working with the LA Rams, albeit in a special teams capacity in the offseason, and practice squad player when the season starts. This year, it appears even tighter than ever, with Gervase competing with eight other players for what could be as few as four safety spots on the 53-man roster.

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Whatever the underlying cause, it’s certainly an intriguing placement. In fact, it’s one more box to check when viewing preseason games.