The Rams Wire
This offseason has been more about departures than arrivals for the Los Angeles Rams, with Von Miller being their biggest loss so far. After it looked like he’d be heading back to the Rams, he opted to sign a six-year, $120 million deal with the Bills.
That wasn’t an indication of the Rams not making their pass rush a priority. They still very much want to ensure they have the talent in place to get after the quarterback, whether it’s by promoting from within, signing a free agent, acquiring someone via trade or adding help in the draft.
“Realistically, you lose Von Miller, it’s hard to say, OK, there’s another human being like Von Miller on the planet. There’s one of him, he’ll go to the Hall of Fame because of it,” Snead said this week. “But with that being said, since 2017, we’ve been a team that consistently ranks near the top in sacks and pressures and things like that. It’s just come in different ways with different people. I think when you lose a player like Von, still want to pressure the QB, might have to do it in different ways with different people and we’ve had to do that since 2017 and definitely want to continue doing that because we believe fundamentally, we believe that’s one of the better ways to frustrate a quarterback over the course of a game.”
The Rams aren’t strictly focused on edge rushers as a way to generate pressure, either. The goal is to get Aaron Donald freed up inside, and Snead knows one path to doing that is by adding an interior rusher – similar to the way they brought in Ndamukong Suh in 2018.
“Maybe it’s not in an OLB. Maybe it’s in someone that lines up next to Aaron inside. Maybe it’s another linebacker,” he said. “You’ve just got to do different things to attack protections and knowing that most protections, once the games get started, for the most part, they’re going to try to take away Aaron Donald. They’re going to try to figure out a way to get four hands on Aaron Donald, sometimes even a fifth where it’s almost a two-and-a-half. Not a double-team, almost a triple-team – 2.5-team.”
The Rams have younger players on their roster, including Terrell Lewis and Chris Garrett, so perhaps they could ascend to a starting role and establish themselves as key players on defense.
“How do you ignite pressure? How does some of our unknown players, less-experienced players win one-on-ones, generate pressure and earn a reputation themselves?” Snead asked. “Or is it from attacking protections with different games and things like that? There’s a lot of ways we’re gonna have to do it and that’s what the offseason’s for.”
One way or another, the Rams are going to get pressure on the quarterback. They’ve brought in players to help with that before, from Suh to Miller to Dante Fowler Jr. and Leonard Floyd. We just don’t have a clear picture of how they’ll get it done yet.