St. Louis Rams’ Head Coach Jeff Fisher didn’t take the job this offseason because he wanted this team to be mediocre. In fact, the Rams’ new man in charge has been making some lofty proclamations for what he desires from the defense with his new team.
According to second-year defensive end Robert Quinn, Fisher has told the team that he wants to coach the defense that breaks the NFL’s all-time sack total in one season by a club. That record is currently held by the 1984 Chicago Bears and their vaunted defense which Fisher was (oddly enough) a part of.
The Rams tallied just 39 sacks in 2011 and the realist in anyone says that a season to break the Bears record of 72 is pretty much impossible. Only the 2006 San Diego Chargers even broke the 60 sack plateau accumulating 61 during that campaign. In today’s pass-happy NFL with rules favoring the offense more than ever, goals like these are nice, but fairly impractical. Both the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings tied for the league-high last year with just 50.
What this does suggest is that the Rams have a great deal of confidence in the new configuration that they will trot out on defense in the coming year. The aforementioned Quinn will be in his second season while this year’s first rounder Michael Brockers will provide some presence inside on the defensive front as well. St. Louis also added Kendall Langford who figures to play inside and Chris Long will bookend a young and talented front four who should really get after opposing quarterbacks.
Taking a team that finished 2-14, 22nd in the league in yards against, and in the middle of pack as far as sacks are concerned and turning them into the best defense the league has ever seen in one year is awfully presumptuous. There’s no doubt Fisher doesn’t lack for confidence however, and if his team embodies that attitude, there could be a newfound belief with the Rams that hasn’t been present for quite some time.