LA Rams: 3 defensive veterans poised for SNF break out game
If it were up to me, third-year defensive back Taylor Rapp may not be starting at safety for the LA Rams in the season opener. He makes me… nervous. It’s not that he cannot play the part, he can. It’s not that he does not make good plays, he does. It’s just that he is not consistent. He’s like that baseball player who swings for the fences on each pitch. Sure, he’ll hit 50 homers in a season. But in the process, he strikes out a third of his at-bats.
Taylor Rapp feels like that swinging-for-the-fences sort of player. He can show up 50 minutes of the game and play very well, but in the closing minutes when the Rams defense need a stop, he had given up a big play to move the chains and eventually allow the game-winning score to hand the Rams a defeat where a victory once stood. It wasn’t a particularly great play from the offense, but rather a miscommunication kind of play that put Rapp out of position to defend the pass.
Well, Rapp has a chance to turn all of that around today. The fact that he is starting over Terrell Burgess illustrates that the Rams coaching staff thinks that he can do exactly that. After all, in his rookie season of 2019, he was forced into a starting role when John Johnson III fell to a season-ending injury, and he played very well until that one gaffe. In 2020, a pulled hamstring opened the door to rookie Jordan Fuller to claim the other starting role, which he did handily.
Now, Rapp has an opportunity to showcase his own skillset against the Bears. He could have a big game because the Bears will want to balance their offensive attack with the run and pass. Rapp gives the Rams another strong run defender on the field, but in doing so, the defense does not compromise a great deal of pass defense as long as Rapp remains aware of his role. Rapp could have a huge game if he can stop the run and create a turnover in this one.