What was once a weakness for the St. Louis Rams is steadily becoming one of their strengths. Spagnulo and company still have work to do but coach Spags’ defensive pedigree is showing. After years of just flat out blowing high draft picks on defensive busts the likes of Claude Wroten, Jimmy Kennedy(bust at least for Rams), Tye Hill, Adam Carriker and others. A strong (and young) defensive core is in place. With the selection of Robert Quinn in this years NFL Draft the Rams showed a commitment to their Defense and made a promising unit that much stronger.
It started back in 2008 with the pick of Chris Long. Then in 2009 James Laurinatis came along and turned a group of players into a cohesive unit. From there with the emergence and addition of James Hall, Fred Robbins, Ron Bartell, Bradley Fletcher….etc. the Rams have morphed from a push-over defensive unit to one that has the ability to step up and change a game. Now of course no one is going to confuse this Rams until with the Steel Curtain of the 70’s, 85 Bears or 2000 Ravens. But the point is this defense is improving (that is not just my opinion, I actually have facts to back it up this time) and for a team that won only 6 games the three seasons prior to 2010 that is a great thing.
Pro-Football-Reference.com ranks Team Defenses based on DSRS or Team defensive quality relative to average (0.0) as measure by SRS (Simple Rating System)…..yeah. I’ll just go ahead and say the group at PFR.com is on a whole other level of statistical research than I am. Based on that I am just going to take their word on where and how they set up the rankings. Here is how the Rams fared the previous four seasons
2010 Rams DSRS -0.4 8th in NFC (Movin on Up!)
2009 Rams DSRS -5.8 15th in NFC
2008 Rams DSRS -7.0 15th in NFC
2007 Rams DSRS -6.4 Dead last in NFC
Some other opinions in line with mine
Who says the Rams D will dominate in 2011…SI does that who
On our way to having a shut down corner to call our very own.
Adding Quinn only makes it stronger
Fact… James Laurinatis is a beast
Replacing a favorite is never easy but it can be fruitful
The Rams do have a few holes to fill, but let’s start with their area of strength.
Flying under the radar can be helpful
Ready for a breakout year