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 by /zn/
1 month 6 days ago
 Total posts:   6804  
 Joined:  Jun 28 2015
United States of America   Maine
Hall of Fame

Lancer wrote:Did the Rams pick up Omar Speights as a UDFA? If so great value and a player I watched in college.

Yes they signed Speights.

1 month 5 days ago
 Total posts:   12306  
 Joined:  Jul 15 2015
Barbados   Just far enough North of Philadelphia
Hall of Fame

Elvis wrote:Maybe we'll see some of this:

Maybe Kinchens will be a big part of that?

 by ramsman34
1 month 5 days ago
 Total posts:   8668  
 Joined:  Apr 16 2015
United States of America   Back in LA baby!

We have the secondary to play cover one me thinks. And if we send 5 rushers!!! Look out.

 by Dare
1 month 3 days ago
 Total posts:   122  
 Joined:  Mar 09 2024
United States of America   LA Coliseum
Practice Squad

I see the base starters as:

Edge: Young & Verse
DTs: Turner & Fiske

LBs: Jones, Brennan Jackson, Rozeboom

CBs: White & Williams
Safeties: Lake & Curl

Nickel: Rozeboom gets pulled and Lake drops down to SCB with Kinchens pairing with Curl at safety.

IMO that looks like a pretty solid unit. Jackson gives them a legit blitz threat. When in rotation with Hoecht it gives them solid talent at edge when rotating.

I think Shula will play the DL in one gap. In the secondary I would expect him to play man, or zone match with Lake as SCB and Curl and Kinchens two high or perhaps drop Kinchen's into the intermediate middle with Curl over the top.

With Jackson playing as an OLB it will help with containing the mobile QBs they will face.

 by Elvis
4 weeks 1 day ago
 Total posts:   38885  
 Joined:  Mar 28 2015
United States of America   Los Angeles

https://www.foxsports.com/stories/nfl/t ... has-a-plan

The Rams can't replace Aaron Donald. But Chris Shula, grandson of Don, has a plan

May. 20, 2024
Eric Williams

What to say?

Chris Shula had envisioned this moment for a decade, rolling through the thoughts in his mind of how he would articulate his vision to players as a first-time NFL defensive coordinator.

On the first day of offseason work, the words came naturally for the new DC of the Los Angeles Rams.

"That was something I had been thinking about — how to set the tone in front of the entire unit," Shula told FOX Sports in an exclusive interview. "You just want to set the expectations of the standards that you want to hold them accountable to, the style of play that we want to play with. But not only that, we want to build relationships with these guys, get them to feel comfortable, be able to ask questions and be vulnerable.

"I wanted to get all that out there in that first meeting. So I spent a lot of time and put a lot of thought into what I wanted to say and how to go about it. You don't just want to go right to football. … You want to show them that we really care about them, and we're going to have a plan for them to get better every day."

Shula had a practice run a decade ago as the defensive coordinator for Division III John Carroll. Then he worked his way up as a position coach with the Los Angeles Chargers and, for the past seven seasons, in various capacities with the Rams.

"No matter what's happening, up or down, he's always steady," said Rams inside linebacker Ernest Jones. "He's super intelligent; the way he's been able to transfer my game from a pre-snap position is second to none. … Players love him, and he's going to fit in perfectly."

In his first season as an NFL defensive coordinator, Shula faces the monumental task of replacing future Hall of Famer Aaron Donald, who retired this offseason after a decade of dominance. Shula knows it will take a committee approach to fill the huge void left by arguably the greatest interior defensive lineman in league history.

Shula plans to focus on what his players do best. And that goes back to what his grandfather, Hall of Fame coach Don Shula, taught him during his visits to Miami as a youngster: Schemes may change over time, but the fundamentals of killing blocks, tackling, taking the ball away and the pursuit of the football remain the same.

"I don't take it for granted, as far as what he accomplished in this league," Shula said of his grandfather, the all-time winningest NFL coach. "I don't really think about it, as far as holding up a legacy or anything like that. But it is cool to hear different stories about him.

"One thing that stuck out to me, and still does, is everybody thinks football has changed so much. [My grandfather] always said, ‘As far as I'm concerned, it's still about blocking, getting off blocks. Tackling and breaking tackles. Securing the ball and taking the ball away.' … [So] we try to emphasize here just the simplicity of football."

Shula also learned the game from other members of his family. His father, Dave, played a year in the NFL as a receiver and spent 15 years as a coach, including four-plus seasons as head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals. He currently serves as the receivers coach at his alma mater, Dartmouth.

Chris' uncle, Mike, was the offensive coordinator for three NFL teams and was the head coach at Alabama before Nick Saban. Mike Shula is currently an offensive analyst at South Carolina.

Shula and Rams head coach Sean McVay share a bond through their family's football legacy. McVay's grandfather, John McVay, was an NFL head coach and later served as general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, teaming with offensive guru Bill Walsh to lead that franchise to five Super Bowls. Sean's father Tim was an all-state quarterback in high school in Ohio and played defensive back at Indiana.

Sean McVay and Chris Shula also share another bond: They were college teammates at Miami University in Ohio.

"He's that guy that everybody feels like he's their best friend because he's so present when he's with you," McVay said of Shula. "He's so authentic. He's so refreshingly secure in who he is, and he's been prepared for this opportunity.

Chris Shula during an offseason program. Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Rams
"I'm excited because I think he's surrounded by a bunch of other good coaches, and I think he's really ready to help these players be the best that they can be."

Early on Rams, Shula worked for former Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who's from another multi-generational football family. Phillips saw Shula's potential from the start.

"He's a sharp guy, a quick learner, a hard worker and an outstanding coach," Phillips said. "We turned things around there pretty quickly. We worked really well together. He can coach inside and outside linebackers really well, along with the rest of the defense. He's a Shula."

Along with Phillips, Shula worked as an assistant with the Rams for defensive coordinators Brandon Staley and Raheem Morris, now the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

Shula, 38, said he’s taken bits and pieces from all three defensive minds, learning the importance of keeping things simple from Phillips, innovation from Staley and the value of building good relationships with players from Morris.

Shula and his staff are now knee-deep into building the defense they want. The biggest question, of course, is how to fill the huge hole in the middle of the line left by Donald.

"Obviously, we're going to have to step up as a group," Shula said. "We made a big point to Kobie Turner that we don't expect him to be an Aaron Donald, because he really is one of one. We knew when he was in the game how offenses were going to protect against us. Now, it's a little bit more of a guessing game."

Shula mentioned the possibility of Turner, who had nine sacks as a rookie nose tackle and finished third in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting, expanding his role to play multiple positions along the defensive line. And he expects the pass rush to benefit from the chemistry and ability of a pair of Florida State rookies, Jared Verse and Braden Fiske. They were the Rams' top two selections in this year's draft.

"We liked them each individually as players, whether they were on the same team or not," Shula said. "I think [playing together is] going to help them definitely, especially when they get into those rush-type situations if they're on the same side. There's some really good clips of them rushing together. I think that's a feel thing. We like the package deal we got with them."

However, Philips believes the Rams will have to find another player like Donald who can consistently win one-on-one pass rush opportunities. According to Next Gen Stats, Donald generated 659 pressures since 2016, 239 more than the next-closest defensive tackle (Chris Jones, 420).

Donald finished with 111 sacks in 10 NFL seasons, second among defensive tackles to Hall of Famer John Randle (137.5). Donald is No. 3 in league history in tackles for loss with 176.

"We could utilize Aaron in a lot of different ways," Phillips said. "So, that takes away your one-on-one advantages. We tried to make sure Aaron had a one-on-one as much as we could, especially in passing situations because he could beat people one-on-one.

So, it’s just the personnel you have and try to utilize what they can do. They have other good players obviously, but there aren’t any Aaron Donalds, that’s for sure."

Shula also said the Rams will continue to use a 3-4 defensive front for their base scheme. And even though Turner can't replace Donald by himself, the second-year pro will be a major factor.

"He's going to be a guy who's on the field a ton," Shula said about Turner. "We love to have the flexibility to move those guys around, depending on the personnel group that's in the game. We're lucky, because he can play multiple spots pretty easily, whether it's physically or mentally.

"We can keep people guessing where we can kind of move him around. And the nice thing about Kobie is he's so selfless, he's always going to do what's best for the team. So it will be fun to use that chess piece accordingly.

"It's going to be interesting to see how it all plays out."

Eric D. Williams has reported on the NFL for more than a decade, covering the Los Angeles Rams for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Chargers for ESPN and the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune. Follow him on Twitter at @eric_d_williams.

4 weeks 1 day ago
 Total posts:   12306  
 Joined:  Jul 15 2015
Barbados   Just far enough North of Philadelphia
Hall of Fame

Great read.

One thing Phillips said was very interesting. He said "there aren't any Aaron Donalds", while talking about our current roster. True. But there aren't any Aaron Donald's (nor have there been) on any other teams either. And yet, we've seen some pretty good D's. He dwarfs Chris Jones' TFL and Chris Jones is pretty good. So NOBODY has to be Aaron Donald and we can still have a pretty good D.

I also loved the simplicity angle too. The combo of good/smart coach, good/smart players and good/smart scheme doesn't need an Aaron Donald. Absolutely they would be better if they had him but they can be good without him.

Shula might just be a good one. Wouldn't that be special.

 by /zn/
4 weeks 10 hours ago
 Total posts:   6804  
 Joined:  Jun 28 2015
United States of America   Maine
Hall of Fame

PARAM wrote:I also loved the simplicity angle too. The combo of good/smart coach, good/smart players and good/smart scheme doesn't need an Aaron Donald. Absolutely they would be better if they had him but they can be good without him.

Shula might just be a good one. Wouldn't that be special.

The way it looks at this admittedly early point, is that the young front 7 will be aggressive and attacking though they will line up in different ways with different personnel in different situations. A lot has been said about the versatility of guys like Turner, Verse, and Fiske, all of whom can line up in different positions. But then the more veteran secondary will be engaged in disguised coverages, match zone coverages, and general head games.

 by Rams1PlateSince1976
3 weeks 5 days ago
 Total posts:   2102  
 Joined:  Oct 12 2016
United States of America   LA Coliseum
Pro Bowl

Sometimes I think that the Rams Defensive Coordinators got lazy in game planning with Aaron Donald on the squad. Probably good to have a new Defensive head coach with Shula.

 by /zn/
3 weeks 4 days ago
 Total posts:   6804  
 Joined:  Jun 28 2015
United States of America   Maine
Hall of Fame

Rams1PlateSince1976 wrote:Sometimes I think that the Rams Defensive Coordinators got lazy in game planning with Aaron Donald on the squad. Probably good to have a new Defensive head coach with Shula.

I don't know if that's coaching. I think it was drafting. Here they are after the 23 and 24 drafts, with a long list of new, promising front 7 players taken in rounds 1-3.

How come they didn't do that before? It's like they never tried to draft help for Donald. How many front 7 players did they draft in rounds 1-3 from 2017 to 2022? (They didn;t have 1st round picks in that stretch but you know what I mean).

Out of 15 picks, it's 2 front 7 players (Lewis and Jones).

Imagine if, instead of drafting Everett, Rapp, Henderson, Evans, Akers, Jefferson, Burgess, Atwell and Bruss, they had instead drafed a couple of the following (I said rounds 1-3 but I tossed in a 4th rounder).

Trey Hendrickson (3rd rnd, 2017)
Fred Warner (3rd round, 2018)
Sam Hubbard (3rd round, 2018)
Maxx Crosby (4th round, 2019)
Alex Highsmith (3rd round, 2020)

Just a couple of those guys and the D is stronger around Donald. They did get Fowler and Von Miller through trades, but as rentals, basically.

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63 posts Jun 19 2024