INGLEWOOD, Calif.: The Chicago Bears drafted Leonard Floyd with the ninth general choose 4 years in the past, envisioning him as a pass-rushing famous person who may anchor their protection for years to come back.

Final March, the Bears launched Floyd moderately than pay him $13 million for the fifth-year contract choice they'd picked up simply 10 months earlier.

It was an unceremonious finish to the primary cease in Floyd’s NFL profession, however he appears fairly blissful together with his subsequent chapter in Los Angeles.

His Rams (4-2) host the Bears (5-1) on Monday night time, and Floyd understandably had the date circled.

Im positively trying ahead to it, Floyd mentioned Saturday. The previous few years, the Rams and the Bears have been having some nice video games, and this time I get to expertise the opposite facet enjoying for the Rams. … Im motivated usually, simply enjoying with the Rams and attempting to assist us win. However yeah, going into this sport, its a bit of extra added vitality for it, going towards my outdated crew.

With two sacks and 4 tackles for loss over six video games of strong play for Los Angeles, Floyd is benefiting from an opportunity to revamp his sport in a system that’s fairly just like the Bears’ protection throughout the first three years of his NFL profession.

That’s as a result of Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley was Chicago’s outdoors linebackers coach in 2017 and 2018, teaching Floyd whereas working beneath coordinator Vic Fangio. The Bears’ protection has remained formidable since Chuck Pagano took over in Chicago, whereas Staley seems to have improved an already strong protection round Aaron Donald in his first yr in Los Angeles.

Weve each obtained the identical kinds, Floyd mentioned of his two employers. Simply completely different gamers, completely different our bodies. Have been each just about operating the identical stuff (because the Bears), actually. Its simply going to come back all the way down to whos enjoying higher protection Monday night time.

Certainly, Staley’s Rams run a 3-Four scheme that requires Floyd to play a number of roles as a pass-rusher, a protection defender and a run-stopper. Whereas his quarterback stress wasn’t constant sufficient to fulfill the Bears throughout 4 seasons of declining sack totals, the Rams are placing Floyd in positions to succeed, and he’s seizing them.

Weve been extraordinarily happy with Leonard,” coach Sean McVay mentioned. “Hes a man that has nice poise and composure. I do know hes enthusiastic about going towards his former crew, however thats not one thing that I fear about in any respect. If something, hes introduced constant juice week in and week out. Hes an excellent vitality man for us, and I anticipate nothing completely different on Monday night time.

The sport can also be a reunion for Staley, who began his NFL profession with these two seasons in Chicago. Though Staley stays grateful to the Bears group, he provides credit score for his personal meteoric rise to the gamers he coached, together with Khalil Mack.

All these guys are deeply chargeable for me having this chance, mentioned Staley, a first-year coordinator beneath McVay. “I really like these guys. I've the utmost respect for them, and its going to be thrilling to compete towards them.

On Staley’s advice final April, the Rams signed Floyd to fill a task that benefited edge rusher Dante Fowler, one other excessive draft choose with an up-and-down begin to his profession, this time in Jacksonville. Fowler parlayed 1 half of robust seasons with the Rams, together with a Tremendous Bowl journey, right into a $48 million free-agent cope with Atlanta earlier this yr.

Like Fowler, Floyd signed a one-year contract with the Rams to show he was worthy of an even bigger, higher deal someplace. Taking part in alongside Aaron Donald has made loads of edge rushers look good, and Floyd noticed the chance to shine.

Apart from the uncooked statistics, Floyd additionally has been fairly efficient at setting the sting on operating performs, and his protection expertise are equally spectacular, significantly for a 6-foot-5 participant. Whereas he won't find yourself with 11 half of sacks as Fowler did final season, Floyd can contribute to a protection in a number of areas on each down.

It’s the flexibility, the eagerness he performs with,” McVay mentioned. “Hes completed an excellent job speeding the passer. Hes enjoying virtually each single snap for us. I believe youre seeing him actually play at a excessive degree, and he units the tone, particularly for that outdoors linebacker group and our edge rushers.

Certainly, Floyd has performed 91.5% of the Rams’ snaps, which is greater than Donald and all people else on the LA protection’s entrance seven.

Floyd mentioned he stays pleasant with just about each participant on the Bears’ protection, significantly Akiem Hicks and Mack. That seemingly didn’t cease him from telling the Rams every part he is aware of about his outdated protection, though Floyd is coy about it.

All Im going to say is properly see Monday night time, Floyd mentioned with a smile. I aint going to present you no particulars on what Ive given to the crew. Nicely simply see Monday.