5 reasons to look for much better LA Rams defense in 2023

Raheem Morris
Raheem Morris / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
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LA Rams News Jimmy Lake
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Reason IV (cont'd): Coaching hires are ideally suited for 2023 challenges

But the Rams coaching staff has been undertaking a bit of refurbishment. While the team has been blessed with excellent coaches, the challenges of the 2022 NFL season appeared to be outside their comfort zone. While the LA Rams ability in the 2020 NFL season to diagnose the strategy of the opponent's offense and neutralize it was obvious, the Rams 2022 NFL season was marked with utter paralysis. The team lost a number of games that they held the lead at halftime, a clear sign that whoever was coaching was struggling for solutions.

Well, the LA Rams have added two secondary coaching superstars to the staff, in my opnion. Aubrey Pleasant is the cornerbacks coach who had the Rams fully prepared to implement DC Brandon Staley's disguised coverage schemes. And at the time, the Rams development of raw but talented defensive backs left everyone believing that the team had found true future NFL stars.

The Rams get a coach who specializes in coaching up players

Not to be outdone, the Rams also added former University of Washington head coach Jimmy Lake. While that may not excite you, keep in mind that Lake coached the Huskies secondary which included Taylor Rapp, Budda Baker, Sidney Jones IV, Byron Murphey, and more. The secondary for the Washington Huskies were so good because they viewed any forward pass in football as fair game. In short, they did not defend the receiver as much as attack that pass. The difference in semantics seems slight on paper, but it is huge on the football field.

Did you know that the LA Rams currently have three players on their roster (well, soon to be one perhaps) who played for the Washington Huskies while Lake coached there? They are defensive lineman Greg Gaines, defensive back Taylor Rapp, and offensive lineman Coleman Shelton. One of the characteristics about the Huskies football team that I had admired was their ability to take lesser recruited high school prospects and coach them up into collegiate stars. Isn't that exactly what the LA Rams have been doing at the NFL level?

The modern-era NFL for defenses continues to be stopping the pass in the regular season and stopping the run in the postseason. The Rams had the tools to stop the run in 2022 but simply could not seem to come up with stops in their pass defense. While some are quick to blame the Rams' weak pass rush, the culprit is more complex. And that means that solving this particular puzzle will be both complicated and sophisticated as well.