One of the things I'm really looking forward to is the new look Spagnuolo and coordinator Ken Flajole are giving the Rams defense. Their re-interpretation will have the defense constantly on the attack, as opposed to running set plays and relying on sideways movement and specific gap assignments.
We've talked some about this lately, taking a look at the Rams' sack rate and the development of Chris Long, who'll play an important role chugging in from the edge. Another change in the defense is the use of specific left and right tackles, rather than UTs and NTs. This should better utilize Adam Carriker, who'll play left DT, over the guard where he can better use his skill set. 3k and I spent some time talking about the new look of the defense, particularly d-line technique, on the last edition of Turf Show Radio, too.
I bring this up again, because Pro Football Weekly has some insider chatter about the defensive extreme makeover. Here's what the team source said about the left and right DTs:
Spagnuolo did the same thing with his tackles when he coached the Giants’ defense. It’s an interesting premise, since neither Carriker nor Ryan was a pure nose or three-technique-type anyway.
On top of Carriker and Ryan, they'll also rotate in fourth round pick DT Darell Scott, a gu with some more size, and possibly Orien Harris (acquired in the Brian Leonard trade) or one of the other tryout DTs now on the roster.
What was most interesting about the PFW piece, however, was that those DTs won't be the only players seeing some time in the middle. Spags made the practice of plugging DTs into all four front spots famous during his time with the Giants. Anyone that watched the Giants Super Bowl victory will remember the sight of DE Justin Tuck breathing fire down the Patriots' cheating necks from a two-point stance in the middle of the line. With the Rams, we'll likely see Adeyanju and James Hall shifted inside, and who knows what other configurations.
Before you light up the comments, let me just say I'm not at all suggesting that the Rams have the same kind of talent and can expect the same kind of results as the Giants d-line did in '07. I didn't sniff that much glue in high school. However, I think it is reasonable to expect to see some positive results from the new look. Consider me excited.