How much would Sean McVay end up using Jordan Fuller, a sixth round pick who wasn’t even the first safety drafted by Les Snead this year but was having perhaps the best training camp of any young player on the team? Was it over-hype and misinformation on how much the LA Rams were loving Fuller?
Even counting the fact that Taylor Rapp was hurt and played sparingly on Sunday night, it’s clear that if McVay isn’t 100-percent in on Fuller — he’s at least 99% on him.
The rookie out of Ohio State played in 71 of a possible 72 snaps on defense, with Micah Kiser, John Johnson and Jalen Ramsey as three players on that side of the ball who were in on all 72. Troy Hill played in 70 snaps, followed by Leonard Floyd at 68, cornerback Darious Williams at 64 and Aaron Donald at 60.
Samson Ebukam and Michael Brockers both played in 53 snaps, while linebacker Kenny Yougn was the only other defensive player in the game more than half the time, at 38 snaps.
Rapp, who missed most of the padded practices in training camp, played in 15 snaps, one more than defensive tackle Greg Gaines and one less than linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.
Third round rookie Terrell Burgess, linebacker Troy Reeder and cornerback David Long, all players that I speculated could be integral parts of the defense this season, played no snaps on defense. Neither did Nick Scott, but he led all players with 20 special teams snaps, followed by Okoronkwo, Burgess, Reeder and recent trade acquisition Justin Hollins.
Whether or not Fuller continues to start after his excellent performance on Sunday night will be monitored. The defensive rotation seemed to work, giving up only 17 points to the Dallas Cowboys. Things could have been better for McVay’s offense, which only scored 20.
Enough to win this game but not enough to win most games.
The offensive line was as expected and they played in 100% of the snaps. Tyler Higbee was in on 89% of the snaps as compared to 33% for Gerald Everett, who left with a back injury; Johnny Mundt ended up playing in 10 snaps. Josh Reynolds beat out Van Jefferson but it was close, 37 snaps to 33 snaps.
The biggest surprise turned out to be Malcolm Brown getting 44 snaps, well more than the 24 of Cam Akers. Darrell Henderson was active but only active enough to play in five snaps. Brown scored two touchdowns but the Rams were clearly lacking the explosiveness at the position that they want, assuming they want another player like Todd Gurley.
The Rams travel to face the Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday at 10 a.m. PT.