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Rams going with blue-collar outside linebackers

Over at his NFC West blog, Mike Sando talks to Matt Williams from Scouts, Inc. about some of the issues surrounding the St. Louis Rams rebuild.

One of the things I found particularly interesting about it is Williams' take on Spagnuolo's approach to the defense. Here's a pretty elightening statement about Spag's history with linebacker and DLs in light of yesterday's Witherspoon trade:

If you look at the Giants' defenses, they never had a lot of money tied into linebackers. They were fourth- and fifth-round picks, journeymen. I don’t disagree with that, especially running a 4-3. That is the place you can get bargains. It wouldn't shock me if they took that money and got a killer defensive end, using the Giants' formula of, 'Let's beat your tail up front with our defensive line.' "

If they harvest a bunch of defensive linemen, I'm cool with that. It's a terrific formula. Defensive linemen are gold. I tend to think Steve Spagnuolo thinks that as well.

He's referring to getting a DE with the $6 million or so of cap space that Witherspoon would have cost the Rams in 2010. It would certainly seem that strategy is at play with Spags and Co. this season, since they've now jettisoned the Rams two most experienced and costly starting LBs in trading Witherspoon and releasing Pisa Tinoisamoa in the spring.

The Rams are using a journeyman in Paris Lenon this season, a seventh-round pick in David Vobora (once he returns after this week) and another seventh-round pick in Larry Grant to complement keystone MLB James Laurinaitis.