II – Reset the secondary
We were all sold on the bill of goods from the LA Rams plans for the defense in 2021, but we haven’t received the shipment. In the transition from what was to what will be, the statement that was used to project what the Rams defense would do is to take the best of 2020 and put a new spin to the 2021 version to solve the dink-and-dunk vulnerability of last year’s defense. So now the Rams defend blocking tight end Mercedes Lewis with All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey.
No wonder everyone wants the Rams to boot Raheem Morris to the curb.
The LA Rams need to spin a secondary with Jalen Ramsey, Robert Rochell, Darious Williams, Terrell Burgess, Jordan Fuller. From what I’ve witnessed so far this season, they are the best coverage defensive backs on the team. Of course, the team can rotate in Donte Deayon, Taylor Rapp, and David Long Jr. to keep the starters fresh. But the Rams are getting killed at passes that are simply finding their mark.
Rams run defense is pretty good
Now, what about the rush defense? Believe it or not, the Rams are very good at defending the run. In fact, the Rams are the ninth-ranked rushing defense in the NFL right now in terms of yards allowed. Where the team struggles are stopping other teams from scoring on the ground.
Curiously, the Rams are the opposite in terms of pass defense. The Rams are the 21st ranked passing defense in terms of yards allowed but are the second-ranked defense in terms of touchdowns allowed. Teams have learned how to increase their timing, beat the Rams coverage in terms of formations, and defeat the pass rush by getting rid of the ball quickly. The Rams’ secondary needs to make quarterbacks hesitate.
Get the defensive play calls away from Jordan Fuller. It’s obvious that he is struggling with the double-duty on defense. Who picks it up? Well, that would mean either Ernest Jones or perhaps Darious Williams. Redirect Jalen Ramsey to cover the most dominant receiver of the other team, and mix that man coverage with partial zone coverage. Without Taylor Rapp on the football field, those transitional handoffs have occurred far more successfully.
Finally, mix it up. As soon as the Rams do the same thing twice, their opponents can easily recognize it and scheme for days to defeat it. This secondary is loaded with talent, as is the pass rush. But the quarterback can read the defenses instantly by where Jalen Ramsey is lined up. Removing that key read places the advantage back on the defense.
Okay, now, back to the offense.