Coming off of a Super Bowl victory at the end of the 2021-2022 NFL season, the Rams shifted their focus on how they could improve heading into the next league year. One big loss the team suffered following that season was offensive guard Austin Corbett, who signed with the Carolina in 2022 free agency.
L.A. decided to address the loss of Corbett by selecting his replacement in the NFL Draft, as the team selected Logan Bruss out of the University of Wisconsin with the 104th overall pick. Bruss was second-team All-Big 10 in his final season in college, playing right tackle that season. Even though he played predominately tackle in college, the Rams envisioned Bruss stepping in at the guard spot, which would allow him to thrive given his experience with zone-heavy running schemes.
However, Bruss’s rookie season was over before it even really got started, as he suffered season-ending ACL and MCL tears in a preseason game against the Houston Texans. It was obvious, by Head Coach Sean McVay’s comments following the injury, that the team had plans for Bruss to contribute heavily in his rookie season:
“Number one, it’s a real shame for a kid that’s worked really hard and puts a lot into this game,” McVay said. “I think that’s the one thing that – the first thing, sometimes we have an inclination (that) is, okay, well how does this affect the football team? But how does it affect the person? You want to keep being more empathetic and more understanding, and this is a guy that loves football. We obviously draft him with the confidence that he could be a guy that could potentially contribute for us this year. Unfortunately, now, as a result of what’s occurred, that won’t be the case, but put your arm around him, you help him attack the rehab the right way, and I trust that he’s going to do everything in his power to come back better next year than he was this year.”
It is no secret that the Rams offensive-line was historic in probably the worst way possible, becoming the first offensive-line unit in NFL history to go through 11 different combinations in the first 11 games of the season. Obviously, it was nearly impossible for the group to mesh and form any sort of chemistry up front, which is vital for a position group that relies heavily on one another in order to find consistency and success.
With the return of Bruss, who will compete to be a potential starter up front, and the addition of Steve Avila out of TCU, the Rams all of a sudden have some real maulers up front. A strong interior offensive-line opens the window for a strong running attack which, in turn, opens up the passing attack by making play-action much more effective.
When Sean McVay took over back in 2017, one of the biggest improvements that the team experienced was the effectiveness and efficiency of the running game, which is paramount in McVay’s offense. Last season, the running game was as bad as we’ve seen it under McVay, so I fully expect the Rams to have a heavy focus on establishing the run early and often next season, which will be made much easier with the return/debut of Logan Bruss.