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
5 of 5

Rams OTAs already setting the pace for this defense

The LA Rams defense is very much an unknown this season. The entire secondary has been restocked to the point where this team could see an entirely new array of starters. I don't think that is due to random chance. As much as we continue to hear that this team will sustain the same basic philosophies of the past, here are some things that I see as significantly different strategies for this defense.

Takeaways are back on the menu

The first aspect of the Rams new additions to this defense seem to share a strong uptick in creating turnovers. Whether it is from interceptions or forced fumbles, the Rams front office gravitated to players who generate turnovers at a better than average pace. I believe that is due to the expectations of the team's new defensive coordinator.

You can expect the team's secondary to be more ball-hawking than before, with the addition of veteran DBs Darious Williams and Tre'Davious White. But I love the addition of rookie Kamren Kinchens as well. In the past, the Rams secondary has been focused on preventing the offense in making plays. In the new DC Shula secondary, look for this defense to create turnovers.

Pass rush is an emphasis in 2024

The Rams pass rush was not bad in 2023. It simply did not meet with the team's expectations. Of course, the front office invested little to get a Top-10 pass rush, so there is not much blame that can be assigned for the meek results. That could and should change this season, as the team has invested their first two picks of the 2024 NFL Draft to stockpile more quarterback pressure this season.

The players who are on this defense are completely capable of putting plenty of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Led by second-year standouts Byron Young and Kobie Turner, the team has a solid foundation to work with. Now, it's merely a matter of identifying complementary players and how to optimize the defensive rotation.

Mediocrity is not the goal this year

Some have argued that if the LA Rams offense is 'good enough,' then the defense need to aim for middle of the road. While the results of an elite offense and capable defense may result in this team earning a berth for the 2025 NFL Playoffs, do not lull yourself into believing that mediocrity is the goal for this defense in 2024. It's not even close.

DC Chris Shula was not hired to lead the defense in 2024 to manage the game. This is a defense that has specific and stretch goals for the upcoming year. If the team aimed at a middle of the road type of defense, then this roster would be far more loaded with veterans than young players. That is not the case.

Chris Shula brings a new and aggressive energy and passion to this defense, and the roster reflects that in the willingness to rely upon so many young faces. That is no accident. His thumbprint is already on the new additions to the team, and you can expect they all fit the new strategy for this defense for 2024.

Are you more or less hopeful over Rams DC Chris Shula in 2024? I expect that the team will actually perform better on the defensie side of football. Will it be enough to hoist the Lombardi Trophy at the end of Super Bowl LIX?

Stay tuned. And as always, thanks for reading.