Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman kicked off the new league year with a bang, signing a three-year contract with the Rams.
The USC product returned to Los Angeles last season on a one-year deal with the franchise, and is excited for the opportunity to continue his career under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
"I'm just grateful, really grateful," Robey-Coleman said. "The fact that the contract finally came in, it just makes you even more grateful of everything around you."
In 2017, Robey-Coleman quickly found his niche as the club's slot corner. Although he is shorter than most cornerbacks in the league — standing at just 5-foot-8 — Phillips called him "an outstanding nickel player," and
someone he was eager to get back next season.
"He's got great quickness. You need a guy in there [like that] because the slot receivers can run inside or outside — there's a lot of room either way — from them," Phillips said. "So, it takes a special player to play an inside, slot position and play those guys well and he's outstanding."
General manager Les Snead echoed Phillips, praising Robey-Coleman's love of the game and natural instincts.
"I think he fits a very important position in that nickel corner," Snead said. "It takes toughness and intelligence. It's mom, dad, God-given stuff and short-area quickness to match. With that being said, that's a hard position to let someone go in that's been that productive."
When the 2017 season first came to a close, Robey-Coleman expressed his desire to remain in L.A. long term. And when asked about the process of signing a new deal, he told reporters that the Rams remained loyal to him from Day 1.
"During the free agent market, they had stayed in close contact with me and my agent," he said. "They just
expressed the love of my play on the field. And, again, they were loyal to me throughout the whole process. I really appreciated that and I valued that."
"That was the biggest part of my decision making with the Rams," he continued, "was the part that they really still believed in me. And they believed in me ever since they put me out there on that football field."
And even after the franchise made moves to acquire two new cornerbacks in Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, Robey-Coleman remained unfazed.
"I wasn't worried at all because of the relationship that me and the organization have," he said. "I had full understanding of what was going on...If anything they are adding to the Rams and that's what we need on defense."