Person of (Dis)interest: St. Louis’ Robert Quinn
RENTON – He’s listed as Robert Quinn on the Rams’ roster, but he really plays more like a Bob. At least he has this year while spearheading what has been the league’s least-productive pass rush.
• Position: Seahawks nemesis/Sackless Pro Bowler
• Height: 6-4
• Weight: 264
• Age: 24
• Experience: Fourth season
He was the pass-rusher Seattle cost itself by winning the division in 2010. That’s not really an exaggeration since the Seahawks and Rams met in Week 17 that season to determine the NFC West champion. The Seahawks won, reaching the playoffs and ultimately landing the No. 25 pick in the 2011 draft, which they used to take offensive lineman James Carpenter. The Rams lost, finishing 7-9, getting the 14th pick and selecting Quinn.
He turned out to be a heck of a consolation prize. After starting one game as a rookie, Quinn emerged as a starter in 2012 and a star in 2013, totaling 29.5 sacks between those two seasons.
He became the embodiment of exactly what St. Louis was trying to build under coach Jeff Fisher in terms of the speed he brought to the field and the ability to disrupt an opponent’s passing game.
“They’re loaded with a bunch of guys that can fly at a lot of positions,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.
That’s what makes it such a surprise that St. Louis has totaled just one single solitary sack so far this season. Some of that can be explained by the loss of defensive end Chris Long, who still has yet to return from an ankle injury he suffered in the opener. But not all of it.
St. Louis ranked third in the league with 53 sacks last season. How is it the Rams have just one in five games?
“The ball’s coming out pretty fast, so that can definitely slow you down,” Quinn said. “What can you do? Secondary, linebacker-wise, they throw the ball, they’re getting the receivers down. Of course, we would love sacks, but as long as guys aren’t killing us consistently down the field, you can’t really do much more.”
Quinn and the Rams have been a particularly difficult challenge for the Seahawks. Russell Wilson has been sacked 88 times in regular-season games as a Seahawk. Nineteen of those have come at the hands of the Rams, and six belong to Quinn specifically.
It’s the most of any team in general and the most by any one player.
“He’s a shorter quarterback,” Quinn said of Wilson. “Not trying to take anything away from him. He definitely makes plays when asked, but if you keep him in the pocket, O-linemen are 6-4, 6-5, 6-6 and push them back into his face, it makes it hard for him to see his receivers.
“The best thing is try to keep him in the pocket and go from there.”