NFL teams are in the midst of training camp and preseason games are just around the corner. What do we expect from the Los Angeles Rams in 2017?
It’s safe to say we’re not shy when it comes to getting you ready for the upcoming NFL season. Since March, we have strung together four different series in preparation for the fall. We just concluded looking at all 32 teams’ most improved area. That was preceded by pieces on a club’s best offseason addition, some facts, figures and feats for each squad, as well as an up-and-coming player for each roster.
So call this one for the thumb. With the regular-season rapidly approaching, we’ll take a look at what we could expect from each team. Every team wants to win the Super Bowl. However, 31 teams will obviously be disappointed. So we’re taking a look at all 32 clubs (in original 2017 draft order) and doing a little analysis. We’ve previously looked at the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bears and the Jacksonville Jaguars. What will we see from the Los Angeles Rams in 2017?
Second-year quarterback Jared Goff, the first pick in the 2016 draft, now has new head coach Sean McVay in his corner. The young teacher, late of the Washington Redskins, helped groom Kirk Cousins in recent years. Now add in the fact that the team signed left tackle Andrew Whitworth and center John Sullivan to bolster a shaky offensive line and things look somewhat better. The team still has wideout Tavon Austin and added Robert Woods (Buffalo Bills) in free agency but there’s also some younger talent to work with. Add in running back Todd Gurley and look for the team not to finish dead last in the NFL in total offense for a third straight year.
On defense, well-traveled Wade Phillips brings his aggressive style to the club. At the moment, all-world defensive tackle Aaron Donald is a holdout but that should eventually get rectified (we think). Defensive end Robert Quinn now moves to outside linebacker and will pair with Connor Barwin. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson is solid. It will be interesting to see this talent adjust to the 3-4 scheme.
It’s safe to say that McVay and the rest of the Los Angeles Rams coaching staff has their work cut out for them. Still, having Phillips around makes things a lot easier given his years and work in the league. A lot depends on how quickly the defense comes around in the new 3-4 scheme. We expect Goff to better because of the support cast around him, especially when it comes to the offensive line. And look for a bounce back year from Gurley.
Still, all of this will take some time. The Rams may be a better team later in the year than at the start. And unfortunately, at least for now, the club is much closer to the bottom of the NFC West than the top. Another double-digit loss season may indeed be in the cards.