Rams are trying to build a team that applies pressure – both offensively and defensively

·3 min read

The Rams’ approach to roster building is unique, to say the least. They don’t build through the draft like most other teams, instead choosing to trade their picks for proven players.

But regardless of how they acquire talent, they have one goal in mind: to build a team that pressures and stresses opponents. And looking at the team they have right now, it seems they’ve accomplished exactly that.

Les Snead shared some insight on the Rams’ roster construction in light of Von Miller’s arrival, saying they wanted to continue adding player who put pressure on the opponent – both offensively and defensively.

Considering they have the most sacks and the sixth-most pressures in the NFL through eight games, they’ve accomplished their goal on defense and only got better with the addition of Miller.

“The position of outside linebacker is very important in our defense, especially someone who has a pedigree of affecting the passer like he has,” Snead told reporters. “What we felt like in any of these opportunities – and there’s players that get shopped or discussed. OK, how does he fit, how does he help us? We have Leonard Floyd, we have Aaron Donald. We did feel like adding Von to that front seven would be a player that would stress the protection, stress the protection, the one-on-one matchups. Our goal is to try to build a team that stresses opposing teams, applies pressure to opposing teams, whether it’s offense or defense.”

On offense, the Rams also apply pressure. They have Cooper Kupp, who’s been almost impossible to cover this season. Van Jefferson has stretched the field vertically as the team’s deep threat, though DeSean Jackson was supposed to be the player to do that. Robert Woods has been a tough coverage assignment, too, moving all over the field and running a variety of routes.

Matthew Stafford is the X-factor in it all, attacking defenses at every level. He can throw it 60 yards to a deep receiver, he can fit passes into tight windows over the middle and he’ll no-look you to death on screen passes to keep linebackers planted where they are.

He’s fifth in intended air yards per attempt and second in air yards per completion, which shows he’s pushing the ball downfield successfully.

There’s still work to be done, but with the way the Rams have constructed their roster, they sure look like Super Bowl contenders.

“Our objective, big picture, our model is to try to build a roster that really stresses and pressures the opponent for 60 (minutes),” Snead added. “We’re trying to build a roster to win many games, not just one. But we’re also well aware being 7-1 that we do have a chance to contend for a division, we do have a chance to make a run, maybe even for a bye and a home playoff game. And then once you get there, our model is as boring as it gets when it comes to, all we can really focus on and control is Step 9 of the hill we’re climbing and that’s the Tennessee Titans because if you look past that, the enemy is going to have a say.”

Few teams in the NFL have the talent on both sides of the ball that the Rams do, which makes them a team no one will want to play in January.