Can Sean McVay simply flip the switch on his Rams offense?
The Los Angeles Rams offense will need to find their timing quickly when they finally get on the field against the Oakland Raiders in Week 1 of the regular season.
Whatever your opinion is on Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay keeping his offense sidelined this preseason, it remains to be seen what happens when they go live in the opener against the Oakland Raiders.
The Rams will begin their 2018 NFL campaign as part of an ESPN Monday Night doubleheader. It will also be the first time Los Angeles puts its first-team offense on the field in real-time game conditions. How that goes could say a lot about McVay’s idea of making the exhibition season purely for the players not at the top of the depth chart.
Quarterback Jared Goff will likely be the most interesting study on what happens when all your reps happen in the tightly controlled conditions of practice. As recently as last week, receiver Robert Woods had commented on the opportunity to work on some timing with Goff in Saturday’s preseason game with Houston. Clearly, that now will get worked out under the bright lights and staggering expectations that begin on Opening Night.
Will the lack of exhibition work show?
However, the Rams do deserve credit for getting the first team defense some work against the Texans, and that won’t hurt.
But all that said, what does it say to the perceived fragility of the Rams offense, the aging offensive line, or that one bad hit means a 2018 season of either Sean Mannion or Brandon Allen?
McVay now has the unique task of selling the Los Angeles and NFL audience on merely flipping the switch and getting the production we all saw in 2017 beginning with that Monday Night game against the Raiders. No ramp up time, no opportunity to establish a few downs worth of timing.
It’s now on the NFL Coach of the Year to make it happen beginning in Game 1. If they struggle out of the gate, he’ll own it lock, stock, and barrel, having created little to no margin for error.