First St. Louis Rams’ Head Coach Jeff Fisher made remarks about his defensive front having the potential to set the all-time sack record, now General Manager Les Snead says that the unit has the ability to be elite. According to Snead: “We’ve got two young ends (Chris Long and Robert Quinn). We’ve added (Kendall) Langford. We’ve got Darell Scott coming back. Bam! You throw in (Michael) Brockers, and all of a sudden that unit gets strong. Now the DL becomes a dominant unit.”
While it may be a bit presumptuous to call the Rams’ defensive line a ‘dominant unit’, the idea isn’t really that far-fetched. Perhaps the biggest benefit that the linemen will see is in the team’s secondary where upgrades at cornerback in signing Cortland Finnegan and drafting Janoris Jenkins will greatly benefit the pass rush. With better coverage guys, the players up front will have that extra split second to close in on opposing quarterbacks and take them down.
GM Snead was quick to point this out as well saying: “That’s not a bad pairing — good defensive line and a good secondary. That usually means the quarterback’s got to get things out fast, and you’ve got tight coverage.” His logic is clearly on point and if the Rams have better luck with the injury bug in 2012 than they did a year ago, there’s no doubt the defense will become a strength.
2-14 is a dismal figure and appears to be a daunting rebuilding task on paper, but with Fisher and Snead running the show, it seems the Rams are on the path to success sooner rather than later. Of his philosophy when starting the restoration project, Snead said: “The goal was, ‘Let’s get multiple (draft) picks so we can get multiple players to go with our free-agent crop. And I think we accomplished that. From the time we got here, progress has been made. There’s no doubt about that. So we’re happy where we’re at. We don’t want to wait till 2014 (to turn it around). But what we do want to do is be improving, be competing, be thriving — where people can feel the momentum. And then you keep adding parts. Keep jelling as a team.”
For now it seems the agreement is that the defensive line and secondary are both greatly improved moving into 2012 and if the linebacker level can perform adequately, this should be a stout defense in St. Louis. With all of the new pieces that the Rams have added to an already talented and young group, expect brighter days ahead for this franchise stuck in the doldrums for far too long.