With all the injuries the rams had to their DB`s, there was one man who played in all 16 games. He was once the leader of a very good eagles secondary. Even after the eagles picked up Nnamdi Asomugha, and Dominique Rogers Cromartie, they still struggled without the veteran leadership Quintin Mikell possesses. While the rams were forced to put together a rag tag bunch of DB`s, some straight off the street or practice squad, He was the only constant we had.
He did not have a pro bowl type of season stat wise, but being the consummate professional and veteran leader he is, he was all over the TV screen every time you watched the rams D last year. He seemed to be the last line of defense the team had any time one of our inexperienced db`s blew an assignment. He accounted for 75 solo tackles (5th in the league at the free safety position), 91 combined tackles (8th) 1 sack and a number of decent QB rushes on the blitz, 2 int`s 1 fumble recovery and a league leading amongst all db`s 5 forced fumbles.
Again Im not saying that he went unnoticed in the pro bowl ballot, but considering the bunch he was playing with and the terrible season we had, Mikell really impressed me in his first year as a ram. This guy is a former pro bowler and a very smart player with a instinct for the ball. He was limited this year in what he could do because of the players around him. Not to take anything away the exceptional play of Darian Stewart and suprising play from Josh Gordy, Who came in and made plays last year, and maybe even earned himself a roster spot this year.
With guys returning from injury like Bradley Fletcher and Jerome Murphy, FA pickup Cortland Finnegan and rookies Janorin Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson we have a viable defensive backfield. This year Mikell can focus more on doin what he did in Philly, vocal leadership and ball hawking. I expect him to take over more of a Troy Polamalu-esque role and really show what a value pick up he is.
When you think of the rams you think of guys who no matter how bad we were last year still came to work with their lunch packed. Guys like Steven Jackson , Chris Long and James Laurinaitis. But i think many people did not give credit where it was due. Mikell was a stand out for anyone who was watching although did so in a quiet way. So lets give the guy some love for enuring that abysmal season last year, and expect him to some big plays this season.