At the ripe age of 27, Laurinaitis is a seasoned veteran on a team with an average age of 25.3. During an otherwise in-depth answer about his defense as a whole, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher paid the linebacker a big compliment with one succinct statement.
“James handles the inside,” Fisher said.
For all the talent Laurinaitis and the front seven possess, however, it hasn’t been translating to positive results. The Rams rank in the middle of the pack in yards allowed (16th) and near the bottom in scoring defense (20th).
St. Louis’ overall record of 3-6 is obscured in part by playing in the NFC West — one of the league’s toughest divisions. Despite losing starting quarterback Sam Bradford for the season because of a knee injury, the Rams lost close home games against Seattle and Tennessee by a total of 12 points in the past two weeks.
St. Louis has lost three in a row overall after a two-game winning streak briefly put their record at the .500 mark. That can lead to frustration in the locker room, and Laurinaitis said that’s not always a bad thing.
“I think it’s OK to get frustrated, and it’s OK to kind of express the pain of losing, especially losing close at home two weeks in a row,” he said. “It’s definitely frustrating. I’m not going to lie to you and say it isn’t. But I think once you get through that 24-hour rule, it’s definitely time to move on. If we sit here and dwell on the close games and things we could have done, and we’re not focusing all of our energy from Tuesday on on Indianapolis, then we’re going to get steamrolled. You can’t put pressure and energy towards the past. If any team does that, you’ve got no chance. You have to be constantly moving on to the next one.”