Opponent Scouting Report: Rams Linebackers
The strength of this Rams defense is their defensive line, but they have an athletic group of linebackers that can give the Colts’ offense troubles.
The Colts are heading into their Week 1 matchup with the Rams shorthanded on offense to say the least. Andrew Luck will be holding a clipboard on Sunday, and the Colts will also be without center Ryan Kelly and wide receiver Chester Rogers.
This is a bad time to be missing those key players coming up against a Rams defense that could be scary under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
Los Angeles has two of the freakiest athletes in the league at linebacker in Alec Ogletree and Mark Barron.
Ogletree moves extremely well for someone who’s listed at 6′ 3″ 242 pounds. He doesn’t always use that athleticism correctly, and he has some work to do in the mental aspect of the game. But working under Wade Phillips has worked wonders for many inside linebackers, and he’ll be used creatively in this new 3-4 scheme.
Mark Barron is a new-age linebacker at just 6′ 1″ 213 pounds. He’s a converted safety, so he excels in coverage. However, he’s undersized in the run game and has trouble taking on offensive linemen at the second level.
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Behind Barron and Ogletree, the Rams have three totally unproven linebackers in Josh Forrest, Bryce Hager, and Cory Littleton. Forrest, Hager, and Littleton have a combined four years of NFL experience among them, which could provide some depth issues at the position.
Ogletree and Barron are both exciting and dynamic players, but they each have weaknesses that the Colts could take advantage of.