After an offseason of few acquisitions and many departures, the Los Angeles Rams are resting their hopes on their young players they have drafted over the last few years. Although they have been able to retain some important veterans, the Rams will be a much younger squad in 2020.
One young member of the defense, David Long Jr., is hoping to take his game to the next level in 2020. Long saw a fair amount of time on the field last season, but with the departure of some key members of the secondary, he may have to take on a larger role whether he is ready or not.
According to Sarina Morales of TheRams.com, Long appreciates all he learned last season and hopes to use that knowledge to improve his game to achieve his goals for the 2020 season:
“My goal this season is be the best player I can be and really bring everything together. Last season I had a learning curve and progressed well, but I feel I now have the experience and skill set to be the player others have envisioned me to be and more. I also have a better understanding of what to expect, having a year under my belt. Things like lifting, workouts, diets…I just know what my body needs and what I need to get going. I also have a better understanding of the game of football spending a year with Eric Weddle and a good deal of time with Aqib and Marcus in the meeting room. I had a lot of these things last year, but I had to endure a learning curve and get my feet under me. So now I feel ready to make my splash and become a name amongst numbers.”
Long appeared in eight games last season but only played in 10% of snaps with the defense. He additionally played in 29% of all snaps with the special teams, and across the board was able to put up two pass defenses and eight solo tackles.
The Rams defense will be the unit to keep an eye on after an incredibly turbulent offseason. The team lost a number of defensive starters in addition to letting go of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Although there are signs that the defense will be just fine, it will certainly take some assistance from young players like Long.
Long is an L.A. native, growing up in Pasadena where he attended Loyola High School. He has been excited to be playing in front of his home crowd and also recently shared his excitement over the nearly completed SoFi Stadium.