7 LA Rams players returning in 2023 who you may have forgotten

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Roster Rams News Robert Rochell
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

I: DB Robert Rochell

The LA Rams’ secondary seems to be a mess right now. The team seemed to be comfortably on track with their drafts over the past three seasons, but for whatever reason, the veterans found themselves on the outs and the rookies got quite a bit of playing time. How bad has this season been? 2020 draft defensive back Terrell Burgess, once thought to have a legit shot at a starting role in 2021, was cut. His teammate, Jordan Fuller, played in three games and started just once.

6-foot-2 195-pound defensive back Robert Rochell was a player who many expected to develop into a contributor, if not a starting, defensive back in his second season. He played in 11 games in 2021 and started five for the Rams. But in 2022, he competed in 14 games, primarily on special teams only. Despite numerous injuries in the secondary, Rochell has only seen action on 18 defensive snaps.

Player regression, or positional coach change?

The problem is that the LA Rams lost secondary coach Ejiro Evero to the Denver Broncos to become their defensive coordinator, and a number of players, Robert Rochell included, suddenly lost favor with the Rams as a result. The question now is: Can Rochell earn himself back into the good graces of the Rams coaching staff next season? I certainly hope so. Rochell is a big defensive back with remarkable athleticism and skills, but he plays very well in man as well as zone, and the Rams clearly favor a zone-only pass defense under DC Raheem Morris.

Rochell is the type of defensive back who gets stronger with more play. Like many promising players on the Rams roster, he dropped on the depth chart for some reason and has never recovered to get quality snaps. Unlike many other positions, the Rams’ secondary is loaded with young players who all need more playing time to improve.

Rochell remains special, in that he has great size, and great athleticism, and has only been lacking the NFL caliber experience. I think in his third season, and if the Rams take an objective look at their secondary, the team may try to commit to more man coverage. A change like that is right in Robert Rochell’s wheelhouse.


The LA Rams currently project to return 34 players on the active roster, plus whomever the team signs to Reserve/Futures contracts, to get to their 90-man training camp roster.
(Spotrac lists 37, but failed to remove J.J. Koski and the void years of DB Troy Hill and DL A’Shawn Robinson) In the past, the Rams have welcomed back far more players to their roster. But the team’s 2022 was very forgettable, and many of the players added to the roster have been on contracts through the end of the 2022 NFL season.

There will be plenty of discussions and deliberations over the Rams roster in the final three games. And when the season draws to an end, those discussions will become quite the frenzy. But there are many players who will be returning for the Rams next season who are seeking, and deserve consideration for, larger roles next year. The only remaining question is: Will they get it?

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