THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd had 150 total tackles, 18.5 sacks, nine pass breakups and one interception in four seasons with the Bears, but Rams head coach Sean McVay suggested during training camp that those numbers didn't accurately reflect how disruptive he was to an opposing offense.
Speaking to reporters virtually toward the end of training camp in early September, Floyd had a hunch he would get a chance to prove McVay right.
"Basically, it's a lot of times where I was close. I've been very close to making that play, or extra play for the team," Floyd said on Sept. 1. "It's just as simple as that. I've been close and I feel like here in L.A., I'm going to get there, if you understand what I'm saying."
As for why Floyd felt that way, he attributed that belief to a "different team, different players on the defense with me. Also, got to have faith. I believe here in L.A., I'm going to get there."
Small as the sample size may be at this stage of the season, Floyd's instincts have proved correct.
Through three games, Floyd has already notched two sacks after finishing with three in 16 games in his final season in Chicago. Among Los Angeles defensive players, only defensive lineman Aaron Donald (3) has more.
The second sack came last week at Buffalo, a takedown of Bills quarterback Josh Allen which set up a second-half, touchdown-scoring drive that cut the Rams' deficit to three.
"His length, his athleticism, his ability to be able to do some different things, whether it's not just always going forward, but being able to play in coverage, I think is a winning edge for us," McVay said during a post-practice video conference with reporters Friday. "He's done a nice job and we expect him to continue on that same path that he's headed."
Donald himself has 20 pressures this season, according to Pro Football Focus. After defensive linemen Michael Brockers' eight, Floyd is tied with defensive lineman Morgan Fox for third on the team with six.
"He's just playing good ball," Donald said during a video conference with reporters Thursday. "He's stout in the run, and then when it comes to the pass rush, he's got good technique. He knows how to work different things, change up his rushes and he's taking advantage of that and making plays. That's his specialty and that's why he's here."
On paper, Floyd has a good chance to add to his total in Week 4. The Giants have allowed nine sacks, tied with the Lions and Seahawks for ninth-most allowed through the first three weeks.
For Floyd, the early production is mainly a reminder to keep up his strong effort.
"It's just telling me I need to continue to keep working hard and keep getting better every week," Floyd said. "Just keep going out there and playing at a high level for this team and help us win."