Young Rams defense has a chance to set the record straight right out of the gate

Neither OLB Byron Young nor NT Kobie Turner won DROY honors in 2023. Now, they are back to set the record straight.
Aaron Donald, Kobie Turner, Byron Young, Los Angeles Rams
Aaron Donald, Kobie Turner, Byron Young, Los Angeles Rams / Harry How/GettyImages
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A score to settle? Perhaps. Games to win? Definitely. Setting the record straight? Let's go with that for the time being. The LA Rams ended the 2023 NFL season as arguably the hottest team in the NFL. The team's record of 7-1 to close out the season was not the result of puff pastry opponents. Rather, the team galvanized around the right players on the football field at the right time.

There were no shortcuts for the team in 2023. The closest thing to an intact group was the offense, and even the offense was subject to turmoil and upheaval in 2023. Let's break it down into bite-sized chunks in terms of starters and significant role players last season:

  • Offensive line - Three new starters
  • Running back - New feature back
  • Tight end - Two new rotational players
  • Wide Receiver - New feature wide receiver, one new rotational player

That was not simply due to injuries. The team had a rather deep-rooted refurbish to the entire roster, a make-over that continued to be fiddled with until the team's Week 10 BYE. Although many forces were at play, it was not until the team began to use veteran WR Demarcus Robinson on a regular basis and start veter DB John Johnson III that the team began to string together victories.

The Rams coaching staff had finally found 'the range' of the Rams roster, and success soon followed.

In the first nine games of the 2023 NFL season, the Rams defense averaged giving up 22 points per game. The defense improved slightly after the BYE week, but it was enough because the offense began to point far more points on the scoreboard. And that was despite facing some of the NFL's top-seeded defenses, such as that of the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens.

If you were hoping for some relief in the upcoming season, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But it's quite clear that all three phases of this Rams team will need to be on point to claim some wins.