Even before training camp started, all of the hype around the Rams revolved around their incredible defensive line. If the Rams are going to make the playoffs this season, it will more than likely happen because of the defense.
The Rams will be heading to their first preseason game this Friday against the New Orleans Saints. But before the preseason game takes place, here's a recap of what we learned during training camp
Gregg Williams gives the Rams an identity...
Finally head coach Jeff Fisher has the defensive coordinator that he's always wanted in Gregg Williams. In 2012, Williams was handpicked by Fisher to lead the Rams defense, but then the "Bounty Gate" scandal happened and the Rams had to move on without Williams.
Now Williams is back and he's bringing his defensive philosophy with him. A philosophy that isn't focused on playing deep and trying to trick the quarterback, but being aggressive and forcing the quarterback to make mistakes.
Aaron Donald and Lamarcus Joyner fit right in...
If the Rams defense is going to improve upon last year, then the two high draft picks defensive players Aaron Donald and Lamarcus Joyner will have a big role to play. Donald has been amazing, based on reports thus far. He's been winning one-on-one battles against offensive linemen and he's basically shown why he should figure to be a big part of the Rams defense. Donald will help the Rams generate the inside penetration the team lacked last season.
Joyner has been a pleasant surprise early for the team. His role seems to be the nickel corner back and maybe he will see some snaps at safety. He's been a leader and a good performer in practices. Although Joyner can be considered small being 5'8, the expectations are that he will play big when games begin. Already during camp he's proven to be fierce and competitive player, recently arguing with veteran receiver Kenny Britt, then getting in a fight with veteran receiver Austin Pettis.
The secondary is... The same as last year - Maybe?
The Rams secondary was pretty horrible last season, and although the hope is that this year will be different the signs have pointed that way yet. Starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins was picked on early during training camp and the hope is that he will play better on Sundays. The safety position has two players heading towards their second season as starters, but the jury is still out on those two as well.
Joyner and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will have an impact in the secondary, but how much? In theory, Williams defensive style will be a better fit for the secondary. Expect struggles with this unit early.