Even way before Miller played his first NFL snap.
In talking to the L.A. media on Thursday, November 4 for the first time since Monday’s blockbuster trade to bolster the Ram defense, the first-year defensive coordinator shared what he called a funny story about how he hoped Miller would become a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.
“I remember when he came out in the draft I was at a 4-3 (defensive) team then. We talked about Von possibly not being a fit because he wasn’t a 4-3, he was an outside linebacker,” Morris recalled.
So what was the then head coach of the Buccaneers’ suggestion in April of 2011?
“I said ‘you change the scheme,'” Morris said, which drew laughs. “And I meant it with everything and every being that I had.”
Unfortunately, “he never made it to us” as Morris put it. The standout from Texas A&M went No. 2 overall to the Denver Broncos. Morris and the Bucs couldn’t draft until the No. 20 spot…and went on to settle for defensive end Adrian Clayborn out of Iowa.
But now that Miller is on board, what does this mean moving forward for the Rams’ game plan?
Morris Reveals Plan for Miller
With Miller officially on board in L.A., national analysts are now wondering how he’ll fit in Morris’ defense — especially a defense that is tops right now in sacks with 25 through eight games.
One question is where would Miller be aligned?
Another idea could be for the Rams to plug him in for a blitz scheme like this one versus the Houston Texans:
Morris, though, says he’s taken this approach with the newest Ram.
“You know, you can do whatever you want for a guy like Von. He’s done a lot of football, he’s done a bunch of different things right now. I’m going to say, he’s in the ‘fit in’ mode — you get him into the ‘fit in’ mode and then, after you get him comfortable, you get him to learn what he needs to learn from a base standpoint,” Morris said.
But after the “fit in” part, what comes next for Morris?
“Then, you go play with those toys,” Morris said, referring to Miller as his newest defensive toy. “You don’t leave them in that packaging that you got them in. You let them go out there and you let them explode. Let them do some different things so I’m really excited about that along with our other coaches.”
Expectations Remain After Trade
Even with a star-studded defense, the Rams are currently allowing an average of 367.5 yards per game against opposing offenses — placing them at 21st overall in that category.
Additionally, they’ve allowed 264.1 yards per pass and 103.4 yards versus the run. Another growing problem? The amount of double and triple teams Aaron Donald gets on a week-to-week basis.
But now, Morris is daring opposing offenses to implement more doubles or triples on A.D. now that Miller is on board.
“That’s going to be up to the offensive coordinators and the people who want to put four hands like we constantly hear every single week on Aaron Donald. They’re certainly invited to,” Morris said.
The Rams had championship aspirations prior to the trade. Morris says “I don’t think those things will change based on getting another great player.”