Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Quintin Mikell and Rams' run defense
By Mike Sando
The St. Louis Rams' four-year agreement with Philadelphia Eagles safety Quintin Mikell gives them a player they know well.
Coach Steve Spagnuolo coached the Eagles' defensive backs from 2004-06, when Mikell was still establishing himself in the NFL. Mikell, 30, gives the Rams a proven safety after watching longtime starter Oshiomogho Atogwe sign with the Washington Redskins.
Mikell has started all but one game over the last three seasons. The Rams, strong in rushing the passer last season, could stand to upgrade their run defense this offseason. Mikell is strong against the run and an aggressive tackler, according to an Insider report from Scouts Inc.
The Rams got strong play from Fred Robbins and James Laurinaitis up the middle last season, but their run defense was not particularly strong overall. Darren McFadden (145), Michael Turner (131) and Jamaal Charles (126) topped 100 yards rushing against them. The Rams allowed 113 yards rushing per game, which ranked 17th, and 4.48 yards per carry (22nd).
The Rams still need help on defense at outside linebacker and defensive tackle. New Orleans Saints veteran linebacker Scott Shanle, 31, has indicated a visit to the Rams could be an option. Barry Cofield, who played for Spagnuolo when both were with the New York Giants, would make sense as an option on the defensive line.