Rams News: Bobby Wagner Impressed With Ernest Jones
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

During the Sean McVay era, inside linebacker has been more of an afterthought when it comes to the Los Angeles Rams’ team-building strategy.

The Rams have heavily invested in positions like wide receiver and cornerback, but defensively the team has looked to scheme its way around the linebacker position group. However, when Bobby Wagner suddenly became available the Rams rightly shifted gears and aggressively went after him in free agency.

Their courting worked as Wagner agreed to come home to Los Angeles where he instantly becomes the best inside linebacker they have had in years. Aside from Wagner, though, Los Angeles saw flashes out of rookie linebacker Ernest Jones during the 2021 season and he apparently caught Wagner’s eye with his play, according to Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:

“I’m very familiar with him,” Wagner said. “When I watched the defense, he made a lot of plays, especially in that Super Bowl, he was making a lot of plays as well. So I’m excited to get in the room with him, learn from him and be in his presence and stuff like that and just try to build a great linebacking core.”

Jones took over the starting inside linebacker spot midway through the season and hit the ground running, becoming a trustworthy presence in the middle of the field. Jones has a knack for making plays on the ball, but with Wagner in too, he should be able to accelerate his growth and development as a player.

It will be interesting to see how defensive coordinator Raheem Morris utilizes both Wagner and Jones as he typically likes to run several different sub-packages featuring an additional defensive back. However, Morris is smart and creative with his coverages so he will surely find ways to get both his linebackers on the field together more often than not.