5 LA Rams players you won’t see in horns in 2023
By Bret Stuter
Player IV: Slot cornerback
The LA Rams secondary was one of the groups that truly struggled all season, and defensive back David Long Jr. contributed to the problem. Now don’t get me wrong, I think that Long stepped up admirably in the playoffs last year.
But as we’ve seen in many cases, the performance that was better than expectations did not lead to any rise in production in the 2022 NFL season. In fact, the LA Rams may have seen a bit of regression in their veteran defensive back.
Not Long for this world
For starters, Long played only 288 defensive snaps, a far cry from his 2021 total of 516 snaps. For the season, he appeared in 12 of 17 games and started just four of those contests. As a result, he had fewer tackles, just 21, no interceptions, and his missed tackled rate climbed to 12.5 percent. But the true blemish came in his pass defense.
In this year, the final season of his rookie contract, Long allowed 75 percent, or 24 of 32 targets, to find his receiver. He struggled to close on his receiver, deflected just one pass on the season, and was oftentimes seen either out of position or reacting too slowly to his man’s cut, allowing for the easy completion.
A defensive secondary, much like an offensive line, is strongest when everyone from that group and on the football field understands their role, can perform their responsibilities, and communicate well. David Long Jr. was one player who never seemed to live up to that standard in 2022. As a result, I don’t expect him to be wearing horns for the LA Rams next season.