Because of his team's impending move to Los Angeles, Rams coach Jeff Fisher had not been available to discuss his team's newest additions. That is, until last week's NFL owners meetings.
The Rams haven't been too active in this round of free agency, choosing to focus their efforts on re-signing their own key free agents. After the first wave of free agency came to an end, the Rams went shopping for depth on their defensive line and in their secondary. The result was the addition of cornerback Coty Sensabaugh and defensive end Quinton Coples.
Sensabaugh played for Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams when both were with the Tennessee Titans. Under Williams, Sensabaugh had success as a nickel corner, working mostly from the slot. But Sensabaugh has also played outside and after the Rams lost starting corner Janoris Jenkins to the New York Giants, there was clearly a need for help at cornerback.
Last week, Fisher clarified where Sensabaugh fits in the defense.
"Well, Coty is an instinctive, smart, I think productive player that you can plug in and play either side," Fisher said. "He sees things well, he relates, he doesn’t have any difficulty learning defenses. I mean he just makes plays."
"Outside," Fisher said. "We’re expecting E.J. to come back, but I think he goes outside and competes with E.J. and/or a draft choice."
As for Coples, there was a little bit of confusion about where he'd fit after spending most of his first four years as a rush linebacker in a 3-4 defense. In the Rams' base 4-3 defense, the 290-pound Coples wouldn't make much sense standing up.
In fact, Fisher believes that giving Coples the chance to play a more natural defensive end spot in the Rams' base defense could help him reach his immense potential after a disappointing start to his career.
"Coples, we think, is probably better suited with his hand down and rushing in and even front type of thing," Fisher said. "Now we’ll do some variation stuff with him, but it was just kind of a little out of place. Between his willingness, his lack of production and his ability to spend time with [defensive line coach Mike Waufle], I think that will translate into some good things for him. I think it will translate into some solid production for us as a backup end."