October 13, 2021 09:36AM
[theramswire.usatoday.com]
Robert Rochell never expected to be a starter this early in his career

Cameron DaSilva
October 12, 2021 12:48 pm PT

Somewhat unexpectedly, the Rams made a change at cornerback in Week 5 when they benched David Long Jr. for rookie Robert Rochell. Rochell had played just 46 total snaps in Weeks 1-4, understandably being given a limited role as a fourth-round rookie.


But against the Seahawks last Thursday, he played a season-high 54 snaps, made two tackles and broke up one pass. It wasn’t a perfect outing for Rochell, allowing a touchdown in coverage and committing pass interference on a deep throw to Tyler Lockett, but he should continue to get better as he gains experience.

He told reporters on Monday that he never expected to start this early in his career, but he’s taking the opportunity in stride.

“I didn’t, but rookie is just a title. And that’s just how I look at a lot of things, a lot of stuff,” Rochell said. “Titles are tricky, and sometimes stuff happens, so you just got to be ready. I never would’ve thought I’d be in this situation this early in my career, and when I got that notification of what was going to happen, I had to right then put my big boy shoes on. I’ve got to be ready. I’ve got to stand up for this team and all the other guys that are going out there day in and day out with me. We’re all representing each other so I just tried to go out there with a big heart and a clear mind.”

Rochell has a ton of potential as a cornerback, given his athleticism and ball skills. It’s what drew the Rams to him in the fourth round despite being a small-school prospect out of Central Arkansas.

He’ll get even more opportunities to contribute in the near future after Darious Williams was placed on injured reserve, sidelining him for at least three weeks. And with the way Sean McVay talked about Rochell, he doesn’t sound like a player whose role will decrease after one shaky outing against Seattle.
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  Robert Rochell never expected to be a starter this early in his career

BerendsenRam103October 13, 2021 09:36AM