The St. Louis Rams defense has been the big story so far at training camp, the defensive line in particular. Don't overlook rookie defensive back Lamarcus Joyner though. The second-round pick out of Florida State is blowing everyone away with what he's done so far.
#Rams Camp - Joyner has everything you want intangibly. He is proving himself on the field every day. He will rise up as a leader.— Tyler Bishop (@TylerBishop) July 30, 2014
Joyner made waves at camp on Tuesday with an interception, which wasn't his first pick of camp so far.
He's been rotating into the slot corner position with the first team defense early in camp, but still getting reps with the backups. So he doesn't have a starting job locked down just yet, but it could be just a matter of time if he keeps up his current blistering pace in camp.
Joyner might not be limited to the slot either. Here's what he said back in May after the Rams drafted him when he was asked about what position he wanted to play:
"Coach asked me that same question and I told him, ‘Coach, I'm a defensive back. I don't like to limit myself.' I play corner, I play nickel, I play safety. Wherever we are weak in the secondary, I'm going to make the team better, because I'm going to give my all and make that position better. I'm a team person, so I'm going to do whatever Coach wants me to do in the secondary."
Making the roster isn't even a question for Joyner. He's got that locked down, and being a second-round pick doesn't hurt either.
Another place to watch for contributions from Joyner is special teams. Here's what special teams coach John Fassel had to say about him:
"... a little scrappy, tough, feisty guy. I mean to me that's who we want on special teams - a guy that's tough, not a real big guy, but he's going to fight."
Ok, I started this post with the intention of making something informative. Whatever. I'll just be honest, this is straight hype. I'm excited about Joyner. Camp is so removed from what happens on the field, and it seems like we're reading glowing reports about every rookie and nearly every player every year only to be left scratching our heads when the regular season starts. That's fine.
July and August are for hype, for getting exciting. And, dammit, I'm excited about Joyner.