Rams defensive unit is turning the page on a brand new chapter

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams, Ernest Jones
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams, Ernest Jones / Lauren Leigh Bacho/GettyImages

For the first time in ten seasons, the LA Rams defense no longer boasts the presence or production of All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald. In some ways, that is a huge obstacle for this defense to overcome. But in some ways, it presents new opportunities and sets the stage for the next round of heroics from players who are ready to take that step forward.

The LA Rams will be led by fourth-year veteran Ernest Jones. With his ascension as the leader of the defense, Jones is 'excited about the challenge,' to carry on the legacy of Aaron Donald with the defense in 2024. While some will pooh-pooh his bravado and confidence, what other attitude can the young man take when facing the 2024 NFL season? In every aspect, he is demonstrating exactly what this young roster needs right now.

"We get to go out there and now it is time for those guys to make a name for themselves, so it is just going to be a great task."

Rams ILB Ernest Jones

Confidence is a narrow path to travel. Too little and observers question your ability to lead or perform. Too much and observers question your humility and lack of respect for the responsibility. All the while, the line of what is and is not expected is drawn differently by everyone for everyone.

Ernest Jones is not talking to fans. He is talking to his coaches and his teammates, the persons who truly have a stake in how well this defense performs in 2024. Last season, when projections for the Rams came in at the bottom rung of the NFL standings, it was Jones that expressed unshakable confidence in the team, and his defense. After the 2023 season ended, it was Jones who was the more accurate in his assessment of the team.

Now Jones faces a new set of obstacles, and it is his confidence that once again stands out as a contrarian opinion over this defense's chances. Making a name for themselves is not a statement to be taken lightly. Jones is subtly calling out his teammates to show up and stand out this season

If 2023 is anything like 2024, be prepared to cheer for some new Rams stars on the defense.