Rams Are Wheeling And Dealing Like No Other Team
Well, not for Los Angeles Rams General Manager Les Snead.
Rams fans knew going into 2017 that with Wade Phillips as the defensive coordinator, the team was going to have to adjust from a 4-3 which they had drafted there defense around into the 3-4. The 3-4 depends heavily on cornerbacks playing man-to-man coverage, while the 4-3 under from Defensive Coordinator Greg Williams, who is now with the Cleveland Browns, played a lot of zone coverage and was known for its exotic blitz packages.
Last year fans took a wait and see attitude regarding the defense. For the most part, the Rams played okay on defense. They weren’t great, but they weren’t terrible either.
Going into this offseason, the Rams had some tough decisions as to who they were going to keep overall on top of the unrestricted free agents on the defensive side of the ball. With free agency looming, Les made a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs acquiring troubled but talented CB Marcus Peters. The Rams gave up little for one of the best in the league. This move meant that the Rams were probably not going to re-sign CB Trumaine Johnson.
As Peters is a better man cover guy, he just needs to control his emotions on the football field.
Quinn hasn’t really been the same player since 2015 after he was able to parlay his 2013 season into a long-term extension with the Rams. He’s had his moments though and he’s one of the best strip sackers in the league. Quick off the ball, he’s a speed rusher.
He has also had his bad moments. Too often getting needless penalties by lining up the neutral zone on critical third and shorts, the kind of dumb stuff which brings unwanted attention onto yourself. Quinn is also not a great run stopper and can barely get through a whole season healthy.
Apparently, Phillips (and I tend to agree) sees Robert Quinn best suited for a 4-3 and not a 3-4—he’s not an OLB. Miami is good place for him.
The problem I have with that trade is it felt more like of a salary dump since Quinn was due a big option had the Rams decided to keep him rather then a deal the Rams had to make. The Dolphins knew this, so while the Rams got some draft picks for him, it just didn’t feel like they got enough.
If that’s all the Rams were going to do going into the draft, I could live with it...but that wasn’t enough for Snead. He then traded fan favorite ILB Alec Ogletree who just last October signed new contract extension shipping him off to the New York Giants. This was a shocker.
Alec is not your prototypical ILB. He’s fast, but not stout. Quick and fast isn’t good enough for Wade Phillips. He wants hitters and run stoppers at the ILB position. Alec doesn’t fit the bill. Throw in the fact that too many times he whiffed on so many tackles, and he just seemed out of position at ILB spot. With the move to trade Quinn, I would not have been surprised to see the Rams move Alec back to his natural position at OLB had he stayed; however, the Rams didn’t do that. They outright traded him.
My feeling was the Giants got the better of the deal, giving up very little in draft picks for a quality player and person. Alec will do well in the Giants 4-3. Rams fans should all wish him well.
Nevertheless, this deal was hotly debated among my fellow TST staffers. Some of them took the position that this was a great deal—they love the drama.
I wasn’t a big fan of the deal for only one reason—it left the Rams with huge gaps at the position on the depth chart. With Quinn and Ogletree gone and most likely unable to afford another contract like ILB Mark Barron given the Rams have little to spend, whose going to replace them?
Now the Rams have S Lamarcus Joyner, whom they tagged, second-year S John Johnson, Peters and Talib for pass coverage. This is clearly an upgrade from last year. All three combine well as hitters, great cover guys, run stoppers and have that “edge” your always looking for when you want an aggressive defense.
This still leaves the Rams with some BIG holes to fill at ILB and OLB, but the Rams could still make a move in free agency or fill this need with a linebacker-stocked draft.
The problem I’m having now is not be able to keep up with all these moves. I’ve never seen anything like it.
The Rams have literally dispensed with three and possibly four players from the defense last year which wasn’t that bad in 2017. A tweak here and there was all I saw coming, not the wholesale changes were seeing now.
While its okay to make moves, I’d just like the Rams to slow down a bit so I can catch my breath, but if these moves brings the Los Angeles a Super Bowl it will turn out to be the best offseason ever.
I’ll live with the sleepless nights.