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Micah Kiser ready for role in base defense this season

Former Eagles defensive end Chris Long says he knew Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald was a future Hall of Famer from the first training camp he saw him in.

The Rams released Mark Barron this offseason, leaving someone to pick up his 570 defensive snaps. The team expects that to be Micah Kiser.

Kiser, a fifth-round choice in 2018, played no defensive snaps last season but contributed on special teams by seeing action on 62.7 percent of the snaps. He’s ready for more this season, with the Rams expecting Kiser to play inside linebacker next to Cory Littleton in the team’s base defense.

“I think for where he is in his career and where we need him, it’ll be in those first and second-down plays for sure,” Phillips said, via Myles Simmons of the team website. “Cory is such a good coverage guy and then we’ve got a lot of safeties that can come in and help us on third downs, so I think his main role certainly right now will be first and second down as a base defensive player.”

Litteton spent two years playing mainly special teams before becoming a full-time linebacker, so the Rams are confident Kiser’s transition will go much the same.

“Micah showed a lot of things last year,” Phillips said. “He came in -- you always have high hopes I think -- and he basically only got to play special teams. He was one of our best special teamers. You know Cory Littleton also went that path too, and turned out to be really good backer, and I think Micah is going in the same direction. When they show the ability to get to the football on special teams, they carry it over to defense. He moves well; he’s a smart player; and he’s had a really good spring. He’s fit in really well.”