Kobie Turner ‘Blessed’ To Take Part In NFL Honors But Focused On What’s Next

Kobie Turner 'Blessed' To Take Part In NFL Honors But Focused On What's Next

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The Los Angeles Rams putting together a surprise postseason berth would not have been possible if not for the contributions from rookies on both sides of the ball. On defense, it was defensive tackle Kobie Turner. The 2023 third-round pick tied the NFL record for sacks in a rookie season by a defensive tackle (9) and was named a finalist for Defensive Rookie of the Year at the NFL Honors award show.

Turner ultimately finished third in DROY voting behind Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Jalen Carter and the eventual winner, Houston Texans edge rusher Will Anderson.

Anderson and Carter were both top 10 picks in the draft, making it even more impressive that a third-rounder finished in the same conversation as them.

It was an amazing opportunity for Turner, alongside rookie teammate Puka Nacua, to attend NFL Honors and get a chance to be celebrated amongst the game’s best players. He spoke about what the night meant for him and the start of his career, according to Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:

“It’s insane,” Turner told theRams.com on the red carpet prior to the awards show. “You know, I definitely wouldn’t have had this on my to-do list, on my check-off list, but I’m just blessed to be here and I’m definitely happy with the season that I had, and just looking forward to keeping it going.”

But Turner is not satisfied with one NFL Honors appearance in his rookie season. In fact, this only served as motivation for him to keep improving in the years to come:

“I think it’s a great start, and that’s all it is,” Turner said. “That’s done, and now it’s about what I do next. So now it’s about preparing myself to be at my best next season and the season after that. I’ll sit back and enjoy it a little bit. It definitely means a lot to have this level of success at the start, but that’s just the beginning. And now there’s expectations, or maybe not so many expectations, however it comes, but regardless, it’s about staying in that present moment, staying focused, and that’s what I’m going to focus on again next year.”

There are now expectations on Turner to be a leader on the Rams defense. And with that expectation comes a little bit of pressure. Turner is undoubtedly up for the task, but he cannot get comfortable with the recognition from his rookie season.

Rams using same defensive structures in 2024

The Rams have hired a new defensive coordinator — Chris Shula — to replace Raheem Morris after he was hired as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. But Shula is not going to change things significantly for Turner and the Rams defense.

“I think we’ll use a lot of the same structures, the same 3-4 structure and some of the same core beliefs,” Shula said. “But it’s all about the players. So we’re going to do whatever the players can execute at a high level, where they can go out and play fast and play with confidence. And whatever the offense gives us, we’ll be able to have answers to, and they can go be the best version of themselves.”

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