Since the Rams took Joyner back in the 2014 NFL draft, he has been primarily a slot-corner and an inside linebacker at times. Last season he compiled 50 tackles, one sack, and defended five passes.
The transition to safety has been a desire of Joyner’s dating back to Jeff Fisher’s coaching regime. However, under Fisher he was never able to fulfill that goal.
It is a different story under head coach Sean McVay and his coaching staff though. With defensive coordinator Wade Phillips looking to install his 3-4 defense, it was perfect timing for Joyner to prove he could fill the safety position.
McVay spoke on Joyner transitioning to the safety position earlier in the offseason program:
““I think it will be an adjustment. I think our coaching staff has done a nice job figuring out ways we can make that transition smooth.”
Except for the change in defensive scheme, the free safety position is not entirely foreign territory for Joyner. Per the Los Angeles Times, Joyner spent his sophomore and junior seasons at Florida State as a safety.
Those are the roots of where Joyner’s desire to play the safety position come from. Despite Joyner’s smaller 5-foot-8 frame, he has shown his heart and determination compensate for any physical limitations.
He is a high energy player who loves to get after it. It is one of the reasons why he was the Rams first choice to fill the void at the free safety position.
It also helps that Joyner sees himself as a perfect fit for the safety position per the Los Angeles Times:
“At safety, I can see the whole field. I’m not in man-to-man every play. I get to use my strengths to run and hit, or run and go get the ball out of the air, things that I like doing.”
No one has had more faith in Joyner up until this point in his career than Joyner himself. Now it appears he has gotten the rest of the Rams brass to buy into his vision that he has had for years.
Hopefully the turnout will play out favorably for both Joyner and the Rams.