4 players who must shine for the LA Rams in Week 13

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Ernest Jones
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Have a heart

The criteria for any rookie inside linebacker certainly had to include a snarling, tough, won’t-back-down son-of-a-gun prospect. After all, the entire defensive scheme set by defensive coordinator Raheem Morris is far more dependant upon physical play in the heart of the defense than anyone inherited from the 2020 defense. So when the LA Rams selected inside linebacker Ernest Jones from the University of South Carolina with the 103rd pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, the team named Jones as the future of the heart of this defense.

That future is now.

Right or wrong, Jones has got to grow quickly into what may very well be the most important role of this defense. If he shines, the Rams will get a huge boost in their run defense and sacrifice nothing in pass defense. If he struggles, well you can bet the Rams will be dinked and dunked over and over until they find a way to stop it.

Jones has gotten three starts in his rookie season. He needs to start the rest of the way. He brings a passion, a no-quit that has been missing in the Rams. And he does more than just thump running backs in the hole. He has recorded 32 tackles, 0.5 quarterback sacks, two quarterback sacks, one tackle for a loss, and one interception where he ran it back 19 yards.

The LA Rams chose Ernest Jones for this moment, for this scenario. It’s a moment of truth for the young man. Fans have doubts. The team’s losses are piling up. If that does not make him angry, it certainly should. And it should be enough to fuel a breakout game that defines his NFL career.

I love Ernest Jones’ passion. Right now the team, and this defense, need a breakout game from the young man who sits in the heart of the action. Ernest Jones may not be on track for a Pro Bowl season, but he is the right man at the right position at the right time to turn the ship around.