One of the most anticipated training camp battles for the Los Angeles Rams throughout training camp will be the competition along the offensive line. Outside of Rob Havenstein at right tackle, the other four spots seems to be completely up for grabs.
Los Angeles practiced for the first time in training camp on Wednesday and at least early on, it seems as if the team will be rotating players as they find their best five. According to Stu Jackson who writes for the team,
“The Rams consistently rotated Joe Noteboom and Alaric Jackson at left tackle, and Coleman Shelton and Brian Allen at center throughout Wednesday’s practice.”
Sean McVay on competition at center and left tackle:— Stu Jackson (@StuJRams) July 27, 2023
“You’ve got four players that are competing or rotating at those spots right now that have all played in big time games and started for us” in Coleman Shelton and Brian Allen (C) and Joe Noteboom and Alaric Jackson (LT)
The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue also touched on the Rams rotating players at both left tackle and center. Said Rodrigue,
“Two specific position battles that have already clearly heated up are at left tackle, where Joe Noteboom and Alaric Jackson will rotate to determine the starter there, and center, where Coleman Shelton and Brian Allen have rotated since the spring.”
It will be interesting to see how long the Rams continue to rotate players along the offensive line in training camp before they stick with a solid five. When it comes to the offensive line, it’s important to build cohesion and the best way to do that is for the five starters to get reps together.
This seems to be a different approach than the Rams took prior to the 2021 season at center. Throughout OTAs and most of training camp, Austin Corbett handled a majority of the reps before Allen surprisingly took over after impressing the coaching staff. There wasn’t much of a rotation during that competition. Hopefully, the team has an idea on who their starting offensive line is heading into the first preseason game.
As it stands, Jackson may have the slight edge at left tackle as he’s gotten the most reps at that spot throughout the offseason. With Noteboom coming off of the torn achilles, the Rams have been bringing him along slowly. Still, this competition seems wide open. McVay spoke on Noteboom during his media session following Wednesday’s practice. When asked what he’s looking for from Noteboom following his injury, McVay said,
“I think you want to see production snap in and snap out. So specific in the run game, you want to see the execution coming off, trusting his athleticism to be able to get removal. You want to be able to see when we start to activate some different run concepts, being able to get that horizontal and vertical movement at the point of attack dependent upon the types of schemes...It is so specific within the framework of what are we doing offensively. So mainly, you just want to see him be himself when he’s been at his best and trust to be able to let it go because he’s done a great job with that rehab. And his first practice out, it certainly looked like he was moving well.”
Outside of the competition along the offensive line, Brett Rypien and Stetson Bennett continue to battle it out for the backup quarterback spot. Bennett was reported to have a couple of nice throws on Wednesday. Additionally, the battle at the back of the safety depth chart is one to keep an eye on throughout training camp. Rashad Torrence had an interception that he returned for a touchdown. That’s a good way to start training camp for the undrafted free agent.
The 2023 training camp for the Rams is going to be an interesting one to watch with competition all over the roster. Day one of practice did not disappoint.