The Los Angeles Rams transformation this offseason symbolizes a new beginning after their inauspicious debut last season. As with any new coaching staff, there are expected to be a number of changes both in scheme and personnel.
The signing of Nickell Robey-Coleman makes Lamarcus Joyner’s potential switch from nickel to free safety one of the more intriguing developments. According to Myles Simmons of Rams, it is a transition head coach Sean McVay is confident Joyner can make:
“I think our coaching staff has done a nice job figuring out ways we can make that transition smooth,” McVay said. “I think it’s just getting comfortable — he is an instinctual player. And just understanding some of those exit angles, some of those break points, based on starting from 15 yards off as opposed to down where you’re 10-yards within the line of scrimmage, will be a little bit different. But I think you’ve seen examples of great guys be able to do both across the league and we’re hoping that he’ll be able to do the same thing for us.”
He will not be the only one as defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme means Robert Quinn will likely transition from defensive end to outside linebacker. That means Los Angeles may see Quinn drop back into coverage more often as opposed to rushing every play, similar to that of DeMarcus Ware’s former role with the Denver Broncos.
The offseason also brought about changes on the offense, particularly on the line. The signing of veterans Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan will essentially slide Greg Robinson to right tackle and Rob Havenstein to guard. However, there still remains a huge question mark looming over Robinson’s head as his future with the Rams likely depends on his ability to adjust this season.
Only time will tell if both the players and coaching staff will be able to make these transitions look seamless.