For the past few months, much of the buzz surrounding the Rams’ secondary has been about the additions of cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters.
What are the early impressions of the two new additions? How will the cornerback tandem affect the team’s defense? Can they be the top cornerback duo in the league? These are just a few of the many questions that have been circulated during the club’s first week of OTAs.
And while the attention has undoubtedly been centered on the two corners who will be monitoring the field’s perimeter next season, another cornerback on the Rams roster is relishing his chance to fly under the radar.
“That’s how I like it,” cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman said after OTA No. 3. “That’s been my thing since I’ve been in the league. I’ve always had some big names around me, so it’s allowed me to be myself even more.”
Robey-Coleman enters 2018, his second year playing in Los Angeles, fresh off re-signing with the franchise on a three-year contract.
And after a productive first year — recording 49 tackles, nine pass deflections, and two interceptions — the USC product is approaching OTAs with a renewed sense of confidence.
“I feel good. It’s easier coming in knowing the expectations that are asked of you — coming out here and executing that,” he said. “Taking on that leadership role now, being more vocal which is something new for me as well. The guys look towards me a little bit more, so I’m just trying to lead the young guys.”
Something he says comes a bit easier without the added media attention and scrutiny.
“That’s the unique thing [about it]. You have these names — these household names — and so when you got guys like that it doesn’t only let you fly under the radar, but it boosts your play,” Robey-Coleman explained. “You’re trying to be on their level even if the eyes really don’t see it.”
“I just stay in my lane, do what’s asked of me, go out and continue to make plays to perform at the highest level possible,” he continued.
With seven more OTAs scheduled this offseason, Robey-Coleman is looking forward to continuing his progress. He mentioned that with several new faces on the defense, these sessions will be even more important, helping the unit to build up trust in each other and play as one.
“That’s why we’re just starting, getting the wheels on the road,” he said. “We’re getting back into it, getting the football legs underneath us. To be out here and just having fun, that’s the most important part. I’m just grateful for that. Just taking it one day at a time and trying to get better.”