With center Brian Allen expected to miss at least two weeks, and possibly as many as four weeks, the Los Angeles Rams must reshuffle their offensive line for their Week 2 battle against the Atlanta Falcons. Those changes include Coleman Shelton sliding from right guard to center, and Tremayne Anchrum, Jr. stepping in at right guard. Alaric Jackson is also on deck to play left tackle if Joe Noteboom (listed as day-to-day with an MCL sprain) is unable to play on Sunday.
LT Joe Noteboom strained his MCL and is day to day, Rams expect he’ll be back for Atlanta. If not, AJ Jackson steps in. https://t.co/ffeOWoYhVX— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) September 9, 2022
Anchrum’s versatility and mindset has him ready for this starting role
“It all it all starts with the mindset. On the line especially, we have to know what is going on across the board. It’s really imperative that we not only understand our jobs, but how our jobs affect the men’s next to us their jobs, and in their jobs outside of that and having a holistic, comprehensive understanding of the offense helps you do your job even better.”
The Rams are known for cross-training their offensive linemen and Anchrum is set to be the next player in this process, as he will slide inside after spending most of his time at tackle. He noted things happen much quicker inside, but most fundamentals will translate from tackle to guard.
The first thought after giving up a sack?
“’Damn.’ You take it for what it’s worth. First, you go over there and help him, make sure he’s okay. That’s your 100 million dollar quarterback. Then you kind of just learn from that play, lean on your teammates, check the jumbotron, see where you messed up. Flush it; next play.”
As with most positions in football, and for sports in general, the ability to move on to the next play after an underwhelming rep is imperative. Hopefully, he can keep those “damns” to a minimum.
Shelton comfortable moving back to center
“It’s just going out and, last year was kind of just taking advantage of the opportunity. Now I got that experience and I’m able to go out and just have confidence in my play and just go out there and give it my all.”
Shelton had to step in at center for Allen in Week 13 and 14 last year. He played well and expects to continue the production going forward.
Shelton doesn't expect Anchrum to need any additional pointers this week
“Not necessarily. You know I trust, we all trust Tre to know what he’s going to do and he’s proven that in practices and in the preseason. At center, you can’t try to do somebody else’s job. You got to do what you got to do and trust all the men around you and that’s what I love about our team.”
If only all of us could be so confident. The restructured interior will be somewhat of a work in progress until Allen is able to return to the starting lineup, but both Shelton and Anchrum appear to be ready.
Jackson ready if needed
“Just being here the past two years. Being around Sean, dude’s great. Encourages you, gives you confidence, so it comes from him for the most part. It comes down from (offensive line coach) Kevin Carberry, (offensive assistant) Nick Jones, Rob Havenstein, David Edwards... I’ll just prepare for those guys, for the most part.”
All eyes will be glued on how Noteboom progresses throughout the week, especially Jackson. The reserve lineman is prepared to draw from his previous experience, starting at left tackle against the Minnesota Vikings last season. He played well in that game, allowing only two pressures and no sacks.