The St. Louis Rams’ offensive line struggled in 2014, and you don’t necessarily need statistics or grades in order to see that the product on the football field had regressed. A season-ending injury suffered by Jake Long forced the Rams to shuffle players along the offensive line; one of which was rookie Greg Robinson, who was asked to immediately step in and protect
Sam Bradford’s... Shaun Hill’s... Austin Davis’...yeah, Shaun Hill’s blindside. Former Pro Bowlers, like veterans Scott Wells and Davin Joseph, are no longer effectively getting the job done.
Doing your homework and having supporting data certainly doesn’t hurt matters though. And that’s exactly what Pro Football Focus has done prior to ranking the 2014’s season-end offensive line rankings.
Before we dive into this year’s ranking, let’s have a look at what PFF had to say about the Rams’ O-line at the end of the 2013 season. Note: The Rams ranked 26th in 2012
13. St Louis Rams (26th)
PB: 17th, RB: 9th, PEN: 26th
No surprises here. Jake Long did indeed play at a high level in 2013. Chris Williams, however, did not. The Rams were cognizant enough to ensure that Williams wasn’t in a Rams’ uni in 2014...the same can be said for Dahl.
Scott Wells, however, remained the team’s starter heading into - and for the duration of - the 2014 season. The play of the veteran center, who turned 34 yesterday [Jan. 7], continued to decline last season. As did the play of offensive guard Davin Joseph; another former Pro Bowl player, who the Rams brought in via free agency prior to last season.
31. St Louis Rams (13th)
Stud: It doesn’t feel right to crown any player with a stud, with every lineman earning a negative grade. Rodger Saffold was the best of a bad bunch despite a shoulder injury.
PB: 30th, RB: 28th, PEN: 28th
Dud: It might be the end of the road for Scott Wells who was terrible in pass protection. You don’t see centers give up that much pressure that often.
Breakdown: Yuck. Given the investments the team has made this was something of a stunner. Jake Long went down, after a strong start the play of Joseph Barksdale fell off a cliff and Davin Joseph played exactly as you’d expect him to (not well). Then there was Greg Robinson who looked lost as the line tried to find a role for him. Will he be better in 2015 now the team has committed to him at left tackle?