LA Rams DL rank proves DL Coach Henderson still got it

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

The LA Rams are loaded at defensive line once more.

The likes of A’Shawn Robinson, Greg Gaines, and Aaron Donald are tough to miss on the football field on any given LA Rams football game day. They are the trio handling their business and opposing offensive linemen so that the rest of the defense can do their job.  And they are tough to miss as they do it because it’s usually where all of the action is happening.

Of course, that’s just the way LA Rams Defensive Line Coach Eric Henderson and Defensive Coordinator Raheem Morris like it.

But ours are not the only eyes that were pulled in the direction of the LA Rams defensive line last year. Oh no, there were plenty of NFL pundits, analysts, and sportscasters watching and taking notes. One person who saw what was happening and liked what he saw is Pro Football Focus’s Ben Linsey, who has set the projection for the NFL’s best defensive line group as that of the LA Rams.

And he got it right.

The Rams’ defensive front is oftentimes outmanned two to one, but that is just how they like it. That is due to the #DAWGWORK mantra that every player on the defensive front learns on Day 1 with the LA Rams from Coach Henny. (We’ll get to that in a future article). But for now, let’s break down the best DL in the NFL.

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Good habits, great stats

When you first sit down and think about the LA Rams’ defensive front, you will immediately focus on Aaron Donald because he is such a dominating player. But even Aaron Donald himself will tell you that it takes a group effort. So what does this group effort produce?

  • Player                                      Snaps         Tackles        Sacks           QB HitsAaron Donald                         1,041            84                12.5                25Greg Gaines                               780             55                  4.5                13A’Shawn Robinson                   516            67                  2.0                   2Sebastian Joseph Day             341            38                  3.0                   5Marquise Copeland                  108            10                  0.0                   0Michael Hoecht                         110              7                   0.0                   0Bobby Brown                                22             1                   0.0                   0Jonah Williams                             96              5                  0.0                    0Totals                                        3,014         267               22.0                  45

That is a lot of defense. While taking on most of the offensive blockers, they still managed to generate 21 percent of the tackles, 44 percent of the quarterback sacks, and over 47 percent of the quarterback hits.

Although the Rams have lost the play of Sebastian Joseph Day to the LA Chargers, you can take comfort in the fact that young linemen like Michael Hoecht, Marquise Copeland, and Bobby Brown are waiting in the wings to show up and step it this season. And with the offseason, the Rams have added a few new faces who we will be featuring in the weeks ahead.

Will this defensive line be ready? You can count on it.

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