Free-agent OLBs Dunbar, Haggan will likely start for Rams

Posted May 26, 2012 @ 12:08 p.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

Following in the footsteps of fellow free-agent addition Jo-Lonn Dunbar, who was instantly proclaimed a front-runner for one of the Rams’ starting OLB positions, recently acquired Mario Haggan shapes up, not surprisingly, as a strong candidate for the other OLB spot. In what should be considered a pretty fluid situation, it would appear Dunbar, who had 79 tackles in 14 starts with the Saints last season, will be the initial starter at weak outside linebacker. On the strong side, sources tell us, a battle is expected, primarily involving the DL-sized Haggan (6-3, 274), who spent the last four seasons with the Broncos, and holdover Josh Hull.

Limited by ankle concerns last season, Hull has been drawing strong reviews all spring from new Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. Perhaps more noteworthy, however, has been Fisher’s relative lack of concern over an extremely thin crop of outside linebackers. “As we addressed earlier, we’re in a situation where 60 percent of the time you’ve got only got two (linebackers) on the field anyway, considering you’re going to be in your sub packages,” Fisher said shortly after spending only one of the team’s 10 draft picks on a linebacker (Aaron Brown in the seventh round), despite having only four LBs under contract entering the draft.