April 13, 2024

New Rams safety Kamren Curl wears a large pendant that reads “BAM.”

“It’s just an old nickname from high school that stuck, ‘Kam Bam,’” Curl said Monday during a video conference with reporters. “I just like it, so I like to go by it.”

The versatile Curl, 25, is expected to be a key piece of a defense going through an overhaul in the aftermath of star lineman Aaron Donald’s retirement.

Unlike Wade Phillips, Brandon Staley and Raheem Morris before him, new defensive coordinator Chris Shula will not have Donald to wreak havoc and make it easier on defensive backs.

In addition to Curl, the Rams also signed free-agent cornerback Darious Williams. The six-year veteran played for the Rams from 2018 to 2021, and returned to the Rams after playing two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Curl, 6 feet, 2 inches and 198 pounds, played his first four NFL seasons with the Washington Commanders after they selected him in the seventh round of the 2020 draft. He is the most experienced player in a Rams safety group that includes Quentin Lake, Russ Yeast and Jason Taylor II.

Jordan Fuller, a team captain last season, signed with the Carolina Panthers. John Johnson III remains a free agent.

“I feel like I’m a natural leader,” Curl said. “I can’t be Aaron Donald, you know? I can just be myself so that’s what I’m going to bring to the team, just the type of guy who I am leading by example and being vocal and just trying to show everybody the right way to do things every day I come into the building.”

Curl played against the Rams last season in a 28-20 Rams’ victory at SoFi Stadium. He said he had been “watching Coach McVay for a long time” and was excited to play for him.

“It’s just like he lives football,” Curl said. “That’s what you want — a guy that’s all about football.

“And the energy he brings on the sideline and just the way the players who play for him play, you can tell we’re just ready to run through a brick wall for him so that’s the type of guy I want to play for.”

Curl said he grew up watching safeties such as Ed Reed, Sean Taylor, Derwin James Jr. and Eddie Jackson.

“Guys that can fly around and be violent like I do,” he said. “I feel like that’s the right way to play the position.”

Apparently, Shula agrees.

“Basically, he told me he brought me in because he likes the way I play,” Curl said. “He likes the violence, the physicality I bring to the game and I feel like that’s the only way to play football.

“So bringing that to this defense can only make it better.”

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