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Random Ramsdom: See which former Rams coach praises the hire of Mike LaFleur

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

NFL: Los Angeles Rams-OTA Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I was pretty young, but I remember former Rams coach Mike Martz and today I watched this recap of the 2002 season and that was a lot of fun. I may try to watch other recaps like that. It fills me with delight to see Martz writing for The 33rd Team. I can’t remember but I used one of his articles in another Random Ramsdom recently and I was glad to see he is still contributing to sports and football in some way.

Please check out the articles and links below, comment on anything you’d like and check out our community question(s) at the bottom!

3 Home Run Offensive Coordinator Hires From 2023 Offseason (the33rdteam)

Mike Martz had positive things to say about Mike LaFleur for The 33rd Team.

“Let’s move on to the Los Angeles Rams who already have Sean McVay calling plays but hired Mike LaFleur this offseason.

I’ve been in a situation where McVay’s personality, I think, and I was a little bit like this myself as head coach, where he’s going to be in there involved most of the time with the offense. He’s just going to tinker, and he just can’t help it.

He’s a great teacher and clearly understands what he’s doing. McVay understands the system at the highest level and is very detail-oriented. He’s the kind of guy I respect as a football coach.

The problem is: How big is the scope of his background? There are some different ways of doing some things that could help. Since he’s a young coach, he might not have seen some stuff before. How do you deal with that when making game-time adjustments?

For instance, in the Super Bowl, when New England came out with a five-down front. What are some ways of dealing with that at halftime? What changes can you make? You know, those kinds of things.

So, they brought in LaFleur because he has experience running a different offense. McVay hired LaFleur based on the latter’s knowledge of the San Francisco 49ers‘ offensive system.

McVay is going to marry into that system and find out how they do things. How do they succeed year in and year out no matter who the quarterback is? What’s the key to their passing game? He’s getting all of that information with LaFleur.

Perhaps, he’s bringing in a guy with some different ideas about how things can be addressed. LaFleur will be another set of eyes for McVay, and that’s healthy for him. It will help revitalize him because there’s a lot of pressure when you’re the main guy putting it all in there week in and week out. It wears you down. I think that was the case with him to some extent.

Even though their backgrounds are vastly different regarding offensive systems, their focus and how they approach the game are probably similar.”

Can Rams Rookie S Jason Taylor II Make Instant Impact? (fannation/ramsdigest)

“The Oklahoma State product played in 13 games this past season and shined bright in each of them. Taylor recorded 99 total tackles (80 solo—fourth-most in NCAA), seven pass breakups (eighth-most in Big 12), six interceptions (third-most in NCAA), 3.5 tackles for loss, and one fumble recovery.

The All-Big 12 First Team member also played well in all phases of special teams (kick/punt return/coverage/blocking), which is where scouts expect him to be placed to start his NFL career. However, the Rams are really in need of help in the secondary, so Taylor is also likely to be the backup for Russ Yeast.

Yeast played in 15 games with one start as the Rams seventh round pick in 2022. He recorded 20 tackles during his rookie campaign but allowed four receptions on five targets as well. Despite the obviously small sample size, he’s expected to start Week 1.

Should Taylor earn the No. 2 free safety spot, he may be a solid depth piece. His staggering pass coverage numbers stem from his eyebrow-raising 43-inch vertical from the NFL Combine, the second-highest mark in the draft class. He’s also a solid hitter for his 6-foot, 204-pound size.

However, Taylor’s speed and agility for the safety position is subpar as he clocked a 4.5 40-yard dash. Despite making a lot of tackles, he also often missed/didn’t complete them, per NFL Draft Bible.”

Can Rams TE Hunter Long Break Out After Trade to LA? (fannation/ramsdigest)

“Long is someone that the Rams scouted in 2021 and liked what he did at Boston College. The question is however, was Long a player that was just hidden on the Dolphins depth chart or is he just a flier that the Rams had included in the Ramsey trade,” SBNation wrote.

It’s really a question of whether or not Long can return to his production in the college game, the last time he was productive on a football field.

Long’s career at Boston College equaled 1,237 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in three seasons, culminating with a 58-catch, 685-yard performance in his final campaign.

And maybe a change of scenery is all Long needs, proving he was just ‘hidden’ while playing in Miami.

“In a best case scenario, under a new coaching staff and in a new situation, Long begins to see his potential and plays up to his athleticism and draft position. There will be opportunity behind Tyler Higbee in the Rams offense. It will be up to Long whether or not he sees a large role,” SBNation concluded.”

2023 Los Angeles Rams Fantasy Preview (

“2022 Stats (rank)

Points per game: 18.1 (27th)

Total yards per game: 280.5 (32nd)

Plays per game: 58.9 (29th)

Pass Attempts + Sacks per game: 34.7 (20th)

Dropback EPA per play: -0.1 (30th)

Rush attempts per game: 24.2 (26th)

Rush EPA per play: -0.06 (15th)

Coaching Staff

A disastrous 2022 season filled with injuries and underperformance brought about speculation that Sean McVay could retire at the end of the season. However, having signed an extension less than a year ago, McVay chose to ride things out with this roster after mulling things over. Liam Coen returned to the college ranks after a one-year stint as offensive coordinator for LA. Offensive assistant Thomas Brown was hired to be the Panthers’ next offensive coordinator. The Rams also let go of a number of special teams and defensive coaches.

McVay is no stranger to coaching turnover and this time around most of the changes were his choice. The most notable addition LA made during the offseason was hiring Kyle Shanahan disciple Mike LaFleur as his next offensive coordinator. McVay’s coaching overhaul should help the ship run smoother in the upcoming season, but it won’t bring about any sweeping changes in his philosophy on offense.

Passing Game

QB: Matthew Stafford , Stetson Bennett

WR: Cooper Kupp , Puka Nacua

WR: Van Jefferson , Tutu Atwell

WR: Ben Skowronek , Lance McCutcheon

TE: Tyler Higbee , Hunter Long

The Rams’ offensive numbers are horrific when looking at the entire season, but zooming in on just the games with Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp doesn’t help as much as you would think. Through nine games, LA’s offense ranked 28th in dropback EPA per play and 29th in rush EPA per play. Stafford ended the year with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. His EPA per dropback fell from .2 in 2022 to -.06 and his Pro Football Focus passing grade plummeted to 67.6, an eight-year low for the veteran gunslinger. Stafford was a mess in his second season with the Rams, casting some doubt on his long-term outlook in LA.”

Mike Martz did not coach for the Los Angeles Rams, but he did coach the St. Louis Rams. I have written this before (I can’t find the article that I mention this in), but I remember they had Mike Martz, then a wasteland of coaches, and no disrespect to those names. It was rough the way the organization kept moving on from people. Jeff Fisher (say you want) but he offered some stability after Martz. They’ve had Sean McVay ever since Fisher.

Fans: Where do we rank Martz as a head coach for the Rams?

Thank you for checking out today’s links and please let us know your thoughts in the comments below!