The Rams made it to the postseason last year in large part thanks to their defense, which finished first in both yards allowed and points allowed.
But there were some significant departures after all that success.
Coordinator Brandon Staley became the Chargers head coach, with Raheem Morris hired to replace him. And two of the team’s major contributors in the secondary, safety John Johnson and cornerback Troy Hill, both signed with the Browns in free agency.
All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey was asked specifically about Johnson and Hill in a press conference following Thursday’s practice and said Los Angeles has the pieces to be just fine.
“I don’t think anybody was concerned,” Ramsey said. “Obviously, those two players were key to us last year. Troy on a personal-type level allowed me to play multiple roles in the secondary. So that’s somebody that I’m going to miss on a personal level. JJ, obviously he called the plays and was very important, had a heck of a season with us. So both them guys earned and deserved to go get paid elsewhere. That’s just what happened. That’s a part of the business.
“But we’ve got guys who are capable of filling in those roles. We’ll have new starters and new role players this year and we’ll figure it out. I think we have the right group of guys to get the job done.”
Even with star players like Ramsey and Aaron Donald, it won’t be easy for the Rams to replicate their defensive success from 2020. But if Ramsey is right and players like cornerback David Long can step up and play well, the unit has a good chance to remain elite.