One story dominates the headlines in Rams nation today. The hire of Tim Walton as defensive coordinator may come as a shock to many, but after his interview several days ago, fans should have known he could be a strong possibility to become a new addition to the team. Most of all, fans should rejoice that in this action-less week of football the media is talking about new coaches, not new stadiums.
I may be one of few people that is not surprised by this hire. No, I didn't predict that the Rams were going to hire Tim Walton. In fact, until last week I'd never heard of Tim Walton. But I do know this; the Rams defense is a product of Jeff Fisher, Dave McGinnis, Chuck Cecil, and Mike Waufle. Those men are all top 5 veteran coaches at their position in the NFL. Those Rams coaches will put the players in a position to play to their strengths, and will continue to help them develop. The Rams didn't need a "name" defensive coordinator to come in and take over (that's why Rob Ryan didn't work). They needed an energetic defensive president that could play the role of manager.
So is Tim Walton the right guy? I don't know. He is well respected among peers, has experience in this league, and by all accounts is a pretty fiery guy. He certainly looks like he could fit that defensive manager role I was discussing, but make no mistake, this is Jeff Fishers defense. So at the end of the day, it is Fisher - not Walton - who is responsible for this units success in 2013.
I see two major difficulties in determining what the Rams will do in the draft this year:
- Between Fisher and Snead, they have only taken 1 offensive lineman in the first round...ever. Would they select a Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper, or Lane Johnson in spite of this? The way Fisher's OL philosophy was explained to me by his colleagues was that he doesn't believe the physical talent among draft-able OL is a rare find in round 1. This partly because it is a position that involves greater focus on technique than anything, and that you can find equally strong talent in the later rounds. You have to ask at what point does an obvious talent like Warmack become too tempting?
- It would be par for the course for Jeff Fisher and his new DB coach turned defensive coordinator to select a safety in the first round. However, this is a very deep safety class. There is even some debate over who the top safety is. With a deep class at the position, would the Rams entertain the thought of taking one off the board when they could possibly grab equal talent later on?
Join me in finding out exactly who Tim Walton is.
So we aren't done talking about Titus Young yet. I really don't see how this low risk trial is bad for the team, but the article above outlines why he is a volatile player and bad teammate. I think this is all pretty obvious. Janoris Jenkins is no choir boy either.
Jeff Fisher does a good job of handling these "troubled" players. I remember hearing about the aggressive and detailed plan that the team had built for Janoris Jenkins regarding his past troubles and liabilities, and all the breathtaking detail that went into it. I have also heard it mentioned that the team put together a similar plan for Young. If the Rams can extract the talent from Young without impacting the team culture, they will have made one of the slickest moves of the off-season. I for one am glad to see the Rams be aggressive in acquiring talent.
Stay classy Rams fans.