A few years ago, the Los Angeles Rams had the fewest subscribers on YouTube of any NFL team and had actually scrubbed their page of all videos and content with a fresh start. Instead of producing YouTube content, the Rams produced wins, playoff appearances, and a Super Bowl championship.
Coming off of a 5-12 season and having scrubbed the roster of many “name” players from their Super Bowl roster, the Rams are producing their first legitimate Hard Knocks-style docuseries, presumably as a way to introduce or remind fans of the guys they’re going to see more of in 2023.
In the first episode of ‘Behind the Grind’, potentially stealing a documentary title away from the origin story of Starbucks, L.A. doesn’t shy away from the fact that Allen Robinson, Jalen Ramsey, A’Shawn Robinson, and Bobby Wagner are among those who have parted with the team this offseason. General manager Les Snead says that the Rams “intentionally took a couple of steps back” in the last few months in an effort to get right with the salary cap and to “remodel” the roster, as teams must do every year.
Although this remodel is surely different than the typical remodel, especially for a team like the “F them picks” Rams.
The video starts with Sean McVay talking about a disappointing 2022 campaign and getting back on the right track, then goes to Les Snead, followed by short segments with Matthew Stafford and Aaron Donald. The first episode doesn’t talk to or really even address Cooper Kupp, only showing him a few times in a team meeting at the end.
Most of the video is spent highlighting some former day two picks who have had disappointing careers to this point and who will get incredible opportunities to become leaders and playmakers in 2023 given the departure of several free agents, releases, and trades. Names like Van Jefferson, Cam Akers, and Ernest Jones.
This episode takes place before the draft, so there’s no mention yet of L.A.’s expansive 2023 rookie class. Stafford sits very alone at the quarterbacks table in this video, but in the future would be joined by Stetson Bennett, Brett Rypien, and Dresser Winn.
The video also makes no mention of Tutu Atwell, Robert Rochell, Bobby Brown, Joe Noteboom, Tyler Higbee, Ben Skowronek, etc. I’m not implying that means anything, just noting it as an observation and perhaps next time it will be Atwell’s turn. This time, the focus seemed to be that the Rams are turning their attention to giving opportunities to Akers, Jefferson, and Jones, as well as defensive assistant Aubrey Pleasant, who goes on a pleasant walk with Raheem Morris at one point.
We know that the Rams took a couple of steps back this offseason. The question is, who is responsible for taking those steps forward?