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LA Rams: Tempering expectations with reality

What the Suh Trade Does and Doesn’t Do

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images

This Is A Great Move

Face it, I’m old school football.

I love defense and especially defenses that are overly aggressive, have swagger and unleash unrepented pressure on the opponents.

Ndamukong Suh is just that kind of player. He may be “bad behavior on the field” kind of guy given his past history for unsportsmanlike penalties, but now he’s my bad guy and I love him.

Coupling Suh with Aaron Donald is a scary thought. The expectations are sky high for this combination.

QB’s with zero time to pass against the Rams defense mercilessly destroys them; and if they do throw the ball, look out for Lamarcus Joyner, Aqib Talib, and Marcus Peters at CB. Throw in John Johnson III coming off a pretty good rookie season at the other safety and the “L.A.P.D.” (Los Angeles Pass Defense) will be padding their interception statistics.

It makes one think the 2018 version of the Los Angeles Rams defense could be better then the 1985 Chicago Bears, the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, and most recently the 2015 Denver Broncos — being relentless, immovable defenses.

But what appears to be visionary on paper doesn’t necessarily equate to reality.

Living Up To Expectations

The hardest thing to overcome in sports is living up to expectations. Although I don’t want to throw cold water on the feelings I have now, I also know that an acquisition like Suh still has to live up to my expectations.

So Rams fans, let’s not fall into the Rex Ryan proclamation made during the exhibition season that the Jets are going to the Super Bowl, which created unneeded pressure to perform. The Jets didn’t live up to the hype, fell into disgrace, and Rex Ryan lost his job being labeled as a coach whose only real ability was talking.

It’s up to defensive coordinator Wade Phillips now. Last year he did a remarkable job of getting players to buy into his 3-4 scheme as opposed to the 4-3, formerly ran by Jeff Fisher and Gregg Williams.

The 2017 Rams defense wasn’t great, but it wasn’t lousy either.

As a result, players like Alec Ogletree, Robert Quinn, and Trumaine Johnson - who didn’t fit well into the 3-4 scheme - are now gone, replaced by better man-to-man cover guys. And despite the fact the Rams signed LB Ramik Wilson from the Kansas City Chiefs the Rams still need to fill the LB positions.

But who needs linebackers when you have Suh, Donald, Michael Brockers, and Dominique Easley.

I know that a lot can happen during the course of a season. Injuries, suspensions, lack of team play as opposed to individuality could all plague what on paper looks like one of the greatest defenses assembled.

Still, if there is one thing which is always true, statistics don’t lie.

Through the course of their careers Suh, Donald, Talib, and Peters have consistently racked up outstanding defensive statistics.

That’s what the Rams are betting on, and it now falls on Wade to make it happen.

Why Watching The Rams Is Must-See Football In Los Angeles

General Manager Les Snead and COO Kevin Demoff pulled off huge moves this off season and the Rams haven’t even got to the draft yet.

What was the weakest unit last year has been turned into a strength, by a complete overhaul of the defense.

The Rams have spent their money wisely during free agency and gave up little in the trades they’ve made thus far.

If you’re an old school “defense wins championships” kind of guy, like I am, then you’ve got to be enjoying the thought of the 2018 Rams defense taking the field, shutting down the opponents running game, and absolutely destroying opposing quarterbacks.

This is the Los Angeles Rams we’re talking about — the team noted for having the greatest defensive line in football and coining the phrase the “Fearsome Foursome.’

The greatest defensive end in the history of football was our own Deacon Jones. We now have the potentially greatest defense tackle ever in Aaron Donald.

Grouping him with Suh will only make Donald better.

I love this move and I can’t wait for the season to begin.