5 reasons to look for much better LA Rams defense in 2023
By Bret Stuter
Reason II: Rams defense is already close to great
Much like the consternation with the LA Rams offensive line in 2022, the struggles with some of the Rams defense in 2022 has become a gross exaggeration that in appropriately has been applied to the entire defense for the entire 2022 NFL season. Yes, the LA Rams experienced some difficulties. But just as the offense struggled to overcome wave after wave of injuries, the Rams defense was clobbered with injuries as well.
The LA Rams defense, when completely healthy, is pretty intimidating. Yes, the team has to sort out how to fill the projected vacancies on the defense front and in the secondary. But the Rams core defensive players today consist of DL Aaron Donald, OLB Leonard Floyd, ILBs Bobby Wagner and Ernest Jones, and DB Jalen Ramsey. They are all Pro Bowl candidates for the 2023 NFL season. Now, the Rams must fit the right pieces around them.
Can we count on other players to step up
That is not to say that OLB Michael Hoecht, DL Marquise Copeland and Bobby Brown III, DB Cobie Durant, and others are not going to step up in 2023. They most certainly will. But their production in 2023 is less than certain. It will take a healthy season, and a lot of coaching, to get their maximum production in 2023. And, as we'd discussed earlier in this very article, the Rams coaching staff on defense appears to be the best it has been in some time.
When I say 'close to great,' I have no intention that the Rams can just close their eyes and hope everything turns out okay. The Rams have a very important off-season that must be handled correctly for the team to get the most out of their defense. That includes both the 2023 NFL Free agent market as well as the 2023 NFL Draft.
But by close, I mean that the Rams do not need a complete overhaul for things to turn in a positive direction for the team. If the Rams can emerge from this offseason with a viable rotational pass rusher, an interior defensive lineman, a safety, and an outside cornerback, this defensive roster will be ready to lock and load. If the Rams double down on safeties and defensive linemen, as they had in the past, the chances for a Top-10 NFL defense increase significantly.