Rams News: Byron Young Put On Weight This Offseason, Wants To Be A Better ‘Closer’
Byron Young, Rams
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If the Los Angeles Rams are going to continue to build off of last season and take another step towards championship contention, they are going to need many players to step up, especially defensively. The team has lost Aaron Donald to retirement so the likes of Kobie Turner, Byron Young and Ernest Jones will be relied upon even more.

Young, in particular, is coming off a breakout rookie season in which he recorded 42 tackles, eight tackles for loss and eight sacks. But he isn’t resting on his laurels.

Young, who was listed at 250 pounds, revealed that he has bulked up to nearly 260 pounds and likes the way he is looking with the extra weight, via Stu Jackson of Rams.com:

“It’s good to be bigger and fast,” Young said. “They wanted me to see if I get to this weight and see if I could play with that, see if I could sustain that and that’s what I’m doing right now. It feels great. Getting close to up to 260, so it’s good, and I don’t look bad. That’s one thing that I would worry about – I didn’t want to get the weight and then not look great. But it’s definitely something that helps me with the run game, pass game, setting the edge and all of that, for sure.”

Furthermore, Young has also identified where he felt he came up short last season and what he wants to improve, believing that he didn’t do a good enough job closing games and is aiming on changing that in 2024:

“I felt like last year I definitely (had) games where I need to close out and I didn’t come through, and that’s my goal. That’s my number one goal,” Young said. “Honestly this year, it’s just about you know being a closer. They brought me here for a reason. They brought me here to rush the passer. it don’t matter if it’s a sack or whatever, it’s a pressure, get to the quarterback, affect the passer. So I feel like I didn’t enough of that last year, and that’s my number one goal is the train, do everything it takes to get there. Whether it’s getting off the ball, better technique, shed off the block faster, whatever it is, that’s what I’m working on right now.”

Those crucial plays on third and fourth downs at the end of games are where it matters most. Donald was legendary for coming through in those moments and Young understands that he must step up and close those games when the Rams have the chance.

This is a team on the rise, but they can’t let the success of 2023 get in their heads and not work as hard this year. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be a problem as Young and the rest of this team seem locked in on improving in every facet.

Ernest Jones believes Chris Shula will fit in ‘perfectly’ as Rams defensive coordinator

Another huge piece of the Rams defense in 2024 will be new defensive coordinator Chris Shula, who is taking over for Raheem Morris after leaving to become head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

But Ernest Jones is already a fan of Shula, pointing towards his steady demeanor and high intelligence as reasons why he will fit in ‘perfectly’ with the Rams.