Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Rams to sign Ben Leber

The Rams have unofficially reached a 1-year deal with former Chargers and Vikings LB Ben Leber. They reportedly beat out Seattle for Leber’s services. Rams LBs coach Paul Ferraro coached Leber for three years at Minnesota. Ben can play either outside ‘backer position but it sounds like he’s going to make it a three-way race at Sam with Na’il Diggs and Brady Poppinga.

Leber is 6’3”, 244, and 32 years old; he shares a Pearl Harbor Day birthday with Al Harris. He had 35 tackles last season, with no sacks, two forced fumbles, an interception and a fumble recovery. He has only four sacks since his 5-sack season for Minnesota in 2007, in which he also recorded a career-high 51 tackles. His tackle count has declined slowly since then.

Even so, Scouts Inc. describes Leber as one of the most consistent, durable linebackers in the league, and that he has excellent size, speed, strength and range. He sheds blockers well with his hands and has pop and power as a tackler. Where he’s limited is that he’s not a great player in space, and he can’t cover man-to-man.

The Rams continue to improve their run defense and continue to add quality but inexpensive veteran free agents. Can't fault this move, though its surprising upshot is that Diggs appears to be on the outside looking in rosterwise.

Photo: NBC Sports


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