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A thought provoking post on this topic by oldnotdead...

June 29, 2020 04:37PM
This guy gives us a good glimpse into the possibilities for Staley’s fertile imagination.

Here’s oldnotdead...

I don't think the author really understands how the 3-4 hybrid is played. Their base front 7 looks to be:

DE Brockers
NT Robinson
DT Donald
JACK Floyd
SAM Ebukam
MIKE Kiser
ILB Young

That alignment gives them 3 actual D-line. But normally you will only see that on first down as it's geared to stopping the run. If on second it's a passing situation it's going to change. Staley would likely pull either the MIKE or the second ILB to bring in the nickel DB (Burgess / Williams) so the alignment is really 2-4 with Brockers likely pulled for Lewis who will play much like a second JACK. This will give Staley all kinds of options in how to align the defensive front. Remember this defense although called a 3-4 is played as a one gap scheme. The gap alignment will change with every play. The offense will not get the same look twice on each play. If Ebukam is moved up close to the LOS the o-line won't know if he's coming with Floyd dropping or both are rushing.

If Staley pulls the second ILB he could move Robinson from his 1T NT position to play a second 3T opposite AD with Kiser (MIKE) moving to close the A gap. This could isolate the C as he won't know if the MIKE or the SS will be blitzing or dropping. This is why having speed at the MIKE position is an advantage. Kiser has SS speed and if he can prove his coverage ability it will provide Staley with a lot of defensive play options.

That same scenario could get Robinson pulled for the nickel and Brockers shifted into that second 3T and Lewis as a second JACK at 5T. There are multiple alignments that Staley can use, with most involving the OLBs as his primary and blitzing pass rushers. What I'm saying is that Floyd, Ebukam, and Lewis could provide most of the pass-rushing pressure. These three are capable of tallying sacks in the 7- 10 range. In the hybrid scheme, the primary pass-rushing threat comes from OLBs being played in different alignments.

The wild card comes from tweener players like Jonah Williams who is listed as a DL player, but because of his athleticism can play multiple positions from 3T to 5T. In the above alignment, he could rotate in and play as an ILB giving them a much stronger interior look against an inside run or as an interior pass rusher. What I'm saying is that in the 3-4 hybrid scheme, positional designation doesn't mean much when you have athletic players who can be moved around. This is why guys like Littleton and Fowler are no longer on the team. If these players play up to expectations, this defense could have multiple players getting sacks in the 7-10 and 4-6 range. There are a lot of new players at key positions and how Staley intends to use them can't be assumed by looking at how Phillips used his unit. Staley has a lot more versatility with his defensive players this year than Phillips had. Also, I expect Staley to play more press-man coverages with the secondary. The success or not of this man coverage scheme will determine how Staley schemes his pass rush.

Trying to predict who will get how many sacks at this stage doesn't make sense. Because the Rams have a new DC and we have no idea how he is going to play his unit. One thing is clear from the draft is that athleticism is important to Staley, which would indicate that he's going to be moving guys around on each play. Who is going to play where has yet TBD and that will really only come after Staley sees the guys actually practicing and perhaps playing in the shortened preseason (if there is one, which at this point looks dubious at best).

Remember, with the improved speed at ILB early-down passes won't be a give me. Kiser and Young have SS speed allowing them to drop into coverage giving the Rams far better early-down pass coverage out of their base than in previous years. When you look at how offenses are evolving into pass first offenses then the Rams could be in their nickel scheme a lot. With their improved speed at ILB this allows the Rams to play their nickel defense much like a dime scheme as well. This impacts the pass rush as well.

Until we actually see how Staley plays his defense we can only guess who is going to be rushing. The only constant is AD. This is where Robinson will make a huge difference. We saw the impact of Suh on AD's pass rush allowing him to talley 21 sacks. The Rams now have a similar line with Robinson at NT and Floyd at JACK who allow the Rams to have a D-line that IMO is actually better than 2018 because of the addition of Lewis as the second edge. I think Lewis is the true wildcard in the Rams pass rush. If he plays up to expectations the Rams could have the best 4 man pass rush unit in the NFL. IMO it will be the eventual starting d-line for the Rams and it's awesome.

DE Lewis
NT Robinson
DT Donald
JACK Floyd.

  Who will lead the team in QB sacks?

Rams43104June 29, 2020 08:41AM

  A thought provoking post on this topic by oldnotdead...

Rams4344June 29, 2020 04:37PM

  Re: A thought provoking post on this topic by oldnotdead...

rampage66658June 29, 2020 05:39PM

  Base will be more like

JimYoungblood5333June 29, 2020 05:30PM