I have not read a great deal of support for my positive impression of this LA Rams defense in the comments section so far of the articles we’ve published. It seems that optimism comes in short supply for some, particularly in the face of this team’s reconfiguring the defensive formula. But Fox Sports Eric D. Williams seems to share my appreciation for the way the LA Rams front office has set up this defense.
There is no argument that the LA Rams defense will need to find new strategies in 2022. That happened at the moment that that team was no longer in the running to re-sign veteran outside linebacker Von Miller. There are many roads to success in the NFL, and the Rams are taking a different route in the 2022 season. Why are so many not content with this new defensive configuration?
The drawback to the LA Rams’ current roster on the defensive side of the ball is the lack of obvious pressure. I don’t think I’m too pessimistic to believe that the primary pass rush of OLBs Leonard Floyd and Justin Hollins is a bit less intimidating than that of OLBs Leonard Floyd and Von Miller. But what about the rest of the defense?
A new way of doing things
With the LA Rams facing a season with two dependable inside linebackers, are there other options for the Rams to generate a pass rush? You bet. After years of facing the perils of an A-Gap pass rush, the LA Rams suddenly have an option to send an inside linebacker to apply the pressure, and still have an ideal linebacker across the middle to deny any receivers.
When the LA Rams were forced into starting former backup ILB Troy Hill in 2020 against the Washington Football team, the defense directed him into a pass-rush role that resulted in three quarterback sacks on the day. That was just a touch of the options and outcome potential of the Rams’ defense in 2022.
That is not to say that the LA Rams are imperiled if they cannot bring down the quarterback. The addition of DB Troy Hill reinforces the secondary significantly. And with Hill and All-Pro Jalen Ramsey doing the heavy lifting, the Rams can allow younger defensive backs to assume a greater role in the defense when they demonstrate the ability to fit those greater roles.
The addition of veteran ILB Bobby Wagner and DB Troy Hill may not be fully appreciated just yet. But, then again, few loved the addition of DC Raheem Morris, and then he went out and helped this team win Super Bowl LVI.
A new way of doing things? Sure. But think of it this way. If the LA Rams’ new defensive roster is making it difficult for the fans to wrap their heads around just how potent this defense can be, just imagine how great the challenge will be to the offensive coordinators this year?
Fox Sports Eric D. Williams is on the right track folks. Stay tuned…