Will LA Rams Mundt transform into a TE/FB hybrid this year?
The LA Rams may not have met all of their roster needs via the 2020 NFL Draft, but that’s not to say that needs will go unmet. After all of the lessons about the LA Rams roster over the past three years with Sean McVay as head coach, the team most certainly has the ability to manufacture what is needed.
The team manufactured receiving yards with quarterback Jared Goff under center. Not to a select favorite receiver, but to three different wide receivers in the past two years. When the team needed excellent linebacker play, the team manufactured that as well, promoting undrafted free agent interior linebacker Cory Littleton to a starting role, and letting him play the pass, as well as any linebacker, in 2019 to earn himself a huge payday with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020.
Rams manufacture FB for the offense
When the LA Rams running game stumbled in 2019, head coach Sean McVay eventually focused on a fix which proved to be quite effective. Despite tight end Gerald Everett falling to injury, the Rams began to emphasize 12 personnel. In other words, the LA Rams offense began to use one running back and two tight ends.
The Rams made a major shift in their offense for Week 11 vs. the Bears going from using 12 personnel 10% of their snaps (T-31st) to 67% (3rd most) & it propelled their run game to its highest total since Week 2 (110).
This included TE Mundt as a FB & hardly any outside zone. pic.twitter.com/aS03pHn1jc
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) November 21, 2019
Since Mundt was a blocking aficionado, the Rams essentially placed an extra offensive lineman onto the field. That blocker lined up either on the line of scrimmage or in the offensive backfield. Voila! The LA Rams manufactured a fullback. While the team did not add a fullback in the offseason, the team did add coaches who are experienced in plays designed to use one.
Why FB for 2020?
The LA Rams had difficulty running the ball in 2019. With the transition from veteran RB Todd Gurley to rookie RB Cam Akers, that will likely be the case for the early part of this season as well. The situation triggered the Rams discovering how effective 12 personnel plays could be against modern-day defenses. But those 12 personnel packages at times were really 21 personnel plays. And that will continue into 2020.
Johnny Mundt filled a role created mid-season to help the offense block at the point of attack. Those were new plays, not ones developed and practiced in training camp. But 2020 is a new season, and the coaching staff is fully aware of the benefits of using a fullback in an offense. While Mundt’s role in the backfield will be similar to his role on the offensive line, namely blocking, he does have the upside of running with the ball or catching the ball as well. Mundt not only paves the way for rookie running back Cam Akers but most certainly creates a far better situation for second-year running back Darrell Henderson to gain significant yards as well.
Why a fullback in 2020? The LA Rams offense found a nice rhythm in 2019 by turning tight end Johnny Mundt into a part-time fullback. It’s simply a matter of expanding what worked last year. Not only did the running game improve, but the passing game became unpredictable.