3 good, 3 bad, and 3 ugly takeaways in LA Rams Week 4 humbling loss

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News David Long Jr.
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Ugly I: David Long Jr. was beaten badly all afternoon

On paper, defensive back David Long Jr. was the obvious choice to fill the spot on the defense vacated by veteran Troy Hill. Long had been an understudy in the Rams secondary since he was drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft. At the time, he was expected to be the heir apparent to the LA Rams’ third defensive back role. But after this one, I’m not so sure.

Long may have made some plays in this one. But after giving up one ugly touchdown to wide receiver A.J. Green to open the Cardinals scoring, I wasn’t seeing it. Long was simply way out of position, allowing Green to get the inside position and present a huge target to quarterback Kyler Murray, a target that Murray hit easily and in stride.

Long was so badly beaten that he wrapped his arms around Green before the ball got there, drawing a penalty which the Cards declined. After all, why take a touchdown off the scoreboard? That inability to cover the long touchdown pass was a bit concerning, as that was one of the objectives of the Rams defensive scheme this year, keep plays in front of them.

Was this just one bad game? Or was this the shape of things to come? From my perspective, I’d start training rookie Robert Rochell to assume a larger role in the defense quickly. Rochell is taller, faster, and more physical. He just lacks experience, and that won’t happen without defensive snaps.