The Los Angeles Rams offered fans a shitshow in 2016. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. They entered L.A. with Jeff Fisher infamously proclaiming that this team is too talented for #7and9bullshit.
Turns out he was right, but not in a good way. We all know the story, so I won’t rehash it here. Suffice to say, the Rams 4-12 record was disappointing.
It didn’t take long for the Rams to get back into the headlines.
While newly hired HC Sean McVay inherits a team that is clearly short on depth, the Rams have an offensive core that could be be vastly more effective if put into a system that benefits their abilities - if only because Fisherball provided us with excellent examples of what the floor of an NFL offense is.
Jared Goff was put in a no-win situation in 2016. He was brought in with unrealistic expectations, a lackadaisical surrounding cast, and an offensive scheme that did nothing to promote a viable passing game.
Simply put, Fisherball destroyed any chance Rams QBs had to be effective. The playcalling was overly basic, poorly conceived, and even when the offensive line provided a decent pocket for Goff receivers struggled to catch passes.
I’m not saying that McVay will single handedly turn Goff into a Pro-Bowl QB, but he sure as hell can’t hurt his development any more than Fisher did. If he can grasp the terminology, Goff will improve solely by having a competent NFL offense instead of Fisherball.
If McVay can transform Kirk Cousins into a top 10 QB, I’d wager that he’s going to be able to coach Goff up significantly - which is likely one of the primary reasons McVay was hired.
Los Angles wasn’t kind to Gurley last season. What started as a much anticipated sophmore campaign devolved into Gurley struggling immensely before calling the Rams offense similar to a ‘middle school offense’ and ultimately ending the season looking extremely defeated.
It’d be unfair to lay all of this on Gurley’s shoulders as the offensive line was abysmal all season. That being said, McVay’s offensive scheme will likely help Gurley as well. If McVay’s offensive philosophies from Washington carry over, defenses will have to respect the passing game - which they never had to do with Fisherball.
Gurley is still a very, very talented RB in today’s NFL. But 2016 showed that he’s not a transcendent talent in the mold of Adrian Peterson. Even if it is only via Jared Goff’s development, McVay’s offense will help Gurley face less defensive fronts stacked against the run.
If Jeff Fisher failed spectacularly at any one thing, it was finding a role for Tavon. The Rams have struggled to utilize his lateral quickness and world-class acceleration since drafting him 8th overall in 2013 NFL draft.
They had some success in 2015 when they paired Tavon’s jet sweep action with Todd Gurley. However, that was short lived as the Rams inexplicably and unceremoniously killed that concept in 2016. Tavon’s rush attempts were nearly halved from 52 in 2015 to 28 in 2016.
With McVay being vaunted as an offensive prodigy, one has to think that he has plans for Tavon. I’m not sure what exactly those plans are, but it’s tough to argue that installing a competent NFL passing game will hurt his production much.