Wade Phillips breaks down Rams' run-defense woes

Wade Phillips is one of the finest defensive minds in the game today, so he's aware of what happened to the Rams on Sunday.

In a 27-20 loss to the Redskins, the Los Angeles defense allowed a mind-numbing 229 rushing yards at 5.9 yards per tote against a Washington squad that squeezed out just 64 ground yards in the opener.

Phillips believes it boils down to chemistry for a collection of Rams still adjusting to his 3-4 scheme.

While Aaron Donald remains a beast up front, former end Robert Quinn is playing his first-ever snaps at outside linebacker. Meanwhile, the team's two inside linebacker spots -- the heart of a good run defense in a three-man front -- are occupied by Alec Ogletree and Mark Barron. Ogletree played on the outside in years past while Barron was initially drafted as a safety.

"The two inside guys have played linebacker, but they haven't played a 3-4," Phillips said, per The Orange County Register. "And even the safeties knowing where to fill [in run defense], those kind of things. It just took some live-action time. Unfortunately, we didn't do as well as we wanted to, but I think we'll do better."

Phillips isn't panicking and neither should Rams fans. While the team faces a quick week ahead of Thursday's showdown with the 49ers, we can expect to see these adjusting players grow more comfortable in their new roles.

"We're upset about that, but we're going to do something about it," Phillips said, while saying of the Niners: "They've got to be licking their chops."

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