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Rams must look to their most veteran weapon in order to have success

Could the Rams veteran TE help lead this retooled offense

NFL: Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee is one of the few veteran players remaining on the roster. Going into his 8th season with LA, Higbee looks to build on a 2022 season where he had a top 10 finish in receiving yardage among all tight ends with 620 yards.

Partially due to Cooper Kupp’s injured last year, Higbee was also getting more targets too. His team leading 72 catches were ranked 5th overall in tight end receptions last year. It’s legitimate to think that he could top 90 receptions this year with no established target behind Cooper Kupp besides maybe Van Jefferson.

Higbee is a vocal leader, well respected in the locker room. He holds multiple franchise records including most career yards, touchdowns and receptions for a Rams tight end.

The veteran is also one of the best run blocking tight ends in the game, and is one of the key players in the success of LA’s wide zone run plays. He is able to consistently seal off the edge and get to the next level of the defense.

His ability to block will be telling to the success of the 2023 Los Angeles Rams offense. It seems as though LA is looking to put focus back on the zone run to set up the play action pass. This style of play calling caters much better to Higbee’s strengths and much closer to how the Rams played when he had his most success, a 5 game run in 2019 where he totaled 42 catches for 522 yards.

You can see a perfect example of the effect Higbee can have on the run game in the Rams post season wild card victory against the Arizona Cardinals. Los Angeles topped 140 yards rushing and a touchdown with Higbee in the lineup. He also contributed to a two touchdown rushing performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the following week and another 70 yard rushing game against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game.

The Rams play the 49ers in the NFC Championships. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

However to injury, Higbee was forced to miss the Super Bowl and it showed as the Rams were only able to muster 43 rushing yards total and no rushing touchdowns. Cam Akers was the only running back to get double digit yards with 21 yards total on 13 carries.

Higbee has a chance to cement his legacy as the best tight end in team history this year. The run game will go as he and the restructured offensive line do. While Higbee can be a very good contributor to the passing game, a perfect scenario would be for him to be a compliment in the pass and a strong force in the run.