Decompose the new Rams: Suh increases the defense; Cooks refine offense | NFL

The response of the Los Angeles Rams to a long-awaited season of advancement in 2017 has been a Hollywood off-season worthy of 2018.

After going 11-5 and winning the NFC West for the first time in 14 years thanks to rookie coach Sean McVay getting the best out of the offense, the Rams went to work to improve their defense. Six new starters are projected to flank Aaron Donald, as the team acquired tackle Ndamukong Suh and cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib as key personnel in Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme.

McVay and general manager Les Snead did not forget to make a splash on the other side of the ball. They exchanged for former Saints receiver and Patriots Brandin Cooks late in free agency.

That's a big change for a talented and young team that is still trying to find its championship pace. When you examine the key parts of the Rams' depth chart that enter the training camp and eliminate the exaggerations, some new questions come up with those new solutions.

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Open receiver [19659007] The cooks, who were only 24, were traded for the second time in many seasons before the last year of their rookie contract. After going through a roller coaster in New Orleans and New England with Drew Brees and Tom Brady, respectively, Cooks hopes to last in Los Angeles as Jared Goff's favorite player.

The Rams had cooks on their radar in 2017, and he gives them both an improvement in the big game and in the minor game over Sammy Watkins, who signed with the Chiefs. The chefs started working with Goff before officially becoming teammates. There's a good Pac-12 feel to Goff, Cooks and last year's surprising wide receiver, Robert Woods.

Cooks and Woods are more interchangeable than Watkins and Woods when it comes to their hands and skills after the catch. With Josh Reynolds, who was once labeled as the possible replacement for Watkins, after shoulder surgery, Cooks is a luxury born out of necessity. His speed will give McVay new ways to stretch the pbading game.

Cooper Kupp, who stood out in the franchise as a rookie last season, is a few months older than Cooks. Their styles intersect well, especially on the pivotal routes, which are basic to the Rams and the Patriots offenses in which Kupp and Cooks excelled separately in 2017. This year, when the field against men's coverage expands, the Rams will be harder to stop. 19659002] RAMS OTAs:
Goff, Cooks preview the potential of the big play

Defensive line

While Donald does what he wants while he's off the team and hopes to get a lucrative contract extension worthy The most disruptive defensive player, the Rams are discovering the best way to fit Suh to his side in his three-man base.

Suh arrives in Los Angeles with a new motivation in a one-year contract to "try it out" for the first time. time in his career. Although he has gone through the runoff of the defensive coordinators, Suh played on a base scheme of 4-3 throughout his time with the Lions and Dolphins.

Phillips' trick is to get the most out of Suh on the inside pbad and not put him in a more limited (though more comfortable) role to stop the road in an unfamiliar defense. The Rams' third starting lineman, Michael Brockers, is so good against the run that Suh can badume a nose tackle role. (19659004) Suh, 31, saw his total bag drip to 4.5 in Miami last season after posting 8.5 in his senior year with Detroit (2014). Phillips will place him in an ideal position to be more productive since Suh plays directly with the attention that Donald receives.

The Rams were ranked No. 4 in the NFL with 48 sacks last season, with Donald (11) and Brockers (4.5) producing almost a third of them. Another 15.5 sacks by linebackers Robert Quinn, Connor Barwin and Alec Ogletree are gone, so with LA now without a dominant rival, Suh must rediscover some of his pop with the help of Phillips.


The Rams split Quinn, Barwin and Ogletree, and with Mark Barron as the inside linebacker as only returning starter, there are no safe replacements on the list.

Based on last season's situational recounts, Samson Ebukam (fourth round in 2017) and Matt Longacre (not selected in 2015) will start outdoors now that rookie Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is coming out of foot surgery. Ebukam is the best runner and Longacre is the best pbad rusher, but none has shown his coverage. There is Morgan Fox, who is a bit more complete but is also becoming the defensive line. Compared to how strong they are in other parts of the defense, the Rams are weak, inexperienced and thin linebackers.

The Rams defense last year ranked 28th against the race, allowing 122.4 yards per game and 4.7 yards per carry. Although Barron can increase coverage as converted security, he fights the race. Ogletree was even worse, which led to his switch to the Giants despite signing a contract extension during the 2017 season.

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[19659002] Barron could be challenged in the camp as well, but for now, Cory Littleton, Bryce Hager, former boss Ramik Wilson and rookie Micah Kiser are fighting for shots in the other place. Kiser is a natural internal pbad rusher, but not much more. Littleton can also reach the quarterback and is equally good at running and pbading the coverage. Wilson enters with more seasoning, since he started 11 games for the Chiefs two seasons ago. But Hager, who produced as a starter in the final of the regular season for the Rams 2017 against the 49ers, has the opportunity to emerge as the best of the group.

Phillips in Los Angeles does not have a DeMarcus Ware or a Von Miller in linebacker. While firmness is important for those positions, the strengths of the front and back of the Rams can allow the coordinator to take risks with the players who provide the most youthful and upward energy against those who might be considered safe.

Cornerback [19659007] There was a perception last season that the Rams had strong corners, but their coverage was underpinned by their two priority signatories Nickel Robey-Coleman and free safety LaMarcus Joyner. They were active players who combined for five of the team's 18 interceptions.

Trumaine Johnson and Kayvon Webster had their moments outside but they were below-average starters. Enter Talib of the Broncos, where he once played for Phillips, and Peters, former Chiefs cornerback, who arrives as the Rams' top offseason of the offseason.

Talib is a solid type that seems to improve in his 30 years. Peters can be burned for big plays, but he is not afraid to try to do them himself. It is difficult to find a better combination of players that complement the games of others. They also combine to match the Phillips mentality of mixing consistent rewards with worthy risks.

The key to Talib and Peters will be to combine their personalities, as well as to accept the fact that they will be considered co-No. 1 corners Phillips has handled many aggressive defenders with attitude; their trajectory makes them happy by placing them in positions that mutually benefit the team and the individual players.

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Behind Peters, Talib and Robey-Coleman are few viable filling options, but former Packer Sam Shields brings another veteran presence to the depth chart. Throwing downfield against the Rams and their renewed high school will be difficult. The new defensive backs give Phillips infinite blitzing scenarios to generate a better attack pbad by committees.

Phillips is as good at masking defensive weaknesses as he is at increasing strengths. With LA's offense hoping to score many points and press opponents to pbad, the defensive coordinator now has the badets to capitalize on the mistakes committed by opposing offenses.


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