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The Los Angeles Rams have questions to answer moving forward

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As rookies report, several questions loom for the Rams.

Super Bowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Coming off a Super Bowl loss that looked nothing like any of the Los Angeles Rams’ other games last season, Rams fans’ offseason disposition is in a somewhat curious and unfamiliar state. By most measures, last season was a triumph. Just two years removed from Jeff Fisher’s 4-12 curtain call, the Rams became a bonafide heavyweight as well as a conference champion for the first time since 2001. Yet, it’s human nature to focus on what can be fixed to make sure that the final step will be successful next time. With that being said, here are couple questions that Rams fans can obsess over while looking forward to September.

How will QB Jared Goff and Head Coach Sean McVay respond to their late season and Super Bowl struggles?

This is the scariest question to many. Following the bye week, last season’s offense had a far more difficult time developing rhythm. Games against the Detroit Lions, Chicago Bears, and Philadelphia Eagles were all cause for concern before the Rams shifted to a bruising ground attack behind late season backfield addition C.J. Anderson. The Rams finished the season with a couple victories followed by two impressive playoff showings against the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints. However, concerns were brought back to life when the Rams offense looked (and was) baffled by a New England Patriots defensive look that at times resembled what the Rams had seen in Chicago and Detroit earlier in the season.

So there’s clearly a blueprint out on how to riddle the generally explosive Rams offense. With the exception of a very impressive NFC Championship showing, in games when the ground game has been slowed, Jared Goff often hasn’t been able to drag his team to victory. What steps can be taken to keep the the chains moving when defenses aren’t biting on the play action?

We won’t truly know if the Rams offense has taken another step forward until they face defensive juggernauts like the Bears and Baltimore Ravens in Weeks 11 and 12, but there are a couple reasons for hope. Goff has shown a commitment to improve in each of his three seasons, and so far he has. If McVay can pinpoint the chinks in Goff’s armor that got him filleted in the Super Bowl — and McVay has surely already done that — then Goff and McVay can spend the entire offseason working on those reads. Will it be enough? Check back in Week 11.

Poll

Will Jared Goff be better prepared to deal with defenses like the Bears and Patriots this season?

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    Yes
    (568 votes)
  • 12%
    No
    (80 votes)
648 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Will Sean McVay be able to stay ahead of defensive coordinators next season?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Always
    (188 votes)
  • 59%
    Usually
    (376 votes)
  • 11%
    Less Often than before
    (70 votes)
634 votes total Vote Now

How will the new pieces on the offensive line do?

For the first time since 2010, the Rams will be without the services of last season’s left guard, Rodger Saffold. Also gone will be center John Sullivan, who struggled at times in 2018, but also brought veteran savvy to anchor the line.

Early favorites to fill the positions are Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen, both second year players that enjoyed a year of development under Offensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator Aaron Kromer. Noteboom looked good in limited appearances last year, though it’ll be a tall task for him to try to match the synergy that Saffold enjoyed with Whitworth on the left side over the last couple seasons. As for Allen, he may be more physically capable than a dinged up John Sullivan was last season, but as far as diagnosing defensive fronts, Allen will have some catching up to do. If Allen or Noteboom doesn’t seem ready, the Rams could tap into rookies Bobby Evans or David Edwards.

The Rams offensive line has been arguably the most important unit on the entire team for the last two seasons, and the thought of any slippage is enough to keep any Rams fan up at night (or at least the crazy ones).

Poll

Will this season’s offensive line be able to match the production of the Rams’ lines from the previous two seasons?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Yes, they’ll actually be improved!
    (103 votes)
  • 42%
    They’ll have similar production.
    (256 votes)
  • 39%
    No, they’ll fall off a bit.
    (238 votes)
597 votes total Vote Now

How will new entrants Micah Kiser and Greg Gaines hold up on defense?

A year ago the Rams mostly looked to promote from within to fill out their linebacker positions. This year they may do the same with Micah Kiser, a fifth-round selection from a year ago who will likely take over for Mark Barron, who the Rams let go. Up front, rookie nose tackle Greg Gaines will get a shot to clog up the middle following the departure of Ndamukong Suh. DL Jonathan Franklin-Myers will provide some flexibility up front if Gaines isn’t ready, but Gaines seems tailor-made for the Rams’ 3-4 base defense. Both Gaines and Kiser seem capable, but are unproven commodities that will have our full attention this fall.

Poll

What is your confidence level in starting NT Greg Gaines?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    10
    (44 votes)
  • 8%
    9
    (50 votes)
  • 23%
    8
    (137 votes)
  • 28%
    7
    (171 votes)
  • 15%
    6
    (91 votes)
  • 8%
    5
    (51 votes)
  • 4%
    4
    (25 votes)
  • 1%
    3
    (10 votes)
  • 0%
    2
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    1
    (9 votes)
592 votes total Vote Now

Poll

What is your confidence level in starting Micah Kiser?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    10
    (25 votes)
  • 4%
    9
    (25 votes)
  • 22%
    8
    (127 votes)
  • 23%
    7
    (137 votes)
  • 18%
    6
    (104 votes)
  • 14%
    5
    (83 votes)
  • 5%
    4
    (32 votes)
  • 2%
    3
    (15 votes)
  • 0%
    2
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    1
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    0
    (13 votes)
573 votes total Vote Now

What’s going on in the backfield?

Todd Gurley’s injury.

Todd Gurley’s injury.

Todd Gurley’s injury.

Actually, even if Gurley is again hobbled down the stretch, the Rams appear to have stable of running backs that can be effective if need be. The Rams drafted themselves a very flashy insurance policy in Darrell Henderson, and still have Malcolm Brown and John Kelly. All in all, while Todd’s health will be always be the lead question, it seems like the Rams should be good on the ground.

Poll

Who will have more rushing yards in 2019?

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    Todd Gurley
    (446 votes)
  • 17%
    Darrell Henderson
    (97 votes)
543 votes total Vote Now