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Better, worse or the same? How the Rams’ offense has changed – NFL Nation

A THOUSAND OAKS, California – Better, worse or the same?

That is the question facing Los Angeles rams as they try to improve on a 10-6 season that resulted in a divisional playoff loss for Green Bay Packers.

Two weeks after the season, the Rams completed a huge trade that sent the quarterback Jared Goff, two choices from the first round and one choice from the third round to Detroit Lions in return for the quarterback Matthew Stafford.

In free agency signed rams DeSean Jackson to a one-year $ 4.5 million deal and then selected Louisville recipient Tutu Atwell with another choice in the NFL draft. Both playmakers are expected to deliver quick goals for Stafford.

In defense, re-signing Leonard Floyd was a top priority after the external linebacker turned in a career-best season that included 10.5 sacks. The rams got the deal with a four-year contract of $ 64 million.

So now that with free agency mostly from behind, the NFL draft finished and the offseason program over, it’s time to look at the Rams’ roster to determine if they improved on offseason based on personnel changes.

Let’s start with the offense.

Quarterbacks

Additions: Matthew Stafford (trade), Devlin Hodges (one year, $ 780,000 deal)

Loss: Jared Goff (Detroit Lions), Blake Bortles (Green Bay Packers)

These guys are back: John Wolford, Bryce Perkins

Better, worse or the same: Better

When Stafford requested trade from Detroit after 12 seasons, Rams coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead thought it was too much of an opportunity to let go.

In four seasons under McVay, the Goff Rams helped to two division titles, an NFC championship and Super Bowl LIII appearance. The hope is that Stafford can lead the Aries to a Super Bowl victory.

“I want to play in the big games and the big moments,” Stafford said when asked about Super Bowl expectations and pressure. “It’s an option more than anything else.”

Stafford, 33, owns all the records in Detroit that have passed all the time but have not won a playoff game in three appearances.

“He’s a special guy,” McVay said of his new QB. “I think one of the best ways I can describe him when you hear people who have been around him is a known confidence where when he walks into a room you feel his presence, but he has a great humility about himself, everyone loves to be around him, and he is one of those guys who is a true igniter. He makes everyone around him better. “

Stafford will be backed by Wolford, who proved to be a capable NFL backup in a week 17 win over Arizona Cardinals last season that got a playoff berth.

Running back

Additions: Jake Funk (seventh round pick)

Loss: Malcolm Brown (Miami Dolphins)

These guys are back: Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson Jr.., Xavier Jones, Raymond Calais

Better, worse or the same: Same

The loss of Brown could be felt early given the six-year veteran’s reliable availability, passing protection and goal-line play, but expects growth pains for the relapse group to be short-lived.

Akers is the function of the future. He jumped out of the running crew committee in the final two months of his rookie season to rush over 625 yards and two touchdowns on 145 carries. He has proven to have great running instincts and is a talented pass catcher.

The biggest question is whether Akers improved its understanding of playbook and passport protection. “Everything is much easier for me,” Akers said during the offseason program. “[I] understand playbook much more, I understand blocking schemes. “

McVay also expressed confidence in Henderson, who was slowed down during the offseason program with an unknown injury. “He’s getting better and better,” McVay said. “We expect him to be at full speed as the training camp rolls around.”

Recipients

Additions: DeSean Jackson (one year, $ 4.5 offer), Tutu Atwell (second-round pick), Ben Lark (seventh round selector)

Loss: Josh Reynolds (Tennessee Titans)

These guys are back: Robert Woods, Cooper Coup, From Jefferson, Nsimba Webster, Sad Jackson

Better, worse or the same: Better

Aries went into 2020 without a real deep threat receiver and was ultimately unable to stretch defenses. They will not make the same mistake in 2021 after adding speed this offseason via acquisitions of Jackson and Atwell.

Jackson is the frontrunner to earn the No. 3 receiver spot to start alongside Woods and Coup. As he enters his 14th season, there is concern about whether the 34-year-old can stay healthy after spending the last two seasons slower and sidelined with injuries. But there is no doubt that he still has deep-play capabilities.

“He can still run,” Stafford said of Jackson. “I know. He can still walk.”

The Rams also have high expectations for second-year pro Jefferson, who caught 19 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown last season. “You can see he’s really put the work in,” McVay said. “He’s come back and establishes himself as a legitimate guy, a guy we trust for big things, and I think the future is so bright for this guy.”

Tight ends

Additions: Jacob Harris (election in fourth round)

Loss: Gerald Everett (Seattle Seahawks)

These guys are back: Tyler Higbee, Brycen Hopkins, Johnny Mundt, Kendall Blanton

Better, worse or the same: Worse

Everett was not a consistent contributor every week, but was able to play big-time when needed. His absence will be felt, at least temporarily, as there is no clear answer playing behind Higbee.

The Rams selected Hopkins with a fourth-round pick last year to eventually replace Everett, but Hopkins had a quiet program out of season as Harris earned repetitions with the starters during the minicamp (Higbee participated, but did not participate).

“His natural range, catch radius, body control for a player his size is pretty rare,” McVay said. “In order for NFL guys to stand out, as he has done in some of these limited settings in shorts and helmets, he has certainly made a positive impression.”

However, it remains to be seen how Harris and Hopkins perform in live environments.

Offensive line

Additions: None

Loss: Austin Blythe (Kansas City Chiefs)

These guys are back: Andrew Whitworth, David Edwards, Austin Corbett, Bobby Evans, Rob Havenstein, Joe Noteboom, Brian Allen, Jamil Demby, Coleman Shelton, Chandler Brewer, Tremayne Anchrum Jr..

Better, worse or the same: Worse

The Rams did not add linemen in free agency or the draft (with the exception of the signing of several untapped free agents), which was somewhat surprising given Blythe’s departure into free agency.

During the offseason, McVay remained convinced that a replacement center was in the house. Corbett, Allen and Shelton will compete for the job that Blythe kept the last two seasons down.

Corbett, who has played left and right guard since the Rams sent a fifth round to the election Cleveland Browns in 2019 to acquire him, it appears to be the frontrunner. “He’s an extremely smart player,” McVay said of Corbett, another round in 2018. “He has a good feel for the game.”

If Corbett wins the job, watch Evans step in as his replacement on the right guard.

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