LA Rams unsung heroes on defense need to show up in Week 8 and beyond

Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald, Kobie Turner, Byron Young
Pittsburgh Steelers v Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald, Kobie Turner, Byron Young / Harry How/GettyImages
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The LA Rams (3-4) are certainly still in the thick of the NFL Playoffs race, but they are not keeping pace with some of the other NFL teams. That can change today, as the LA Rams travel to play the Dallas Cowboys (4-2) in what could be a pivotal game of the Rams 2023 NFL season.

In the clash of Xs and Os in Week 8, the LA Rams are not the victims of a tough schedule. This is not a team that remains young and unprepared for what the NFL throws at them. This is a young and powerful team that has already discovered at least five NFL starters who are every bit NFL caliber from the 2023 NFL Draft, and more could be coming on the way.

If 2023 was about resetting the Rams roster, flushing out a ton of NFL salary cap dead money, and setting a foundation of bedrock to build a new foundation, then we have to call this LA Rams season an outstanding success. The LA Rams have nearly a half dozen rookies who have already proven themselves to be future NFL stars.

Rams are no longer a clip and paste team

There has been a great deal said about the LA Rams need for a veteran pass rusher to help the team, and to take some of the pressure off All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald. While there is something to be said about taking a shortcut to bolster the Rams' defense, keep in mind that there are more forces at work with the Rams roster than just clipping and pasting veterans who performed well on other teams.

Groups of young players are forged into a team by sharing experiences, both good and bad. That's a huge and difficult task for the Rams this season, as it has been clear that the Rams did not feel that players added in 2022 aligned with the Rams plans in the future. Therein lies the rub. After all, it's easy for fans to assume that a player who excels on one team is capable of equal or better production for the LA Rams.

Unfortunately, that has not always been the case.

Success in the NFL can be boiled down to four simple characteristics: Talent, Communication, Opportunity, and Belief. As fans, we tend to focus on a player's individual talent, but do not always consider the other three qualities. Even the most talented athlete on the planet will fail in the NFL if they are not able to master the other three qualities.

With all of that in mind, the Rams have talented young players who are learning to communicate, have been getting opportunities, and are buying into the Rams' strategy. in Week 8, those same young players can take a huge step forward and become heroes in a game that could turn the Rams' entire season around. Like who?