Reunion with former Rams DC Brandon Staley
When the LA Rams lost former Defensive Coordinator Brandon Staley to become the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, the one-and-done season for the LA Rams DC felt, well . . . like unfinished business. After all, the Rams defense in 2020 was tops in almost all categories. But perhaps the trait that I loved the most about that Rams defense was how quickly and decidedly the Rams were able to make halftime adjustments.
Still, the defense was not invincible. The Rams had a huge vulnerability in the middle of the defense, one that shrewd offensive coordinators were able to identify and exploit. The Divisional Round of the 2021 NFL Playoffs, the 31-19 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, was the eye-opener. Even as Staley was lured away to lead the Chargers, the Rams fans had to accept the fact that changes needed to be made to win in the post-season.
While many applauded the exodus of DC Raheem Morris, the truth remains that he solved the Rams defensive donut hole. He invested in quality inside linebackers, and they in turn validated his trust by slamming the door shut on running backs and crossing routes that broke the back of the Rams defense one season earlier.
Now, Staley has the chance to return to the Rams, and perhaps finish what he started. Is it too much to hope that his return could mean the Rams return to the Super Bowl?
Well, let's not place the cart ahead of the horse on that matter. After all, this is not the same Brandon Staley who led the Rams defense to perch atop the NFL in 2020. And perhaps more importantly, this is not the same Rams roster that was led to that pinnacle of defensive production.
Gone are OLB Leonard Floyd, All-Pro DB Jalen Ramsey, DL Michael Brockers and Sebastian Joseph-Day. Over the past three seasons, the Rams roster has evolved on the defensive side of the football from subtle and deceptive into a team that is fer