Could LA Rams DB Terrell Burgess be heading for better days ahead?

Nfl Los Angeles Rams At Arizona Cardinals
Nfl Los Angeles Rams At Arizona Cardinals /

The progress of LA Rams defensive back Terrell Burgess has been as exciting and dramatic as any of the Top-5 roller coasters in the world. It all started out as a steady but clackity climb out of the gate as he worked to learn the new secondary scheme from defensive coordinator Brandon Staley. But then, he plummeted like a rock after a major ankle injury, to the point where his ability to get onto the football field was more uncertain than his rookie season.

He seemed to be on track for great things in his rookie season. He was a good blend of cornerback coverage and safety mentality, a versatile defensive back who was gifted enough to pose a competent fill in any coverage role for Staley’s camouflaged coverages. That was a very complicated and demanding defensive scheme to learn, but Burgess seemed to flourish in it before he fell to injury. And that LA Rams defense was the best in the NFL.

But fell he did. First to a serious ankle injury that required surgery. Then, in the depth chart. Hard-hitting was in, pass coverage was out. And so, the competition between Terrell Burgess and Taylor Rapp was won by Rapp, and then Burgess sank further behind David Long Jr., Robert Rochell, and a host of other teammates.  For the season, Terrell Burgess ended up with just 90 defensive snaps.


But things may be changing.

Now that I have your attention

The first step for any young player hoping to get more playing time is to get the undivided attention of the coaches. Well, Terrell Burgess has done that one better. He’s gotten into early OTA trash-talking matches with the defensive coordinator, Raheem Morris.

So now that he has Morris’ attention, what will he do with it?

Well, for starters, he can build off his very impressive post-season play. While all eyes focused on his teammates Eric Weddle and Nick Scott, Terrell Burgess quietly assemble a solid playoff run as well. He played four games, started two, and ended up with seven tackles. Pro Football Focus thought he played very well, raising his regular-season grade from 54.8 up to an impressive postseason grade of 76.4.

Raheem Morris is a seasoned veteran at coaching. His current OTA work with Terrell Burgess is more than just two guys getting after one another at OTA. There is a message behind the smiles and laughter. It’s ‘get tougher,’ and that subliminal message looks like it’s hitting home.

Will any of this matter when the pads go on? I think so. We know that Burgess has flashed twice so far in his NFL career. And we know that whenever the LA Rams depth looks barren, Burgess has been the guy who steps up in the secondary. I believe that it all comes together for the young man this year when the pads go on.  I’ll be watching. And now, so will defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.

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