New Rams on defense impressed by Sean McVay's 'crazy' offense

"We got an introduction to that McVay offense," new Rams cornerback Aqib Talib said. "It was crazy." AP Photo/Chris Carlson

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- They were brought in to bolster the defense.

So it would have been fitting if All-Pro cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters wrapped up their first practice with the Los Angeles Rams by describing their transition to L.A., their new teammates or defensive coordinator Wade Phillips' scheme.

But it was something else at the outset of organized team activities that caught the defensive backs' attention.

"We got an introduction to that [Sean] McVay offense," said Talib, a 10-year NFL veteran. "It was crazy."

Said Peters: "It's crazy unique."

Talib and Peters, acquired in offseason trades, participated in voluntary workouts at the Rams' training facility before the start of OTAs.

All-Pro defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, who signed as a free agent, was "in and out" during the workouts, McVay said, but has been a full participant in the latest phase of the offseason program.

All three are expected to elevate a unit that ranked 19th in total defense last season and allowed 339.6 yards per game as the Rams finished 11-5 and made their first playoff appearance since 2004.

"You certainly feel those guys out there," McVay said after Day 1 of OTAs.

Talib, 32, vetoed a trade to the San Francisco 49ers so he could reunite with Phillips, who coached him to a Super Bowl victory with the Denver Broncos. His relationship with the 70-year-old coordinator coupled with his knowledge of the system has quickly established him as a leader with the Rams.

"I just be me," said Talib, who has 34 career interceptions. "I be vocal and I be energetic out there, man, and if that's a leadership role then that's what it is."

In three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, Peters intercepted 19 passes and made three playoff appearances. The Rams exchanged a fourth-round pick in this year's draft along with a second-round pick next year to acquire the former first-round selection.

Last month, the Rams exercised the fifth-year option on Peters' rookie contract.

Peters, 25, has leaned on Talib to learn the nuances of Phillips' scheme.

"For sure," Peters said. "He won a Super Bowl in this defense, so why not? Why not take his knowledge of the defense and his play style. Our play style is similar, so why not listen."

Peters got his hands on two passes on Day 1.

Robert Woods, who caught 56 passes for 781 yards and five touchdowns last season, has felt Peters' and Talib's presence.

"It's good competing against them at practice," Woods said. "Very challenging guys, different guys. You see Talib with his experience, you see Peters just jumping the ball."

The Tennessee Titans and New Orleans Saints were among teams that courted Suh following his release from the Miami Dolphins. But the proven run stopper, who has 51.5 sacks in nine seasons, opted to sign a one-year deal with the Rams.

He has yet to practice alongside NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, who has not attended the offseason program because of a contract dispute, but Suh said he was adapting to his first time playing in a 3-4.

"Nothing is really different," Suh said. "More so the terminology that I have to learn and applying it from there."

McVay said he has been impressed with the 6-foot-4, 305-pound lineman's mobility.

"Anytime that you are getting comfortable with some of the calls and different things that occur up front, some of the different movements and things, he'll only get more and more comfortable," McVay said. "But any time you see a big guy that moves like that and the way that he can get off the ball, you certainly feel him offensively."

McVay's offense will undoubtedly benefit from practicing against an All-Pro-laden defense.

And the defense expects to improve at the hands of McVay's scheme.

"It's going to make us a whole lot better because the up-tempo and his playcalling style is crazy unique," Peters said. "It's going to cause for us to be on our toes a lot."