Each team in the NFL has to use the offseason wisely. Some work on developing their young players and some work on establishing a plan to improve upon the season prior.
For the Los Angeles Rams, the goal for the offseason and regular season is to win the Super Bowl. To help accomplish that goal, the Rams have added significant veteran players and brought back a majority of last year’s roster, including defensive anchor, cornerback Aqib Talib.
Talib is heading into his second year with the Rams and his 12th overall season in the NFL. After a long and illustrious career like Talib has had, not much changes each offseason during workouts, via Clarence Dennis of therams.com:
“Same old, same old — just polishing up and playing football, getting back in the swing of things — same old, same old,” the 11-year veteran said fresh off the practice field on Monday afternoon before elaborating.
“Just communications, tightening screws on just little stuff — communication, talking to each other.”
Although Talib believes that organized team activities are just to prep for the upcoming season, they are voluntary. Talib’s presence day in and out are a good sign of leadership that can extend across the whole defense.
In particular, communication amongst the defense this year will be of the utmost importance. Rookie players like Taylor Rapp and David Long will surely benefit from communication from veterans, although they may only see limited playing time.
For incoming veterans Eric Weddle and Clay Matthews, communication will be the key to fitting into a strong defense. Talib understands this and has been doing his best to reach out and get to know both players on and off the field:
“If you have somebody new like Eric, I think you want to get a good feel for him before it’s live bullets,” Talib said. “Also just camaraderie. Camaraderie means a lot playing football, so you come to vibe with each other, you get off early, you vibe with each other after work, and get used to talking to each other off the field.”
With leadership such as Talib, as well as incoming talent in Weddle and Matthews, the Rams defense will be formidable, to say the least. Factor in A.P. Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, and the Rams might be cooking up something special in the 2019 NFL offseason as they look to return to and win the World Series.