The Rams have re-signed linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar after the completion of his four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. Dunbar had a meeting with the Rams’ brass and joined the 53-man roster this morning before practiced Tuesday afternoon with his teammates.
Dunbar is not viewed as the savior for a 2013 season that is quickly spiraling out of control, as the Rams prepare diligently for Blaine Gabbert and the incoming Jacksonville Jaguars. What the sideline-to-sideline sparkplug will bring, however, is a much-needed, feisty temperament, as well as playmaking ability and a show-you-how-it’s-done attitude.
Both Atlanta and Dallas put up 31 points against the Rams, while San Francisco extended the St. Louis free fall by putting up 35 on Tim Walton’s defense last Thursday night. Of course, those defeats occurred without the 6-1, 235-pound linebacker who served as the vocal leader of the 2012 unit. He was a tone-setter on both on the field and sidelines throughout the squad’s 7-8-1 campaign, bringing a real sense of nastiness to the defensive side of the ball.
In my 15 years in the league, I’ve been around a lot of good football players. This player never disappoints with his production or in what he says to his teammates from a motivational standpoint. Whether it’s chants, rants and or language not intended for weekly churchgoers, Dunbar takes his effective approach into each and every game, and the verbal assault runs for a full 60 minutes.
The Rams – and their fans – hope that Dunbar’s return will spark a defense that struggles to stop the run, cannot get off the field on third down and gives up too many points. Provided that he’s in shape, he could pick where he left off in 2012 and uplift the D heading into the second quarter of a disappointing season thus far.