Biggest questions surrounding Rams beginning of August for 2019 season

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 03: Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up prior the Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 3, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 03: Jared Goff #16 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up prior the Super Bowl LIII at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 3, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Rams have a few lingering questions heading into August, as they look to defend their NFC title.

Training camp is underway for the Los Angeles Rams, and before the team knows it, that first preseason game against the Oakland Raiders will officially be here.

Like most teams, the Rams have a few questions in need of answering over the next month before the real action arrives in September since the team will face plenty of extra pressure as defending NFC champions.

So as Los Angeles continues to prepare to face the Raiders next Saturday for their first preseason game, here are the things fans are thinking about at the moment.

How will the offensive line look?

The Rams exerted their will toward the end of the season and in the playoffs on the offensive line.

This proved to be a key to their ongoing success, taking Los Angeles all the way to the Super Bowl before coming up short against the New England Patriots.

More from Ramblin' Fan

However, the Rams lost two key starters on the offensive line in Rodger Saffold (who signed with the Tennessee Titans) and John Sullivan (who was released).

Saffold was a mainstay for the Rams and provided the flexibility at different positions.

Meanwhile, Sullivan brought a veteran presence to then locker-room and a cerebral approach to the center position, but his body was clearly breaking down.

In their stead will be two second-year players, Joe Noteboom at left guard and Brian Allen at center.

Noteboom looks to be in great shape entering camp, and will be lining up next to one of the best in the business in Andrew Whitworth.

Also bringing the cerebral approach to the game, Noteboom will get a chance to prove he is worth the third-round pick the Rams used on him.

Allen is a former wrestler, more of a “positioner” who uses leverage to get position on his man.

Best case scenario, these youngsters bring fresh blood and the Rams don’t miss a beat up front, with Noteboom proving he is Whitworth’s successor as well.

Will Jared Goff take a step forward?

Jared Goff, who was ranked as the 32nd best player in football in the recent NFL Network top 100, had some amazing games last year and stood out on numerous occasions in which he looked like the leader the Rams have been searching for on offense.

Unfortunately, Goff also had games where he disappeared, and his poor play in the Super Bowl is “exhibit A” for why Los Angeles came up way short on offense.

In short, if the Rams have the same Goff as last year, we are likely to plateau or decline.

The Rams need Goff to take a step forward in his development—decision making, accuracy, toughness, leadership, all of it.

A step foreword is to be expected, and is actually quite likely.

Goff is still only 24-years-old, and will be entering his third year in Sean McVay’s offense, meaning he is gaining more familiarity with his pass catchers (i.e. no significant changes).

However, teams know his weaknesses, and how to get in his head.

Goff is going to have to grow and improve to even stay at the same level of effectiveness. This is going to be another thing I’m watching more closely than anything this year.

What will the running game look like?

You may think this is burying the lead, since the media hasn’t stopped talking about Todd Gurley’s knee since November, but I think both questions above are much more important.

I think there is a good chance that Gurley’s knee injury is mostly behind us, particularly when combined with a somewhat reduced workload this season.

To be honest, I think Darrell Henderson is no joke, and can bring a significant element to McVay’s offense while taking a ton of pressure off Gurley.

Also, it seems likely that we will continue to see Malcom Brown come off the bench to grind for short yards (he was playing well last year before a broken collarbone set him out for the year).

In the end, we know that McVay will run the football as much as possible, and use play action as a significant part of his offense.

Gurley will play a big part in that, but how much? Will we a see a split close to what we saw late in the year with Gurley and C.J. Anderson, or more what we have traditionally seen with Gurley and Brown?

I would guess somewhere in the middle of those two markers, but time will tell for the Rams.