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Countdown to Camp: Outside linebackers should be a strength for L.A. in 2019

July 12, 2019 03:14PM
Countdown to Camp: Outside linebackers should be a strength for L.A. in 2019


Myles Simmons

OUTSIDE LINEBACKERS

Newcomers: Clay Matthews, Josh Carraway, Landis Durham

After searching for production out of the position on a rotating basis for much of the first half of 2018, Los Angeles traded for outside linebacker Dante Fowler and got plenty out of the deal. Fowler was more of a rotational player with Jacksonville — the team that drafted him No. 3 overall back in 2015.

But in Los Angeles, Fowler was a full-time player and made the most of his opportunities. He recorded 2.0 sacks, a forced fumble, four tackles for loss, and five quarterback hits during the regular season — adding 1.5 sacks, four TFLs, and three QB hits in the playoffs.

Fowler elected to sign a one-year deal with the Rams rather than head into unrestricted free agency. And given that he’s now had a full offseason program with the club, there’s plenty of reason to believe he should be even better integrated into the scheme in 2019.

One of Los Angeles’ big prizes in free agency, veteran Clay Matthews should also aid in the production from the OLB spot. Matthews will likely start opposite Folwer in the Rams’ base 3-4 package — which is more for early downs. Then on third downs, or any known-passing situation, Matthews could be more of a wild card — lining up where it most makes sense from a matchup standpoint. Playing the first 10 years of his career in Green Bay, Matthews has recorded 83.5 sacks — good for No. 6 on the active list.

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