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Thoughts: Michael Lewis' return to NFC West

After placing defensive tackle Clifton Ryan on injured reserve, the St. Louis Rams announced Wednesday the signing of strong safety Michael Lewis, giving the team another solid veteran role player on defense.

My thoughts? Thanks for asking, Brian.

Lewis should be fresh after sitting out the last four games, including three since the San Francisco 49ers granted him his release. Lewis should be motivated. He didn't like the way the 49ers handled their decision to replace him with rookie Taylor Mays in the starting lineup. He skipped the team's subsequent trip to Atlanta, then received his release.

The Rams needed Lewis because injuries have hit them hard at safety and in the secondary overall. It's not clear whether the Rams will keep Lewis around once their injury situation improves. But with the 49ers on the schedule in Week 10, following the Rams' bye week, Lewis could help with preparations for that game.

Safeties sometimes have a broader view of the game than players at most other positions. They sometimes help teammates line up. They tend to help with communication. They often are more familiar with how a defense fits together as opposed to knowing only their assignments.

Lewis, 30, has vast experience. He'll know the ins and outs of the 49ers' defensive scheme. He'll have a very good feel for the 49ers' personnel. Those things aren't going to decide games, necessarily, but there's no downside for the Rams. Adding veterans Fred Robbins and Na'il Diggs has served them well to this point. Robbins played for Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo when both were with the New York Giants. Diggs was with Rams defensive coordinator Ken Flajole in Carolina. Lewis was with Spagnuolo in Philadelphia.

Lewis is best in run support. The Rams allowed 124 yards rushing against Tampa Bay in Week 7. Missed tackles were a factor.