The Los Angeles Rams finished last season with an improving defense. That wasn’t enough for general manager Les Snead, who stacked the defense with talent. Ndamukong Suh joins a defensive unit that acquired Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, and featured 2017 Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald. The Rams now possess two dynamic playmakers capable of pressuring quarterback on every down from the line of scrimmage. Add to that two dynamic cornerbacks coupled with Wade Phillips’s defensive genius at coordinator and what do you have? A frightening Rams defense.
Suh and Donald on the outside will give Michael Brockers free reign to move around
Suh enables flexibility for Donald and Michael Brockers to move around the line. In the base 3-4 formation, Suh could line up beside between Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, but what most likely will happen is Donald and Suh will line up on the outside, forcing opposing offensive lineman to concentrate on those two players, thus giving Michael Brockers freedom to move around. Quarterbacks like Jimmy Garropolo and Russell Wilson will now have to deal with a dual threat on the line for every down.
Talib and Peters give the Rams secondary a couple of playmakers
The Rams were already a top-15 pass defense in 2017 before the upgrade at the CB position. With the addition of Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters into the Rams secondary, Wade Phillips now can be more creative with his defensive schemes. He enjoys employing lots of man-to-man coverage, and these two players are the type of personnel that can effectively play well in Phillips’s defensive system. Nickell Robey-Coleman, Lamarcus Joyner, Troy Hill and John Johnson will complete a lock-down defense capable of stopping the best-receiving corps in the NFL. On paper, the Rams are loaded on defense.
Coaching staff will have to keep the egos in check
In terms of talent, the Rams definitely upgraded this offseason. However, some of these players can be a headache to deal with on the field. Talib is a known headcase who tends to clash with opposing players, often garnering some silly penalties. The same goes for Ndamukong Suh, who’s ferocious style of play has earned him a reputation as a dirty player. McVay and Phillips’ greatest challenge in 2018 will be how to handle so many egos on and off the field. If they fail to do so, things could go downhill quickly for the Rams, especially on defense.
Sources: NBC Los Angeles, Jeremy Bergman, NFL.com, Des Bieler, Washington Post, Austin Gayle, Washington Post, Aiden Gonzalez, ESPN.com
Martin Cruz is a staff writer for Rams Talk. You can follow him on Twitter with the username @MCruz1988.