Fans have plenty of reasons for optimism over LA Rams DC Chris Shula in 2024

Los Angeles Rams Minicamp, Sean McVay
Los Angeles Rams Minicamp, Sean McVay / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
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Even while the Rams defense has undergone a tremendous metamorphosis in the past eight years, the team has been able to rely on the elite production of DT Aaron Donald. That meant that no matter what else might occur in terms of personnel and scheme, this defense always had that safety net that would prevent a total collapse. That meant that the team could ignore the inside linebacker position at times. It also meant that the team could devote less attention to the secondary as well.

After all, Aaron Donald was the great equalizer. He could stuff the run, allowing the defense to shop bottom-shelf inside linebackers. It also ensured that quarterbacks would not have a safe pocket to throw from, allowing the team to get by with less than an elite secondary.

But there is no such safety net for new DC Chris Shula. This year, for better or worse, the team will rise and or fall as far as his leadership and scheme will take them. But this is not an article about keeping your hands and feet inside the ride at all times, prefacing this journey with alarming worst-case scenarios that could befall DC Chris Shula and the Rams defense this season. Just to put you on notice, I come not to bury Shula, but to praise him.

I point to this initial press conference after Shula was named as the team's new DC.

The Rams need a new outlook on defense. While I did not share the disappointment in former DC Raheem Morris that many were more than happy to vocalize on a weekly basis, I do recognize that the team's defense seemed to fight against a glass ceiling. In many games, the team was forced to defend the football field in regard to not allowing a big play, rather than attacking the football and offense.

I can see DC Chris Shula having a more aggressive defensive philosophy.