There’s been a lot of hubbub over the past couple of days regarding the Los Angeles Rams’ acquisition of former Buffalo Bills’ receiver Sammy Watkins. And while, provided health, Watkins should be a the Rams’ top deep threat option this year, there was probably no more sound move this offseason by the Rams than signing left tackle Andrew Whitworth.
Whitworth saw limited time, along with the rest of the starters on Saturday night in the Rams’ first preseason game against the Cowboys, but fans got exactly what they expected: the big man taking care of business.
That wasn’t necessarily the case for some of his counterparts along the offensive line though. And after the game, head coach Sean McVay hinted that there might be a change coming:
Until you get a chance to really go back and look at the film because of all five and the continuity upfront, it’s really difficult to say. We had a couple runs where it seemed like they got into our backfield, but I think when you’ve looked at that group as a whole, feel really good about some of those players and now it’s about gelling together. I think when you look at (RG) Jamon Brown and (RT) Rob Havenstein having gone back and forth between guard and tackle. I feel like Rob’s really settling in nice at that tackle position and Jamon’s will be our right guard right now unless something changes. I think it’s about those guys getting more and more comfortable. They’re talented players, but they’re still very young in terms of their experience. And then when you look at the left side, these are veteran players that have never played together. So it’s about them being able to establish that continuity with those five. We feel very good about them and we know that, like anybody else on this team, we have room for improvement but I think we have a chance to be pretty good upfront with those guys.
That’s certainly not a ringing endorsement for Jamon Brown, who, in somewhat surprising fashion, was penciled in as the team’s starting right tackle early on in camp. Whether it was his inability to smoothly transition outside, or Rob Havenstein’s resurgence to rookie form, the coaching staff saw fit to switch them back to positions they were more familiar with prior to the Cowboys game.
Despite the experience at the position, it didn’t take long to witness Brown’s struggle (video will be stripped for Google Amp users).
Now, it could simply be that Brown was shaking off the rust. It was his first live action against an opponent in some time, so maybe he just wasn’t up to task Saturday night.
Or it could be something more. And it could require the Rams to make a necessary change. Whether it’s in-house, or after cuts are made by other NFL teams remains to be seen, but there’s still time for Brown to earn the starting job.
If, by chance, the Rams do look elsewhere, they should also look for a backup tackle...because Pace Murphy (No. 72) is not that.