III: Terrell time?
The LA Rams have been a bit hopeful over the potential of second-year outside linebacker Terrell Lewis. He’s played 17 defensive snaps in game one, and 14 defensive snaps in game two. While that seems to be working in terms of keeping him available for games, he’s not generating any quarterback pressure yet.
And that’s not a good thing.
But he is making tackles. Three tackles to be exact, on just 31 defensive snaps. In 124 defensive snaps in 2020, he only had five tackles. But with such irregularity of playing time, is he improving? Or is he just mopping up the floor at the end of the game, when it’s all over but the shouting?
The only evidence we have right now is the fact that the LA Rams have a rather limited number of players at a critical position for this defense, and one of those slots is occupied by Lewis. That suggests that he is impressing someone in practice. As long as that is happening, we have to trust that the coaches know what they are doing.
Of course, Terrell Lewis could silence the concerns and critics alike in Week 3 by putting up a solid defensive performance. Few acts could endear Lewis to an impatient Rams fanbase better than a 2+ quarterback sack performance against Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady. And few actions would disrupt Brady’s dangerous passing game than running for his life from a young edge rusher who has struggled to stay on the football field so far.
Lewis need not set his goal for two or more quarterback sacks in this one to consider it a success. Just harassing Brady with pressure, or even hurries, and getting a tackle or two could be a huge boost to his standing on the Rams defense, and to the chances of the Rams winning this one.