Morris Defense 2.0
For the first time since their 2018-2019 transition, the LA Rams defense will be playing for the same defensive coordinator for two consecutive years. While that may not mean very much to fans or NFL Analysts, it’s huge for the team that had played for three different defensive coordinators in the past three seasons.
For starters, Morris arrives already knowing the strengths and weaknesses of his 2021 NFL defense firsthand, and that gives him a solid pulpit to petition for adding new players and talents to the roster. One such huge addition was the potential of inserting veteran Bobby Wagner into the heart of this defense for the 2022 NFL season and beyond.
Bobby Wagner upgrade: Morris D 2.0
Now, Bobby Wagner will power up the heart of this defense, and he is already making some stoic NFL analysts eager to see all that he will do in the company of Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and even Ernest Jones. Check out this take from one of the most respected NFL analysts in the business, Brian Baldinger:
Bobby Wagner is the ideal veteran addition to round out the Raheem Morris defense. Not only will Wagner add his thumbprint to the defense by stopping the run, but he gives the Rams far better use of defensive backs in coverage now as well.
If Wagner stays true to form, he will handle the business underneath and across the middle. That will allow defensive backs to play stronger pass defense than their 2021 defensive responsibilities allowed for. As we had indicated in another recent feature article, Wagner’s arrival should allow the Rams to designate him, and not Jordan Fuller, with defensive play-calling duties. That should allow Fuller to focus on playing his position once more.
DB Eric Weddle came out of retirement and appeared to play like a Pro Bowler on this defense. Now, how much better do you expect an All-Pro veteran like Bobby Wagner to play this year? There are many reasons to love what he brings to this defense. We are only beginning to scratch the surface.
Is there such a thing as ‘too much of a good thing?’ Perhaps in some circumstances, yes. But I don’t believe that to be true in this case. The LA Rams have not had a dominant inside linebacker like Bobby Wagner at any point in time during HC Sean McVay’s reign, and in many versions of their defense, did not need to have one. But this Raheem Morris defense relies heavily upon strong inside linebacker players to stuff the run, cover short crossing and underneath routes, and force offenses into a three-and-out series.
Too much of a good thing? We’ll let you know…