Forgive any fans who might be overly optimistic about an impending practice squad player who only started playing football two years ago and is described as “very raw” by most standards, but the Rams have not done much else to satisfy their needs for a developmental offensive linemen lately.
The last time the team drafted an offensive lineman in the first two rounds was Rob Havenstein in 2015, and the last notable free agent signing was Andrew Whitworth four years ago. While LA has done a good job in finding starting talent with the likes of Austin Corbett and David Edwards, the looming 40th birthday for Whitworth and the absence of a true heir apparent behind him has some people too worried about the future to focus on the present.
That’s where Max Pircher can fill a void in their hearts. A big void.
Pircher measures over 6’7 and weighs 300 lbs. His most treasured athletic attribute? A lifetime of handball. What could be a better story than an Italian handball player who develops into a Pro Bowl left tackle for a Super Bowl champion Rams team? Now that he’s in LA, Sandra Bullock could move into Pircher’s house tomorrow.
First, Pircher needs to develop those football traits and on Wednesday, Rams.com writer Stu Jackson shared video of Havenstein giving instruction and training to the team’s newest favorite project.
RT Rob Havenstein working with Max Pircher. Pircher previously said he was impressed with how patient the Rams veterans are with the rookies, and if they see something a younger player could do better, they teach them immediately. pic.twitter.com/d4oRWG3icf— Stu Jackson (@StuJRams) July 28, 2021
Said Pircher of how handball and other sports have helped him acclimate to football:
“You can take from every sport something away, and the most important thing you get from all the sports is the feeling for your body, and learning how your body works and how to use which muscle. It helped me a lot. The handball work, the hand-eye coordination is for sure something that will help me. All of it effects together and brought me here also.”
But even a representative of the NFL’s International Pathway Program — of which Pircher is a member of and therefore, can be played on LA’s practice squad without counting against their maximum allowed of 16 — said that Pircher is “very raw” and that there will definitely be things to work on. He was also confident that Pircher was coachable and that he could learn enough to make the league, otherwise they would not have chosen him out of many candidates around the world.
Now he’s on the Rams and even if he doesn’t count against the practice squad, he does count to each of those now void-less hearts.