Langford Comfortable, Productive in Second Year in St. Louis

Posted Nov 6, 2013

When Kendall Langford joined the Rams in 2012 following four seasons with the Miami Dolphins, the transition included more than geography. Langford started 54 of 64 games as a defensive end in the Dolphins’ 3-4 defense, but moved to the tackle position in the Rams’ 4-3 scheme.

After a year of adjustment to his role, Langford is on pace for his best statistical year in his sixth NFL season. Langford ranks first among Rams’ defensive linemen with 44 total tackles, which puts him on pace to establish a career-high.

That level of production has been a direct result of Langford’s increased familiarity with his position on the interior portion of the line, a role he began to grow accustomed to nearing the end of last season.

“I feel much more comfortable this year than I did last year,” Langford said. “I just tried to carry it over to this year, and I still have a lot of work to do, but it’s getting better and better. Initially it was (difficult) for me. I kind of struggled the first half of the season (last year), so it was a challenge.”

Langford has also shown considerable growth as a pass-rusher, an area and with his two sacks last week, pushed his season total to three, which equals a career-high. He also ranks first among Rams defensive tackles and third overall in quarterback pressures with nine.

“I’m a work in progress,” Langford said. I’m going to keep banging the rock. I’ve got great coaches, Coach (defensive line coach) Mike Waufle, teaching us all different ways to get to the quarterback, and just working my technique. I’m just working it and letting it happen.”

‘Work in progress’ could also describe the Rams run defense in recent weeks. Two weeks ago against Seattle, Langford and the rest of the Rams’ defensive front had perhaps their best game of the year, holding the Seahawks to just 44 yards on the ground. That showing was followed by allowing Tennessee’s Chris Johnson to tally 150 yards rushing last week. For Langford and the rest of the Rams’ defensive front, establishing more performances that more closely resemble Week 8 against Seattle is the goal.

“That’s the key word—consistency,” Langford said. “We kind of got away from that a few times this year, and guys take advantage of that. We’re a young team, but guys have got to grow up and play more consistent across the board.”

If the Rams find that consistent performance in the coming weeks, you can be sure Langford—who continues to increase his comfort level at the forefront of the Rams’ defense—will play a leading role.

“I think he’s finally gotten a lot more comfortable with it,” DE Robert Quinn said of his teammate’s recent progression. “Sunday, he had an excellent game, and I think it just goes to show you that big things are to come from him.”