LA Rams breaking new year = new DC cycle means great things for D

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

For the LA Rams, change is not inevitable. In fact, for anyone who played on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage, it was nearly annual. And that meant sweeping changes to a defense that was playing well, though no fault of their own. A new scheme, new emphasis, new year.  For the past three years.

To understand what we mean, imagine taking a trip to another state without a GPS or road map beside you. To replicate the journey to a new defensive destination, your only direction to where you are going is from the person sitting on your passenger seat, we’ll call “Coach”. For travel companions, you will also have persons in the back seat, we’ll call teammates. The teammates may or may not have any idea where you are going.

Now… start ‘er up and let’s drive. Sounds easy right?

The LA Rams defensive coordinator in 2019 was Wade Phillips. The team’s defensive coordinator in 2020 was Brandon Staley. The team’s defensive coordinator in 2021 was Raheem Morris. And now, in 2022, the LA Rams defensive coordinator will be Raheem Morris. Wait.. what? In the year after the LA Rams won Super Bowl LVI, suddenly the team is not forced to bring on a new defensive coordinator?

That’s a mistake. Big mistake.

Raheem Morris’s defense is on rewind

For the first time since the 2018-2019 transition, the LA Rams defensive roster does not need to learn a new system. This team will have some new faces, sure. But the returning players, and there are still quite a few left, will be coming back to the same basic defensive scheme and structure that they used in 2021. Oh, and they won the NFL Championship in the process.

So the 2022 NFL season, as challenging as it may be, and as heartbreaking as it is to lose valued players, does have some very distinct advantages from a year ago. LA Rams players and coaches know where they are going, what they are doing. And best of all, they know that it works. It places everyone on the defense in a comfort zone. And all of the communication describing the defense? It’s now all first-hand experience.

The Rams are no longer traveling to an unfamiliar location. This year, the journey on defense is more like a commute.

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