5 improvements for the LA Rams defense after off-season additions
By Bret Stuter
Improvement V – Play physical defense
We know that the LA Rams were accused of being more style and flash at times in the 2021 NFL season, and less physical than need be. That was not just harsh criticism, as the LA Rams flirted with a number of defensive configurations to seal up the hole in the middle of their defense. That mish-mash of moving key players around had an effect. Not all of those effects were positive.
The Rams tried to move All-Pro DB Jalen Ramsey all over the football field. When that didn’t have the desired impact, the team began to dial up far more nickel and dime coverages in the defense. When opposing offenses noticed the number of defensive backs increasing in the LA Rams secondary, they ran against them.
Run it down their throats
Of course, the offense was accused of not being physical enough as well. As opposing offenses found some success on the ground, the LA Rams running back room was decimated to the point where the team had to trade for New England’s Patriots running back Sony Michel. It was not until the LA Rams’ offense pivoted from oft-injured running back Darrell Henderson to him that the team’s Time of Possession and rushing offense seemed to turn everything around.
A ground game on offense fed into a more physical defense in 2021. I don’t think that lesson will be completely ignored in 2022. Adhered to? Let’s not get carried away.
With veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford under center, the LA Rams are wholly a passing offense, finally. This is the format that LA Rams HC Sean McVay has coveted since taking over as the LA Rams head coach. But it will not be an aerial assault that scores in record time, only to put the defense out on the field for 75 percent of the game clock. The Rams will be more strategic on both sides of the ball this year.