When he's not busy being a hero, defensive coordinator Raheem Morris is tasked with turning around the Los Angeles Rams defense.
It's an all-the-more daunting assignment in the aftermath of L.A. shipping standout cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Miami Dolphins this offseason. But Morris is doing his best to move on and regroup following the loss of the six-time Pro Bowler, who was the epitome of what a "star" should be.
"It's hard to even mention Jalen, because like he's the prototype for every position," Morris said, via the team website’s Stu Jackson. "But when you talk about what it is, it's really the increased toughness. It's really the short space quickness."
Though he's regarded as one of the league's top cornerbacks, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Ramsey shined for the Rams in the "star" position. He moved around in the secondary, often times as somewhat of a safety, a nickelback or in the slot.
With his overall skillset, experience, physicality and size, Ramsey was the standard of what a team looks for at the "star," as noted by Morris. Thus, replacing him will be borderline impossible, but Morris surely isn't shirking the task.
The top candidates are likely to be Cobie Durant and Shaun Jolly. Durant is a second-year defensive back who made some noise in 13 games last year, tallying 22 tackles and three interceptions. Jolly's likewise a second-year player, but saw action in just two games with only six special teams snaps. Neither matches up size-wise to what Ramsey checked in at, with Jolly standing at 5-9, 180 and Durant weighing in around a buck-75 and measuring 5-11. However, they have the toolboxes Morris believes will make them a good fit for the spot.
"They definitely lack the size that Jalen had, which is kind of unique," Morris said. "But those are the things that we look for. Those are things that you look for in just around the league in general. And those guys that we have right now going out to getting those reps, are certainly showing those attributes and being able to do some of those things. Jalen provided sort of a unique ability just with his size, either outside corner or whether you played him inside, I don't think it really mattered. (He's) kind of unique in his own right."
There are certainly more contenders for the spot, though, as the Rams have a massive infusion of rookies thanks to a robust draft class made up by a league-high 14 picks. In that department, Tre’Vius Tomlinson-Hodges and Timarcus Davis could emerge.
Though they might not be the next Ramsey, one Ram will step up to be L.A.'s next star.