Returning veterans are vital for 2024 LA Rams defensive front

Los Angeles Rams Kobie Turner
Los Angeles Rams Kobie Turner / Mike Lawrence/GettyImages

It's perfectly acceptable to welcome rookies to the team with optimism and enthusiasm. But let's not sacrifice respect and appreciation of returning veteran players in the process. After all, these players forged their roles and playing time against the odds to contribute meaningful snaps in the past, and now are intently focused on improvimng their performances and expanding their roles in 2024. And for many of those players, that is exactly what will take place.

While their numbers may be fewer than you've come to expect from past rosters, returning Rams defensive linemen like DT Kobie Turner, NT Bobby Brown III, DE Desjuan Johnson, and DT Cory Durden have the dual responsibility of not only out-performing past seasons in 2024, but in leading a room bursting with rookies.

The question is, can they do it?

Well, there are several reasons to believe in the returning defensive linemen for the Rams, at least for those who accumulated at least 150 or more defensive snaps last year. Based on a recent graph shared by Football Insights on social media, you can see that the Rams returning defensive linemen have solid run defense grades. That includes both DT Kobie Turner and NT Bobby Brown III:

The Rams have long held to the belief that in order to earn the opportunity to rush the quarterback, defensive linemen must prove capable of shedding blockers and stuffing the run. Those rules apply to late-season surges from the likes of DE Desjuan Johnson as well

With veterans positioned at all three defensive linemen roles, incoming rookies must prove to perform at that same level to earn playing time on the football field. Not only is that true in general, but particularly vital for the team's ability to stop the run. Rookies often pursue the more glamorous ability to sack quarterbacks, but stopping the run is just as vital to the success of the team.

We will have plenty to say about the team's rookie defensive linemen this summer. But let's not gloss over the fact that the team has some powerful and quite capable veterans on the defensive line of scrimmage as well. To get off the football field, the defense must stop the run. I believe that with the returning players on the defensive line, they will get the job don.