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Random Ramsdom: Kyren Williams may be carving out role in offense

Los Angeles Rams News and Links for 6/19/23

NFL: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Rams Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Rams RB Kyren Williams A ‘Bright Spot’ In Los Angeles Offense (fannation/ramsdigest)

“While the spotlight is shining on Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers after head coach Sean McVay called him a ‘central figure’ in the team’s offense, second-year running back Kyren Williams should not be overlooked either.

During his rookie season in 2022, Williams was limited to just 10 games and carried the ball only 35 times, primarily due to early injury issues. However, as the 2023 season approaches, McVay has expressed his admiration for Williams’ offseason performance.

“Offensively, Kyren Williams has been one of the bright spots,” McVay said. ”He’s done an outstanding job. You forget that he had to overcome a couple of injuries that are just, man. And he just stayed the course, did a good job of getting some good experience last year.”

While Akers is still slated to be the starting running back, Williams and rookie Zach Evans will be present to alleviate some of his workload. Standing at just 5-foot-9, Williams may not possess the typical build of a workhorse back.

However, his proficiency in catching the ball out of the backfield and his often-overlooked skill in pass protection, make him a suitable candidate for a third-down role.”

Rams Could Target Former Ravens LB Justin Houston in Free Agency - Report (fannation/ravenscountry)

“The Baltimore Ravens signed Justin Houston to a one-year deal in 2022, and he delivered when called upon, though not enough to warrant a new deal.

Now, the Los Angeles Rams have just over $11 million to throw around after Cooper Kupp’s contract was altered, and USA Today has labeled linebacker Houston as a top candidate to sign with the team.

“He’s 34 years old... and played a little less than half the Ravens’ snaps last season. Yet, he still had 9.5 sacks and 17 quarterback hits in just 14 games, showing he’s still more than capable of applying pressure on the quarterback,” USA Today wrote.

Houston’s trajectory truly is intriguing. He totaled just 4.5 sacks in 2021 but rebounded with the aforementioned 9.5 sack performance last year. He may be old, but he’s still got it, as he displayed in Baltimore.

Regarded as a top linebacker in the NFL while playing for Kansas City, Houston has 12 seasons under his belt and 506 tackles, 130 tackles for loss 111.5 sacks and an All-Pro season to show for it.

“He’d be a perfect addition to the Rams’ inexperienced and unproven pass-rushing group and also give Aaron Donald some help on the edge,” the article assessed of his fit in Los Angeles.

Houston truly fit an interesting role for the team last season, and he brought the juice when his number was called upon. Even with scaled-back playing time, he contributed.”

Stetson Bennett Impressing Early for Los Angeles Rams (fannation/dawgsdaily)

“NFL organizations have had the opportunity to get an early look at their draft picks for this year, and Bennett has already started to turn heads with the Rams, according to head coach Sean McVay and veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford. Coming out of college, there was a belief that Bennett’s game would not translate well to the professional level, but based on the early rumblings out of the Rams’ camp, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Stafford, another former Georgia quarterback, has served as the starter for the Rams since 2021 and helped them claim a Super Bowl in his first season in LA. Now as he enters the late stage of his career, Stafford is tasked with helping guide Bennett along the way into becoming a potential starting NFL quarterback.

This is not the first time that an all-time great NFL quarterback has had positive things to say about Bennett, either. Former Green Bay Packer, now New York Jet, Aaron Rodgers, told Bennett that he enjoyed watching him play while he was at Georgia and even was gifted a signed jersey from the legendary quarterback.”

Only 2 Rams make CBS Sports’ top 100 players of 2023 (ramswire)

“Throughout Sean McVay’s time as the Rams’ head coach, Los Angeles has had one of the most star-studded rosters in the league – with the exception of maybe his first year in 2017. Stars such as Ndamukong Suh, Brandin Cooks, Bobby Wagner, Von Miller and Jalen Ramsey have all come and gone, but the roster is going to have a very different feel this year.

Aaron Donald, Cooper Kupp and Matthew Stafford are the only stars left on this team, with nearly half the roster made up by rookies. That doesn’t mean the Rams can’t compete for a playoff spot, but it’s going to be more difficult without big-name players like Wagner, Ramsey and Leonard Floyd.

Heading into the 2023 season, only two Rams made CBS Sports’ list of the top 100 players in the NFL after five made it last year. You can probably guess who those two players are.

Donald came in at No. 9 this year, down from No. 1 a season ago.

He was limited to 11 games last season and had just five sacks. At 32, is he starting to slow down? Or will this be a bounce-back year for an all-time great?

Kupp also dropped significantly in the latest rankings, falling all the way from No. 5 to 26 after an injury-shortened season in 2022.

He was limited to nine games last season because of an ankle injury that required surgery after the season, and yet he still had 75 catches. He is recovered and ready to get back to his 2021 form, when he won the receiving version of the triple crown.

Stafford made the cut last year at No. 48 but he fell all the way out of the top 100, only to earn a nod as an honorable mention. Stafford may not have had a great season last year, but ranking him lower than Justin Fields, who was No. 78 on CBS Sports’ list doesn’t seem right.”