Rookie LB Laurinaitis is built Ram-tough

Rams LB James Laurinaitis should prove to be an integral part of the Rams defense this season. (Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

Rookie LB James Laurinaitis should prove to be an integral part of the Rams' defense this season. (Jeff Roberson / Associated Press)

Just got done talking to Rams rookie James Laurinaitis. What an impressive guy. The second-round draft pick eventually will start at middle linebacker, but right now, he’s working behind veteran Chris Draft.

Laurinaitis definitely looks the part of a middle linebacker. At 6-foot-2 and 244 pounds, he’s the bigger, more physical-type that new Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney wanted when they made over the roster during the offseason.

Laurinaitis, who will call the plays on defense, told me how he took extensive notes after his first Rams minicamp and studied tape in the weeks leading up to organized team activities, so when he got back, he knew all the calls and audibles. Laurinaitis also said that he watched a ton of video of Giants MLB Antonio Pierce, who played in Spagnuolo’s system in New York.

The Rams are making their rookies earn starting jobs, but Laurinaitis has put himself on track to be manning the middle in the near future.

Steve Wyche

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