The Science of LA Rams ILB: Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy

The more I learn about the LA Rams’ inside linebacker combination of veteran Bobby Wagner and sophomore linebacker Ernest Jones, the more I like it. Historically, the LA Rams had continued to devote their resources to other positions on defense for so long, that it became second nature to formulate how the defense would win the day as a defensive donut.

The middle, where the inside linebackers roamed, would be the random wild card for the team and the defense. It sometimes turned out to be a good surprise when the inside linebackers had a good game. But when they were out of position, missing tackles or simply unable to stop on third downs, we knew it was going to be a long day.

Now? There’s reason to believe the LA Rams’ defense could have an altogether different feel this season. How? Well, I don’t expect to have so many blank plays when the Rams defense is on the field. In fact, I may be looking forward to those occasions. Why?

The LA Rams and all fans have learned that a consummate veteran can make a huge difference on this roster. Last season, we were all pleasantly surprised at how much of a positive impact veteran outside linebacker Von Miller was making. Not only did he contribute to the team with his own performance, but he was also a calming and stabilizing force for the dressing room.

So what can we expect from inside the LA Rams defense this year? Well, the more I looked at it, the more I thought it was the Big Bang theory. So let’s evaluate the different science disciplines and discuss how each will translate to a better Rams defense.

Physics

You can’t ignore the fact that the LA Rams have operated two of the strongest ILBs in recent team history. With Ernest Jones only returning for his second season, he has clearly shown he can make a difference in this defense. More than just a run stopper, he sees the entire football field and is already showing signs of defensive savvy to anticipate where and what the offense plans to do.

Now place veteran Bobby Wagner alongside Jones, and you’ve doubled the strength. Bobby Wagner doesn’t sit and guess. He diagnoses the play and arrives in the hole as the ball carrier advances. This usually results in a tackle for little or no gain.

Chemistry

Ernest Jones and Bobby Wagner’s chemistry is already showing signs of being something special. Wagner is a veteran who knows his role on the Rams team isn’t limited to performing on the football field. He is a hands-on mentor/coach to all the young linebackers on the team. This role should not be underestimated.

Much like Miller in 2021, Wagner will not only help generate consistency in younger players, but will also be a valuable sounding board for veterans on the team. And it is this ability to collaborate and troubleshoot on the fly that will really be the value of having Bobby Wagner on the field.

Astronomy

binary stars. Many solar systems in the universe are believed to be binary star systems. Although we are much more familiar with a lone star system (because it is our solar system), astronomers estimate that 85% of existing stars in the universe are part of a binary star system. Ok, so what does this have to do with football?

Simply put, the LA Rams’ pursuit of a second star at inside linebacker is more than just an addition. The inclusion of a solid, perhaps still elite, second inside linebacker will allow the Rams defense to explore new ways to use excess talent in that position.

Will that mean A-gap blitzes? Will the Rams be less inclined to place a third safety on the field? Will the Rams use their 3-4 base defense more? With two stars in the field, there are fewer weak spots to cover.

Will the Rams’ defense be an automatic upgrade this season? Maybe. But the science is solid. And by looking at the team from a scientific rather than a statistical perspective, we can already begin to see the many ways this new defensive setup can benefit the team this season.

Comments are closed.