The defensive line of the St. Louis Rams, despite the concerns of Peter King's minion, is one of the best units in the league. It was in large part responsible for the Rams leading the league in sacks last season (tied with the Broncos) despite having a losing record, which means the team was behind more often than not. The team didn't have as many pass rushing opportunities as the Broncos, but were still able to collect 52 sacks.
This unit may also be a lot better next season, because Robert Quinn may be ready to explode.
Robert Quinn is the Rams most talented pass rusher. He missed a year of football due to NCAA issues at North Carolina and concerns over a benign tumor in his brain. This allowed the Rams to pick him at 14 overall, when Quinn had the talent to be selected in the top five.
His rookie year started slow, and he played behind James Hall, but he was able to use his great speed and ended up with five sacks in limited time.
Last season, his first as a starter, he collected his first double digit sack season (10.5). He didn't get as many QB pressures as one would expect, and his run defense wasn't good, but it was a fine debut as a starter for Quinn.
Jeff Fisher and the Rams spoke to the media about Quinn, and had this to say.
"He's improved with the run skills and techniques, but I think he's also improved as a pass rusher, too. So, he's improved in both areas. When you get an opportunity to work against somebody like (T) Jake (Long) day-in and day-out even though it's been a short period of time - that consistent battle day after day ends up being a good situation for both."
Working against Jake Long, one of the premier LTs in the NFL is great for Robert Quinn. It will force him to use a wide variety of moves and counters to rush the QB, and defend the run.
Defensive Coordinator, Tim Walton
"He's been very good against the run. He's been able to hold off blocks and close down the edge and tighten down the running lanes outside. Obviously, you know he can rush the passer very well, but he plays hard and he works on his craft every day. With his athletic ability, his speed, and the way he practices, he's just been getting better each day."
If Robert Quinn has improved as much as the Rams coaches are saying, Robert Quinn could be ready to break out in 2013. He may end up being the Rams best defensive linemen, and the Rams have Chris Long and Michael Brockers on the team. *Shivers