7 LA Rams sneak preview keys for mandatory minicamp in mid June 2024

Los Angeles Rams Minicamp, Miller Forristall
Los Angeles Rams Minicamp, Miller Forristall / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
3 of 8

Sneak Preview VI: Defensive evolution

Since the Los Angeles Rams hired Head Coach Sean McVay, the team has been fortunate enough to boast some of the best defensive minds available as the team's defensive coordinator. The team has enjoyed DC Wade Phillips (2017-2019), DC Brandon Staley (2020), DC Raheem Morris (2021-2023), and now welcomes newly hired Defensive Coordinator Chris Shula (2024-????).

But with each new defensive coordinator, the Rams defense has evolved a bit. Now, we await the first signs, clues, trends, and overall philosophical makeup of the Chris Shula defense in 2024.

As has been the case for many new coaches, the truth is that Shula does not have a great deal of veteran leadership to work with in terms of veteran players. Whether due to the purge of the roster in 2022 due to financial constraints, normal attrition of veteran players whose contract expired before the 2024 NFL season, or as was the case of Aaron Donald, an election to retire, Shula's defense is bursting with eager young players who are eager to carve out a niche on this roster to start their NFL careers.

Shula will need to rely heavily upon veteran inside linebacker Ernest Jones this season, and may have the strongest DC-ILB pairing since HC Sean McVay has taken over the reins of this team. As such, you can expect this defense to be tough-minded, highly prepared and competent down to the smallest of details, physical, mean, and quite energetic.

While I would not expect this defense to spend most of their time in the offensive backfield, I do look for the defense to resemble a swarm of hornets that cannot be eluded, cannot be swatted down, and will continue to attack in numbers. Minicamp will provide some clues as to how close that description fits.