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Random Ramsdom: Where would you rank LA’s offensive line?

Los Angeles Rams News and Links for 7/14/23

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NFL: DEC 04 Seahawks at Rams Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Friday and thanks for checking out today’s links! We’re happy to have you! The first link for today discusses the Los Angeles Rams offensive line, and that is going to be our question for today: Where would you rank the Rams offensive line?

It’s tough to say right because we don’t even know exactly what the line will look like, and there’s certainly going to be plenty of news that comes out during training camp and into the regular season. That being said I do not think the Rams will have the worst offensive line this year. I expect the Rams to be competitive in the NFC, and I have to think their offensive line will reflect that as well.

Please check out more links below and let us know what you think in the comments section!

Do Rams Have NFL’s Worst Offensive Line? (fannation/ramsdigest)

“The Los Angeles Rams used the first of 14 draft picks in the 2023 NFL Draft on left guard Steve Avila, with general manager Les Snead and coach Sean McVay taking the TCU product with the 36th overall pick.

But while the addition of Avila should help to bolster the offensive line in Los Angeles, it still hasn’t changed the perception that the Rams have one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. In fact, Sharp Football Analysis recently ranked the Rams’ offensive line 31st in the NFL, an ominous sign as quarterback Matthew Stafford tries to stay on the field in his age-35 season.

“The Rams’ failure to upgrade at left tackle was one of the shocking non-moves of the offseason. Joe Notebloom allowed a 10 percent pressure rate last year, ranking 34th out of 35 qualified left tackles,” Ryan McCrystal of Sharp Football Analysis wrote. “On the other side, Rob Havenstein ranked 28th out of 36 right tackles and also returns. Good luck keeping Stafford healthy.”

Two-time All-Pro left tackle Andrew Whitworth retired after the Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI. A failure to replace Whitworth is especially troubling given that Stafford was never particularly mobile, and figures to rely even more on playing in the pocket as he ages. However, two stints in concussion protocol limited Stafford to just nine games last season, and not having a solution to protect his blindside makes you wonder how realistic it is for the veteran quarterback to play a full season in 2023.

The good news for the Rams is that they are scheduled to have a first-round pick in 2024, which would mark the first time since 2016 that they made a selection in the top round of the NFL Draft. That pick could potentially be used to take an offensive lineman.

Then again, the Rams have almost no proven talent at linebacker or in their secondary, and given that future Hall of Famer Aaron Donald has flirted with retirement the past two offseasons, there’s no guarantee he’ll be with the team beyond 2023. And if Los Angeles is bad enough, taking a quarterback in the first round might become a consideration.”

Matthew Stafford mentioned among NFL’s best deep passers (ramswire)

“Matthew Stafford has always been an aggressive quarterback that tends to push the ball down the field often, and that hasn’t changed since he joined the Los Angeles Rams. Ahead of the 2023 season, The 33rd Team’s Andy Benoit believes that Stafford is the sixth-best deep thrower in the NFL.

The five quarterbacks ahead of Stafford are Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Justin Herbert, and Joe Burrow. Meanwhile, the three quarterbacks Stafford edged out on the list were Geno Smith, Russell Wilson, and Jalen Hurts.

Time will tell if the 35-year-old Matthew Stafford’s injury woes have taken a permanent toll. If they haven’t, then we’re talking about a quarterback who led his team to a Super Bowl title in part by leading the league in passing yards on 20-plus-yard attempts two years ago.

Due to a hobbled offensive line and injuries he endured, Stafford averaged only 6.7 intended air yards per attempt in 2022, which was tied for the third-fewest in the NFL (according to Next Gen Stats). In his debut season with the Rams in 2021, Stafford tallied 8.5 intended air yards per attempt, placing him eighth in the NFL.

Even during Stafford’s tenure with the Detroit Lions, he only had one season where he averaged fewer than 7.1 yards per attempt from 2011 to 2020. Having Calvin Johnson to target in the passing game certainly makes it easier to use the deep part of the field, but Stafford has always had one of the strongest arms in the league.”

4 former LA Rams players looking for revenge in 2023 (ramblinfan)

“Odell Beckham Jr., WR

By now, we know the story of Odell Beckham Jr. A year and a half ago, Beckham suffered a torn ACL in that Rams’ Super Bowl victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. He then proceeded to spend last season out of football, getting healthy and awaiting the right opportunity.

This spring, Beckham found that opportunity with the Baltimore Ravens. That Baltimore team is certainly on the upswing, having extended Lamar Jackson and hired Todd Monken to revolutionize their offense, allowing Jackson to pass more frequently.

Beckham should see plenty of opportunities in Baltimore now, and he’ll get the chance for revenge against Los Angeles in Week 14 as the Ravens host the Rams. By then, the playoff picture will have come into much clearer focus for both of these teams, assuming the Rams can stay competitive that deep into the season.

Now, when it comes to the word “revenge,” that might not be the perfect word to use here. But, the Rams did allow Beckham to leave and didn’t pursue him after the fact. So, take that for what it’s worth.

Allen Robinson, WR

If ever there was a botched signing over the last couple of years, it was the Rams deciding to ink former Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson to a 3-year deal worth $46.5 million last offseason.

Having come off his worst year, statistically, of his career in 2021, Robinson was still awarded an overly-generous contract from the Rams. To no one’s surprise, the deal ended up being a total thud. Last year, Robinson ended with an even worse total in terms of receptions and yards, catching 33 passes for 339 yards and three scores.

Now, Robinson has joined fourth team in the Pittsburgh Steelers, after the Rams dealt him away for a seventh-round pick swap; yes, you read that correctly. In case you didn’t remember, the Robinson deal was for a simple seventh-round draft pick swap. That’s it.

In Week 7, the Rams host the Steelers where Robinson will get an opportunity to play his former team on their turf. Pittsburgh plays in one of the tougher divisions, and they will need this win. Meanwhile, who knows what the Rams will be six weeks into the season.

The better question is, what will Robinson have done six weeks into the season? Will that trade have looked like a win for Pittsburgh by then?”

Thomas Brown doubted Aaron Donald’s greatness until seeing him in practice (ramswire)

“Thomas Brown is finally getting an opportunity to be an offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers after spending the past three seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue recently released an intriguing podcast series called “The Playcallers” and in the third episode, Brown recounts his first impressions of Aaron Donald.

“I remember I was a coordinator for the Miami Hurricanes. They would ask us to give advice to our future pro guys on what to prepare and how to prepare, what to expect at the next level,” Brown said. “So they go on and on about Aaron Donald and his process, him being relentless, and how great he is. And in my mind, I’m like, ‘I’ve been around first-round defensive linemen before and he’s good, but he can’t be that good.’ I played with Geno Atkins, you mentioned Charles (Johnson) before, I’ve played with some big-time dudes, I’ve played with David Pollack, and I’ve seen elite players before.”

Before beginning his coaching career in 2011, Brown played college football at Georgia and was drafted in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons. Brown played with plenty of talented players during his time at Georgia, and he was in the NFL for three years on the Falcons and the Cleveland Browns.

After starting as a strength and conditioning coach at Georgia in 2011, he bounced around to multiple programs. He would become the offensive coordinator of the Miami Hurricanes from 2016 to 2018 before joining Sean McVay’s staff in 2020.

“So I get there in 2020, first offseason, so I’m sitting in our staff meeting and we’re working on the offense. And Sean (McVay) keeps going on about AD and I’m like, ‘Man, this is crazy, everyone keeps talking about this dude like he’s unstoppable.’ I’m a doubter, not going to lie, I was a doubter. As you mention, some of these battles because obviously, Brandon (Staley) and I came in together during 2020 in training camp. I heard about how good the offensive line was and the success we had, and every day in practice, this dude is unblockable. He’s making every play and so I go back to Sean and say, ‘Listen, y’all undersold this cat. He’s better than everyone said he was.’”