Rams’ rookie safeties have made their mark early in camp – Rams Wire

Chess Training

Taylor Rapp and John Johnson will undoubtedly be the starting safeties when the Cowboys take the field against the Cowboys on Sept. 13 and will remain the starters all season, barring injury. But that doesnt mean the backup safeties wont also contribute in 2020, specifically the two incoming rookies.

Terrell Burgess and Jordan Fuller were drafted outside the top 100, but theyve impressed quite a few people in Thousand Oaks during the early portion of training camp. Fuller has picked off a handful of passes in practice, Burgess has showcased his versatility, and both players are making a name for themselves with the Rams.

Goff: Theyve both done a good job. Theyve both done a really good job. I think both of them have interceptions at this point and picking up good. Picking up really good. Have a lot of speed, really smart and I think in that defense theyre going to really thrive, Jared Goff said of the tandem this week.

More important than Goffs thoughts on Burgess and Fuller are Sean McVays and fortunately for the young safeties, the head coach has been thrilled with their progress thus far. He was asked this week about the Rams rookies, and he specifically recognized the play of the safeties.

You know, Ive been really impressed with all these guys, but those two young safeties, when you look at Burgess and Fullerhave really been standouts the last couple of days, he said, before adding the following about the whole draft class. I think when you look at those guys that were really counting on to contribute from that draft class, weve been very pleased. They got a long way to go but theyre certainly doing things the right way and I think thats a credit to them and also the leadership from their coaches.

Fuller is more of a true free safety than Burgess is, playing the post and covering the deep middle of the field. He can cover sideline-to-sideline with his range, which is a key attribute of a free safety in todays NFL.

Burgess, on the other hand, is a chess piece in the secondary. He can play deep, around the line of scrimmage, in the slot and even outside at corner. McVay loves his versatility and acknowledged that he can play the nickel role left by Nickell Robey-Coleman.

Hes done a really good job. Smart player, great athleticism for a safety. He has some flexibility to be able to play at the nickel position at the star for us, McVay said. Really, very conscientious, made some big plays. When he gets his hands on the ball, hes catching it. Thats one of the things Ive been really impressed with. Our DB group as a whole, if theyve gotten their hands on the ball, theyve pretty much caught it. Theyve caused a lot of turnovers in a short period of time, which is great for our defense and not good for the offense. But, Ive been very pleased with Terrell and really our backend as a whole.

Burgess hasnt been running with the first-team defense full-time in practice, but he has gotten more opportunities than he otherwise would have due to Taylor Rapps knee injury. Thats given him the chance to play with Aaron Donald, who has also recognized Burgess ability on the practice field.

Hes been playing good. I think all the young guys in the backend have been making big plays, Donald said. Theyre learning a lot from the older guys and theyre showing up. Thats what its about. You can hear about this guy, but when theyre actually putting it on film and then you see them making big plays, theyre going to get known from that.

The roles for Burgess and Fuller will be somewhat limited in 2020, but they could grow next year if Johnson leaves in free agency. But even still, theyll get on the field in sub-packages and when the starters need a breathe, especially if they keep making plays in practice.

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Rams' rookie safeties have made their mark early in camp - Rams Wire

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