Rams Aim to Unleash the ‘Boogie Man’ on Tom Brady & Bucs

Aaron Donald

Getty Aaron Donald wraps up Jimmy Garoppolo on October 3, 2022 in Santa Clara.

Halloween was five days ago. But that’s not stopping any October 31 references involving the upcoming Los Angeles Rams versus Tampa Bay Buccaneers matchup.

And turns out, the Rams need to do something to add some fright onto the field at Raymond James Stadium with a seven-time Super Bowl winner aiming to end his team’s losing skid. Who better for the Rams and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris than to unleash the “boogie man” on Tom Brady and the offense — a “boogie man” with an imposing and chiseled 6-foot-1, 284-pound frame.

Morris to Have 3rd Game Versus Brady as Rams DC

So far, Morris has won two games against the Bucs with Brady as the quarterback. In both victories, Morris and the Rams snatched Brady for three sacks.

They will soon face an offensive line unit that has surrendered six sacks during the Bucs’ three-game slide. The Bucs also won’t have guard Luke Goedeke for this game due to an injury as noted by The Athletic’s Bucs insider Greg Auman on Friday, November 4.

But still, Morris knows how much of a challenge Brady can be to game plan for…with Morris giving Brady his own October 31 label.

“He’s just different than most people. He’s an alien so to speak,” Morris said to the L.A. media on Thursday, November 3. “He’s one of those guys that’s been like that in his league forever. His ability to stand in the pocket no matter what’s going around him and deliver the ball where it has to go has always been the strength of Tom Brady going back to some of the greatest defenses in the world that I can remember being with and playing against him. He’s always a doozy to play no matter what’s going on, and it’ll be no different this weekend.”

But how to counter the “alien?” By sending the “boogie man.”

“Aaron Donald, he’s the boogie man,” Morris said. “You are going to come in with the ability to get the ball out fast, and that’s something that we’ve dealt with, it’s not new. It’s something that just goes on and then you’ve got to play a little coverage, you’ve got to drop back off them a little bit, you’ve got to make them get impatient.

“The things that we’ve been able to do is how we play as a team. When you get those leads, you’re not able to be that patient, but some of the grind fest…I remember (former NFL Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator) Rod Marinelli a long time ago used to called it the torture ball events that you’re having to play right now because of how close the games are coming out of halftime at 14-10, as opposed to having a lead and be able to pinback your ears and get a pass rush, limiting some of those two-minute opportunities to get that pass rush, all the things that happen. When you go against Aaron Donald, every coordinator in the National Football League is going to plan for that ball to come out pretty quickly.”

Are Rams at Advantage With ‘A.D?’

The Rams have struggled with finding any kind of consistent footing in the pass rushing department.

L.A. has just 15 sacks through the first seven games. Only the Arizona Cardinals have fewer among NFC West teams at 14. The Bucs, however, are expected to have a different lineup in the trenches from their last meeting against the Rams.

Yet, the Bucs offensive line from the Rams’ 30-27 divisional round win also had to break in new starters. And Donald drew matchups against backup Josh Wells.

Wells had to go in for Tristan Wirfs, who this time is projected to start. However, either backup guard/center Nick Leverett or guard Brandon Walton are anticipated to take over for Goedeke — which already gives the notion Morris will plug Donald on the left guard to test that side.

Donald told the L.A. media on Thursday that in looking back to the playoff thriller, Brady began to get comfortable during the comeback attempt. He and the Rams will aim to avoid a repeat of that. And, one magic number for the Rams to hit for sacks is three — because Tampa Bay has lost its last five games when they surrender that number of sacks.

But again, the latest Rams/Bucs contest requires a “boogie man” to be unleashed.

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