The St. Louis Rams signed defensive lineman Kendall Langford this spring with an eye on beefing up the middle of their defensive line while getting a little younger at the same time. Langford came from Miami where he spent the majority of his early career playing end in a three-man front. A transition to playing in the middle of a four-man front should come with few shocks considering just how few snaps the Dolphins used a 3-4 last season.
Miami's new defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said recently, after studying his team extensively over the summer, that the Dolphins ran a 3-4 just 12 percent of the time last season. The other snaps were spent in special formations, including goal line and nickel packages that utilize a four-man front.
Football Outsiders ranked Miami's defensive line 12th against the run and seventh in pass rushing. Langford was an important part of the pass rush, generating 27 total pressures despite not recording a sack last year. He was, for the most part, level against the run after some early season struggles, according to the rankings at Pro Football Focus. Last year was the only year Langford graded out with a negative in run defense, per PFF.
Given the number of snaps he saw last year in a four-man front with the Dolphins, the transition in the St. Louis will be minimal, which is good because the Rams are counting on big things from him and rookie Michael Brockers.