Like Sean McVay, Raheem Morris is returning to the Los Angeles Rams after interviewing for multiple head coaching vacancies in the offseason.
Morris has his work cut out for him as the Rams parted ways with several of their key veterans, leaving him with plenty of young and unproven talent. The secondary is going to be an interesting group to monitor during training camp and preseason as every spot feels like it’s up for grabs.
Aside from Cobie Durant, who’s expected to assume a larger role for the defense, Los Angeles is also banking on Derion Kendrick taking a step forward in his development. Morris detailed what he’d like to see form Kendrick ahead of the new season.
“A little similar when you talk about expectations for a guy. What I want to see from Derion Kendrick is exactly what he’s given me. Urgency, he’s given me complete and absolute hustle. He’s given me some playmaking ability on the ball and off the ball. He provides great energy and juice just with his enthusiasm and his personality. I’m looking forward to seeing him grow to his highest level, whatever that is. I don’t want to set a ceiling for him. I don’t want to set a bar for him. I think we don’t know yet. I’m looking forward to seeing it.
“You talk about these rookies and they get these opportunities to play in the National Football League very early. There’s going to be ebbs and flows and he certainly had his fair share, but again, you guys remember very shortly getting that guy in training camp and having the ability to get excited about him when Jalen was out. Seeing what him and Cobie were doing as very young players, getting (DB Robert) Rochelle back into the mix is all really exciting.”
Due to the injuries across the roster during the 2022 campaign, Kendrick got an opportunity to show what he could do. The former sixth-round pick displayed his competitiveness and fiery nature on the field, though there were several instances where he was burned in coverage because he was too aggressive.
There are going to be growing pains with a young defensive back like Kendrick, but there’s certainly enough talent for him to succeed at the professional level with the Rams. It’ll be interesting to see how Kendrick looks when training camp begins next month and if he looks like a player Morris can rely on.