Shortly after being selected in the NFL draft, and while meeting with St. Louis media members for the first time, the Rams’ newest defensive linemen wasted no time heaping praise on their newest position coach.
Rams defensive line coach Mike Waufle, who has been renowned throughout league circles for his ability to generate maximum production from his defensive lines both in New York and in St. Louis, needed no further introduction to the Rams’ recent draft picks.
“They’re getting coached by one of the best in the league,” defensive end Michael Sam said of his newest teammates during Tuesday’s press conference. “A few moments after if I got drafted, Michael Strahan texted me and said, ‘You couldn’t be coached by a better defensive line coach than Coach Waufle’.”
Strahan should know. The NFL single-season sack leader played under Waufle for four seasons, from 2004-07, while Waufle was the defensive line coach for the New York Giants. His tenure in New York included the Giants’ victory in Super Bowl XLII over the New England Patriots.
Clearly, the team’s recent draft picks caught the memo that of the Rams’ strengths, none may be more apparent than the work of the team’s defensive line. Since joining the Rams as a part of Jeff Fisher’s staff in 2012, Waufle has guided a Rams defensive line to levels of success rarely seen throughout the league. The team’s defensive line accounted for 46 of the Rams’ 53 sacks last year, which ranked third-most in the NFL. Defensive end
Waufle was back at work this week with a pair of new pupils, as he gained his first look at Sam and first-round defensive tackle Aaron Donald during the rookies’ first workouts on Thursday and Friday at Rams Park.
“I’m real excited about it,” Donald said. “I’m with a great defensive line. I get to learn from those guys, with a great defensive coach. So, I’m just excited about it. I’m pumped up about it and I just can’t wait to go out there and compete and show those guys what I can do.”