Los Angeles overhauled its secondary during the offseason, acquiring key impact players like cornerback Aqib Talib, cornerback Marcus Peters, and defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh.
But in bringing those players in, the Rams also traded significant defensive players like middle linebacker — and defensive signal-caller — Alec Ogletree, and outside linebacker Robert Quinn.
Now that L.A. has begun Phase III of the offseason program, it's fair to raise the question of how the club will replace such leaders not just for the defensive unit, but also for the team as a whole. Head coach Sean McVay addressed the subject earlier this week.
"I think the best way that that happens is organically and I think really it's about guys collaborating and playing together, as long as the communication is what we want," McVay said. "As far as some of the motivations and some of those different things, we have a lot of guys on this team in general — offense, defense, special teams — that there are vocal leaders. But I think what most of our players would tell you that resonates more than anything is going about your work and being consistent in that approach day in and day out."
Essentially, McVay is saying he feels leaders will naturally emerge on Los Angeles' squad.
"We talk about consistency being the truest measurement of performance and I think with the way that a lot of guys work on this team, that naturally is a way of leading just by doing all the little things the right way. And I think with players on both sides of the ball that are doing that kind of just sorts itself out organically," McVay said. "At certain positions you are naturally thrust in a role where you have to communicate — the quarterback and center on offense, the 'Mike' linebacker, some of the safeties with the communication that takes place on the backend. But I've been impressed with a lot of guys and we're excited about just seeing it as the rest of the week progresses."