Former Chicago Bears LB Leonard Floyd has spoken about his time in Chicago for the first time since the team released him months ago.
Former Bears first-round draft pick Leonard Floyd will spend his first year with another NFL team when he takes the field as a member of the Los Angeles Rams this coming season. Chicago released Floyd after four seasons, and he signed a one-year, $10 million deal with the Rams soon after.
The Bears selected Floyd with the ninth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, but he never quite turned into the beast they envisioned on the line. He had a career-low three sacks last season, and he has 18.5 in his four seasons in the league. Chicago had hoped the presence of All-Pro Khalil Mack might help free Floyd up for increased sack opportunities, but that didn’t happen. Floyd had seven sacks with Mack in the lineup and 11.5 prior to his arrival, and he’s hoping a fresh start with a new team, a familiar face, and another beast on the line in Aaron Donald will help him have a career year.
Leonard Floyd is Reunited With Brandon Staley in L.A.
Floyd spoke to the media via digital conference call Monday, and he noted he’s working on improving his pass rushing skills.
“I’m a guy that can do more than one thing on the field. I can set the edge in the run. I can drop in coverage, and I’m coming to L.A. to continue to work on my pass rush,” Floyd said
. “To elevate that even more.”
Floyd will be reunited with Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, who served as his linebackers coach for two seasons in Chicago. “It’s going to be great playing for him again,” Floyd said about Staley. “I believe Coach Staley is going to use some of the same things that he learned from Coach Vic and bring it to LA, and then go out and dominate,” Floyd said, referring to former Bears defensive coordinator and current Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio.
Leonard Floyd on His Time With the Bears: ‘No Regrets’
When discussing his time in Chicago, Floyd said he gave it his all, and had no regrets — it was just simply time for him to move on.
Floyd also shared the mindset he learned from Khalil Mack in their two seasons in Chicago. “Dominate,” Floyd said. “That’s all he preached.” Floyd is anticipating oodles of opportunities to get after the quarterback and dominate alongside former Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, as well.
“Playing with Aaron, it’s going to be the same way. I know he’s going to be dominating. And I’m going to try and get in and dominate right beside him,” Floyd said. “I’m going to come in and just try to be there at the right time … Hopefully a couple of them will fall in my lap.”
The Rams think Floyd will be a suitable replacement for Dante Fowler, who signed a three-year deal with the Falcons this offseason, and Rams head coach Sean McVay has touted Floyd’s versatility. “He can rush, he can play in coverage, he’s got length,” McVay said
of Floyd. It remains to be seen whether Floyd can have an easier time getting to the quarterback lined up opposite Donald instead of Mack, but he’ll have one season to prove his worth on this Rams defense.