With organized team activities in full swing, the Los Angeles Rams boast an entirely new look from last season. However, their moves this offseason have left them with a huge void at linebacker due to the departure of Alec Ogletree and Robert Quinn.
Fortunately, it appears head coach Sean McVay already has an idea of which player can replace Ogletree in the middle. According to Rams Insider Myles Simmons, McVay indicated that linebacker Cory Littleton may be poised to land the starting Mike job:
“When [Littleton] played last year, he’s the type of guy that you’re creating certain packages just to get him on the field when you’ve got two really good players inside like an Alec Ogletree and like a Mark Barron,” head coach Sean McVay said. “So Cory’s made plays over the course of his career when he’s gotten opportunities on defense. He’s a guy that’s got just a lot of little nuances to his game, but you see the athleticism and the instincts show up.”
Littleton has since embraced the challenge of becoming the team’s new Mike backer.
“Mike ’backer is basically the quarterback of the defense. It’s a new role for myself — it’s something I’ve never done before,” Littleton said. “But, just trying to get better every day.”
It goes without saying that Littleton is certainly deserving of the opportunity. Los Angeles signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Washington prior to the 2016 campaign. He has since made his bones on special teams while playing a minor role as a backup over the last couple of seasons.
Despite his limited snaps, Littleton has flashed some serious playmaking ability both on defense and special teams. He registered 36 tackles, an interception, and a strip-sack in the 2017 NFL season. Although he spent most of his time as linebacker Mark Barron’sbackup, McVay is hoping he will be able to carry his skill set over into a central role within the defense.