The notorious thorn in the side of Seattle Seahawks, otherwise officially known as the Los Angeles Rams, rid themselves of Jeff “Mediocrates” Fisher, and have ushered in the Sean McVay era. Wade Phillips was brought in as the defensive coordinator, which also means LA’s defense is switching to a 3-4 base.
Seahawks fans now have a glimpse into how their division rivals, whose offseason workout program kicked off last week, will be shifting their key players around under a new defensive scheme. The biggest switch is fearsome pass rusher Robert Quinn moving from defensive end to outside linebacker. Truth be told, this is not really an actual major change in roles, but just a differently named position for Quinn, as head coach McVay addressed to the media.
“For all intents and purposes, Robert will line up as the Will linebacker, but he’s a rush player. He’ll play a similar role to what DeMarcus Ware did in Denver for Wade the last couple of years,” McVay said. “I think he’s going to still be, he’s going to be an elite rusher in this league for years and that’s what we’re hoping to do with him moving forward.”
About 20% of Quinn’s 54 career sacks have come against the Seahawks, with ten of his eleven coming against Russell Wilson. In fact, Quinn has recorded a sack on Wilson in seven out of ten total matchups, and Robert didn’t even play in two of those other three games. I do not like it when the Seahawks have to play the Rams.
In a more meaningful change-up, Lamarcus Joyner is going from nickel package DB and occasional outside cornerback to free safety, with Maurice Alexander expected to replace T.J. McDonald at strong safety. Joyner is in the final year of his four-year contract, so he has every reason to impress at his new position in hopes of landing something much bigger. The Rams also recently picked up Nickell Robey-Coleman in free agency, so he’ll surely be the #2 CB opposite Trumaine Johnson.
LA finished 15th in defensive DVOA last season, which was their worst ranking under Fisher and Gregg Williams. We know the talent is there, and I haven’t even brought up the absolute beast that is Aaron Donald, so it’ll be interesting to see how Wade molds this Rams defensive roster heading into next season.
On an offensive note, the signing of left tackle Andrew Whitworth means that Greg Robinson will try to salvage his disappointing career with a move to right tackle, which will send Rob Havenstein to right guard.