Reason II: He was deemed ‘raw’, but just spent a year with the LA Rams coaching staff
We asked the question about the timing of Robert Rochell and his ascension to a starting defensive back role rather quickly. Training camp reports surfacing about the young man were very promising, and the team truly felt in need of secondary help practically all season. In truth, he was a starter for the Rams in five games, and likely may have earned a significantly higher number if not for his injury.
The LA Rams reports, of course, were based on the summer profiles and those track stars’ workouts in shorts, cleats, and tee shirts. When the pads went on, and he was playing in full football gear, the progress slowed just a bit. But not too much, mind you. He was still learning quickly, and competing against some of the best-talented players at the receiver position in the NFL.
Raw? Rochell was sizzlin’ in 2021
He saw action in 11 games but was injured or inactive for nine more. That was enough action to trigger all of the elements that rookies need when arriving at the NFL. Emotional and mental aspects like confidence, play recognition, adaptation, communication, and even a bit of snarling grittiness and determination.
He was the product of lining up opposite one of the best defensive backs in the NFL in All-Pro Jalen Ramsey. He was the guy who was the pet project of Secondary Coach Ejiro Evero, now defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. For all of those who saw inevitable and unavoidable risks in entrusting Robert Rochell to a role in an NFL secondary, Rochell has already proved the naysayers wrong. And he has had an entire year, and the full support of the LA Rams organization, to be even better in 2022.