Each offseason, every NFL team focuses on at least one area in need of an upgrade. So what aspect of the Los Angeles Rams is looking better these days?
Training camps have begun to open up all around the NFL for all 32 teams. So that means another preview series from End Zone Score. Dating back to early March, we have taken time to look at each club’s best offseason addition. We even dabbled into some pertinent and historical numbers and previewed an up-and-coming player for each franchise.
Contrary to popular opinions, no team in the league is perfect. That’s why there’s a constant search for talent when it comes to this game. Each club has done its best to bolster its roster. So in this instance, we have been taking a glance at each franchise and pinpoint the department in which it made the most strides this offseason. We have looked at the AFC East, NFC East, AFC North, NFC North, AFC South, NFC South and AFC West. We are finishing with the NFC West and have already checked out the champion Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. So it’s onto the Los Angeles Rams.
There’s nowhere to go but up when you finish dead last in the NFL in total offense two years in a row. In 2015, led by then-rookie running back Todd Gurley, the club ranked seventh in the league in rushing. But they were dead last in yards per game through the air. This past season, the Rams were next-to-last in both rushing and passing yards per contest.
In their last 32 games, a total of four different quarterbacks (Nick Foles, Case Keenum, Jared Goff and Sean Mannion) have combined to throw for 25 scores compared to 30 interceptions. In 2016, 13 different quarterbacks threw at least 25 touchdown passes.
So now new head coach Sean McVay is hoping he can groom Goff, the No. 1 pick in the ’16 draft, into a capable signal-caller. He finished his rookie season having completed just 54.6 percent of his throws, good for five TD passes and seven interceptions in seven contests.
With Kenny Britt (Cleveland Browns) and Brian Quick (Washington Redskins) gone, there are a lot of new looks at wide receiver. And there’s some really promising talent here, especially in the form of four-year pro Robert Woods. The former second-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills in 2013 actually has better career recieving numbers (203 catches for 2,451 yards, 12 TDs in 57 games) than Tavon Austin (181 catches for 1,642 yards, 12 TDs in 59 games) – the latter drafted 33 spots ahead of Woods that same year. Now out of the shadow of Sammy Watkins, look for the former USC standout to get reacquainted with the Los Angeles Coliseum.
General manager Les Snead also added a pair of wide receivers in this year’s draft (Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds). That was also the case in 2016 (Pharoh Cooper and Mike Thomas). But Thomas will miss the first four games of the season due to a league suspension.
The Los Angeles Rams have an awful lot of work to do, especially on offense, to get back into the thick of things in the NFC West. They have a number of young wideouts with potential while Woods could prove to be a dynamite replacement for Britt. It’s safe to say that McVay and his staff have a big challenge ahead but some pieces to work with.