5 improvements for the LA Rams defense after off-season additions

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /

Improvement I – More A-gap blitzes

The LA Rams need to get a jump at applying quarterback pressure from the start of the 2022 NFL season. What’s the rush? (pun intended). Well, offensive coordinators make it a point to plan to neutralize what is working for the opposing defense. So a bit of quarterback peril gives them one more thing to work against, right?

Well, how will the LA Rams manufacture a pass rush this year? I think there is a tendency to overlook the fact that the Rams were battered pretty hard at the outside linebacker position in 2021. Starter Leonard Floyd played on a bad ankle all season, while his counterpart Justin Hollins was out a significant part of the season. Terrell Lewis fought off knew and back injuries all season, while rotational pass rusher Ogbonnia Okoronkwo had his only bout of injuries.

As the edge rushers (sans Obo, who left via free agency) return with a clean bill of health, the LA Rams have more tricks up their sleeves.

Blitzing ‘backers

In 2020, the Rams made use of inside linebacker Troy Reeder’s skill sets by sending him against the Washington quarterback. He emerged with three quarterback sacks in that game, all due to the fact that the path to a backpedaling quarterback is at its shortest distance through A-gap blitzes. Raheem Morris will dial up blitzes, and the Rams’ defense this year is ideal for an entire array of blitz packages.

Sending Jones or Wagner up the middle will not only pressure the quarterback, but it will take the pressure off the double or triple-teaming that the offense planned to neutralize Aaron Donald. Forcing offensive linemen to hesitate is all that Aaron Donald needs to scoot past them.

Sure, this is a new season, and this is a new defense. I gotta say that I’m excited at this defense’s potential. How are you feeling about it? Let us know in the comments section.

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