Much attention has been paid to St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn this offseason. Some of that attention has been positive with his potential entering year two after a solid rookie campaign, and some of it is less flattering with his DWI arrest just last month. Still with his impressive showing thus far at camp, the Rams are excited about the upside that Quinn has in store for 2012.
What stood out most about him entering the 2011 NFL Draft was that Quinn is a long, physical individual who moves like someone much smaller. That ability to use his speed at 6’4” 264lbs. is an asset that can’t be taught and will make Quinn the creator of mismatches many times during the season.
Last year in just a part-time role, Quinn still managed to accumulate five sacks and definitely showed the potential to be much more productive in a more expansive position. Now as the starter opposite Chris Long who accrued 13 sacks a year ago, Quinn figures to be the lightning to Long’s thunder. With the other additions that the club made on the interior defensive front signing Kendall Langford and drafting Michael Brockers, this unit figures to be a force in 2012 and beyond.
Rams’ new Head Coach Jeff Fisher made a bold proclamation earlier in the offseason that the team could break the Chicago Bears all-time sack record by a team in a single-season (72). Fisher knew a thing or two about that Bears team as he was a safety for the club who got injured early in the year, but assisted then defensive guru Buddy Ryan in coaching the team.
Quinn is a different looking player from the majority of today’s pass rushers as he is more in the mold of Jevon Kearse (once dubbed “The Freak”), a player that Fisher knows plenty about from his days with the Tennessee Titans. That type of player can still find success in this league and given his steady performance so far in camp, this will be the year that Quinn bursts onto the scene as a household name in terms of pass rushers.
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