From the moment that 6-6, 306-pound first-round DT Michael Brockers set foot in Rams Park, he has been virtually impossible to overlook.
“(Rams head coach) Jeff Fisher has joked about wanting Brockers and (fellow 6-foot-6 starting DT) Kendall Langford to always be the first two guys off the plane,” one team insider said. “They definitely pass the eyeball test.”
After being limited initially by a high ankle sprain suffered in the preseason finale that forced him to miss the first three games, Brockers, the 14thoverall selection in this year’s draft out of LSU, has been coming on strong in the last month or so, churning out Grade-A performances that have been at the forefront of the Rams’ considerable improvement defending the run.
“It took him a while to get over the injury, but he really has come on,” the insider said of Brockers, a defensive star in the Week 14 victory over Buffalo with 1½ sacks and a first-quarter forced fumble that was recovered by MLB James Laurinaitis and abruptly halted a Buffalo scoring drive at the Rams' 15-yard line. “It’s not just his run defense, but also his inside push. He’s getting more confidence. And of course, he was very strong to begin with.”
Added Fisher recently: “He’s healthy. He’s strong. There’s no sign of fatigue or anything like that, that rookie wall. He’s using his hands much better week in and week out. He’s controlling his block. He’s usually on the right side of the block and now he’s getting help.
“As he’s learning the pass rush stuff inside, he understands that we’ve got great edge speed, and all we needed to complement that edge speed was inside push and that’s what he’s getting us.”