Rams shock with 2nd pass rusher. Is defensive flex coming?

Mandatory Credit: Curtis Compton/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Curtis Compton/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 3
LA Rams roster Takk McKinley Raheem Morris
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Flexing defensive muscle?

Due to the LA Rams shortage and durability concerns with their outside linebackers, the Rams could be considering a 3-4/4-3 flex defense for 2020. When the LA Rams hired Raheem Morris, he was primarily an advocate of the 4-3 defensive front.

We considered what problems could be solved by the LA Rams defense shifting to a 4-3 front a year ago. While a wholesale shift to a 4-3 is next to impossible mid season, a 3-4 flex, with an additional down lineman for passing downs, could be in the making.

The move would allow the Rams to pivot their diminishing linebacker assets into the less physical pass coverage roles, while continuing to generate optimal pass rush from the four designated pass rushers on any given play.

That would allow the LA Rams to work through the injuries on outside linebackers temporarily, and allow the defense to emphasize their traditional 3-4 configuration after the health of players like Leonard Floyd and Daniel Hardy are more dependable.

Rams roster: More moves coming?

But it could be a harbinger of additional roster moves coming. Considering that the Rams have played 120 defensive snaps so far this season, the defensive line distribution is as follows:

Player                                Week 1            Week 2           Total
A’Shawn Robinson           38                      39                     77
Greg Gaines                        55                      49                   104
Jonah Williams                     7                         7                     14
Marquise Copeland            8                        13                    21
Michael Hoecht                   1                          1                       2
Aaron Donald                     51                       55                  106
Totals                                  160                    164                  324

Considering that the Rams have 120 defensive snaps, you would think that the Rams defensive line would be at least in the range of 340+ snaps so far this season (three down defensives linemen @ 120 snaps).

In Week 1, the Rams DL had 177 defensive opportunities, but only played 160 snaps. In Week 2, the LA Rams DL has 183 defensive opportunities, but only played 164 snaps.

What role Takk McKinley will fill in this defense is not clear just yet. But having witnessed how astute defensive coordinator Raheem Morris was in urging defensive back Eric Weddle out of retirement to win a Super Bowl ring with the Rams, I give him the benefit of the doubt. While I don’t expect him to get up to speed in time to face the Arizona Cardinals, I believe he could see action the following week against the San Francisco 49ers.

The LA Rams roster moves are coming at a rapid pace. Stay tuned.

And then there was 1. LA Rams TE Brycen Hopkins suspended. light. Trending