The Los Angeles Rams’ pass rush includes arguably the toughest group upfront than any other team in the NFL. With the likes of Leonard Floyd and future Hall of Famers Aaron Donald and Von Miller all standing side by side, the opposing team’s offenses need to be specifically planned to minimize their efforts in terms of the pressure they put on the quarterbacks .
The Rams rank fourth at 32 a year, though their totals have been minimal in their last four games.
Since week 9, the combination of Floyd, Donald and Miller – the big three of the team – has only collected 3.5 bags in that time.
That’s not to say they can’t get into the backfield and put pressure, knockdowns and quarterback hits. The only thing left is to bring the passer-by to the ground for a sack.
Donald said Friday the teams are getting the ball out faster to reduce their pass frenzy. Although the total number of sacks wasn’t what they once were at the start of the season when the Rams led the NFL in sacks for the first two months, Donald is still confident.
“I think it was already there. You obviously don’t see the bags because the quarterbacks got the ball out quick and things like that, ”Donald said awkwardly in the pocket. So we do the work. We just have to try and capitalize on ways to make the quarterback hold the ball that much longer so that we can get it to the ground. “
While sacks are the most specific number that many casual fans associate pass rush production with, quarterback pressure is often a more powerful barometer for determining how productive a pass rusher actually is.
“You want production. They want the pieces, but they’ll come, ”said Donald. “You’re putting the quarterback under pressure. Flying around, getting the quarterback out of pocket, or getting quarterback hits is the same thing. It affects the game. You want those splash plays too – but only affecting the game and my presence, even if it’s not a sack, even just putting pressure on the quarterback or being able to get him to pull the bag, making it uncomfortable – then I am also satisfied with it. “
The trio of Floyd, Donald and Miller have registered 131 encumbrances this season, according to Pro Football Focus. Meanwhile, Donald ranks sixth among pass rushers this season, suggesting that despite the sack numbers, he’s still made a big impact over the past few weeks.
However, Miller hasn’t recorded a layoff since joining the Denver Broncos. During his first seven games in Denver that season, Miller logged 4.5 bags. Donald said Friday that Miller was close to his first expulsion as a member of the Rams against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, but he hopes Miller will play NFC under the bright lights of Monday Night Football against the NFC in week 14 of West Leading Arizona Cardinals.
“He could have had one last week,” Donald said of Miller. “The quarterback just got the ball out. Hopefully this week he can get some of them. So we can have a day of having fun and getting the production that we’re waiting for.”
More from Ram Digest:
Nick Cothrel is the editor of Ram Digest. Follow Nick and Ram Digest on Twitter @NickCothrel & @RamDigestSI for more rams coverage.
Comments are closed.