3 reasons why LA Rams must sign S John Johnson III in 2023
Reason II: Aubrey Pleasant can fast track his DBs with JJ's leadership
There is a reason that the LA Rams have hired former CB coach Aubrey Pleasant to coach the LA Rams secondary, and hired Jimmy Lake to the coaching staff as well. The LA Rams' pass defense regressed horrifically in 2022. While it was a combination of injuries, inexperience, and a lack of communication, the symptoms do not equate to excuses or justification. The team has to bolster its pass coverage quickly. Veteran and former LA Rams DB John Johnson III could be the cheat code to make that happen quickly.
We saw how the LA Rams outside linebackers began to gel for new DC Brandon Staley after the Rams free agency signing of both Leonard Floyd and Justin Hollins to the roster. It makes sense to do so, as bring in veterans who have played in the system give great pointers and explanations to guys who are unfamiliar and trying to learn their new roles.
One of the best qualities of John Johnson's role in the Rams defense was his incredible ability to diagnose the play and communicate to his teammates over their roles as the offensive plays developed. Defensive back Jordan Fuller is the closest safety on the Rams roster since JJIII and he has not come close. While both Nick Scott and Taylor Rapp have their moments where they flash in the Rams secondary, both have struggled to be in the right position at times.
Learning to play pass defense in the NFL is not easy. Much like an NFL offensive line, the level of coordination and communication is ridiculously high. That is acquired by either trial and error, seeing how an effective veteran DB communicates, and then simply following suit. The LA Rams have a significant number of young defensive backs on the roster, many of whom will be promoted to larger roles in 2023. A Rams free agency signing of John Johnson III elevates the ceiling of every young DB in 2023.