Fisher, Williams and Rams' latest signing

April, 6, 2012
4/06/12
4:52
PM ET
Twenty-one NFL players since 2008 have at least six penalties for roughing the passer, unnecessary roughness or unspecified personal fouls.

The leader on that list, cornerback Cortland Finnegan, signed with the St. Louis Rams early in the free-agent signing period. Another player on the list, defensive end William Hayes, reached agreement with the Rams on Friday.

Finnegan has 11 such penalties since 2008, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Hayes has six, including one for a 2011 hit on Matt Ryan that drew a $15,000 fine from the NFL.

This would normally be where the Rams could take a bow for adding players fitting defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' profile of aggressive, unapologetic defensive play. Fisher's teams in Tennessee regularly ranked among the league leaders in such penalties over the years, including when Williams was his coordinator there.

But with Williams serving an indefinite suspension for bounty-related transgressions committed with New Orleans, the Rams would be better off emphasizing their new defensive players' familiarity with Fisher's scheme.

Hayes, 26, started 11 games under Fisher in 2009. He played 45 percent of the defensive snaps for the Titans last season, starting one game and playing in 10. He has eight sacks in four NFL seasons, half of them during his rookie year.

Chris Long returns as the Rams' starting left end, with 2011 first-round choice Robert Quinn expected to start on the right side after the Rams released veteran James Hall. Hayes provides rotational depth, at least, and a direct connection to Fisher.

"Hayes is undersized with good initial quickness and acceleration off the edge," the Scouts Inc. profile Insider reads, in part. "He needs to work on developing more counter moves and improving his strength to take on and shed blockers."

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