From overpaid to oh wow, what a player
I’m making a note to myself for future reference, if a veteran commits to a complete change of lifestyle and diet like defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson did when the LA Rams signed him to the team, start getting optimistic. After all, the fact is that Robinson did very little with his debut season for the LA Rams.
But as Raheem Morris discusses in the video below, Robinson may have been the Rams’ best defensive player in Super Bowl LVI. He certainly put up one helluva season in 2021, that’s for sure. After committing to getting leaner while still remaining just as powerful (he reportedly dropped over 20 pounds), he set a career-high with 67 tackles and tied his career-high with 2.0 quarterback sacks. That was only while playing 44 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.
That’s quite a turnaround. But in 111 post-season snaps, he put up 12 tackles and one quarterback sack. If you watched those games, you’ll notice that Robinson terrorized running backs. Like Gaines, Robinson is also entering his contract year. You can bet that he is gnawing at the bit to put up some great numbers in 2022.
Look for him to do it.
The edgier side of the defense
While so many look past veteran outside linebacker Leonard Floyd to focus on the other position, why not focus on him for just a moment. Why? Well, all Floyd has done for the Rams in his two seasons is average 10.0 quarterback sacks, 9.0 tackles for a loss, 18.5 quarterback hits, and 62.5 tackles per year, that’s all. Oh, and he added an interception in 2021.
Floyd was on track to put up 14.5 quarterback sacks last year before the arrival of All-Pro OLB Von Miller redirected him into a primary pass coverage role. So unless the LA Rams are planning to trade for Khalil Mack at the NFL Trade Deadline this year, I’d look for Floyd to open up the pass rush with both barrels this year.
Floyd is the ideal contributor. He does his job, rests up, and then goes back out there and does it again. And when we say does it again, we mean that he does everything that is expected of the position, and more.