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Random Ramsdom: See where PFF ranked Raheem Morris as a defensive coordinator

Los Angeles Rams News and Links for 7/1/23

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Los Angeles Rams Training Camp Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

If I am not mistaken Sean McVay has had Wade Phillips, Brandon Staley and now Raheem Morris as defensive coordinators. It’s been a good run and each coordinator has been a reason the Los Angeles Rams have had some recent success. See where PPF ranked Coach Morris below and check out some other Rams links for 6-30-23!

Please check out the bottom of the page for a community question, please comment on any of the links or comment in general and enjoy your Saturday!

Rams’ Raheem Morris Ranked Among NFL’s Best Defensive Coaches (fannation/ramsdigest)

“The Los Angeles Rams’ trade of three-time All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins in March was a sign that at a minimum, they’re retooling on defense, if not altogether rebuilding. That will leave defensive coordinator Raheem Morris with his work cut out in 2023, as the Rams attempt to rebound from a disappointing 5-12 campaign a season ago.

Pro Football Focus recently ranked the Rams’ linebackers and secondary as the worst units in the NFL entering the 2023 season, which may make it almost impossible for Morris to coordinate even a league-average defense this upcoming season. Still, PFF ranked Morris as the seventh-best defensive coordinator in the NFL ahead of 2023, perhaps a reminder that whatever struggles happen on that side of the ball for the Rams this season, it’s not because they don’t have the right coach in place:

“As the Rams’ defensive coordinator since 2021, Morris helped orchestrate a defense that won a Super Bowl in his first season there. In his two seasons helming the defense in LA, the Rams’ 88.2 overall defensive grade ranks second in the league and their 90.0 run-defense grade is far and away the best mark.”

While it feels like Morris has been around for forever, he’s still only 46. He was perhaps too green when given the chance to succeed Jon Gruden as the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2009, ultimately posting a 17-31 record leading a team without a ton of talent before being dismissed.

But when the Falcons fired Dan Quinn after an 0-5 start in 2020, Morris looked more than up to the task, guiding Atlanta to a 4-7 record as interim coach. Despite that, the Falcons elected to hire externally after the season, picking former Tennessee Titans’ offensive coordinator Arthur Smith to be their next coach, rather than stripping the interim tag off of Morris’ title.”

Can Rams’ Van Jefferson Step Up Behind Cooper Kupp? (fannation/ramsdigest)

“When former Rams WR2 Robert Woods went down in 2021 with a torn ACL, WR3 Van Jefferson filled the hole, recording 50 receptions for 802 yards and six touchdowns. Jefferson was a big factor in taking extra defensive pressure off of All-Pro WR1 Cooper Kupp.

After the Rams’ Super Bowl-winning season, Woods was traded to the Titans and Jefferson was expected to be the full-time WR2. However, a knee injury during training camp would sideline him until Week 7 of 2022.

In 2022, All-Pro receiver Cooper Kupp suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 10. Just when Jefferson was expected to take on the WR1 role, quarterback Matthew Stafford suffered a season-ending spinal cord injury the following week.

Jefferson finished the 2022 season with just 24 receptions for 369 yards and three touchdowns in nine games.

However, now that Kupp and Stafford are healthy again, Jefferson hopes to play even better than his 2021 moving-up ceremony. He just never got a real chance to prove himself last season.”

Why LA Rams latest FA signing is very positive news (ramblinfan)

“Coaching is more than verbal dictation, and it is far far more than Xs and Os drawn on a whiteboard. To optimize coaching, an NFL team needs an ample supply of headsy veterans who can break down coachspeak for all of the newbies. Unfortunately, the LA Rams do not have that ample supply of veterans, particularly when you take a look at the secondary.

Of the 19 players (Tre Tomlinson included, although not yet signed), nine are true rookies, while another seven players are entering their second or fewer NFL season. It’s impossible to stick to any normal training schedule with so many blank faces among the players, and no matter how effective or patient the Rams coaching staff may be, that is bound to create problems

Rams free agency locks in veteran DB

And so, it was only a matter of time until the LA Rams free agency search found and signed a veteran defensive back. And the player added to the Rams roster is veteran defensive back, Ahkello Witherspoon. So what do we know about him?

For starters (pun intended), Ahkello Witherspoon is a 6-foot-2 195-pound defensive back whose career held chapters with both the San Francisco 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has seen action in 60 games over his six-year NFL career and started 40 of those games. Until 2022, he was very effective in coverage, allowing no better than 59.4 percent of passes targeting his receiver to find their mark. However, he regressed last season, playing in just four games but allowing a 75.9 completion rate.”

Could Rams DT Aaron Donald Be ‘Biggest Trade Deadline Pickup’ Ever? (fannation/ramsdigest)

“When it’s all said and done for Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, he will be on a short list of the greatest players of all time.

And not just the greatest to ever play his position or defensively - the nine-time Pro Bowler is simply one of the best to ever play the game of football.

But could Donald be the move this season? ESPN recently listed the future Hall of Famer as one of the most intriguing players for this upcoming year due to the uncertainty surrounding his future in Los Angeles.

“If they are bad again and decide to sell at the trade deadline, could Donald go somewhere and be the missing piece to a contender’s Super Bowl run, the way Von Miller was for the Rams two years ago,” ESPN writes. “If healthy, Donald could be the biggest trade deadline pickup in league history — if the Rams decide to see what they can get for him and if he’s willing to leave.”

Despite a down year by his standards, being limited to 11 games, five sacks and 11 quarterback hits - all career-lows - Donald was still named to his ninth career Pro Bowl in just as many career seasons.”

Who’s your favorite defensive coordinator for the Rams? Or feel free to make a list of the best defensive coordinators for the Rams or your favorites! I’m partial to Lovie Smith. I like what he did with the Rams in St. Louis. I remember Jeff Fisher had Greg Williams (I had written Greg Robinson and thank the commenter below for helping me fix this!), that was interesting. Will Wade Phillips, Brando Staley or Raheem Morris be anyone’s favorite? Thanks for reading and please let us know in the comments below!