Of the three new LA Rams coordinators, which will bring the most impact to the LA Rams this year.
The LA Rams changed as much as a team possibly can without going full-blown rebuild. The team hired three new coordinators for 2020, and in the process parted ways with the very respected Wade Phillips and John Fassel in the process. In a manner of speaking, head coach Sean McVay walked away from some of his duties as offensive coordinator when he hired Kevin O’Connell. New defensive coordinator Brandon Staley replaces Phillips, while veteran special teams coach John Bonamego replaces Fassell.
Three new coordinators to take the LA Rams into a new direction, to change the course of a team that just two seasons ago was playing for the ultimate championship of the NFL. Had the Rams been able to win that one, would the team be changing parts faster than a Nascar race driver at the midway pitstop?
Who succeeds first?
So the question is, which of the three will succeed first? While the LA Rams passing game is loaded with talented receivers, the running game struggle in 2019, ending in just 26th place in the NFL. Of course, a 31st ranked offensive line contributed mightily to that poor showing.
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And while the Rams punting game continues to shine thanks to All-Pro Johnny Hekker, the Rams kicking and coverage squads on special teams pulled their ranking down in 2019 to 23rd. Can Bonagemo turn the corner in just one season to get the Rams back to the upper 50 percent of the NFL?
Of course, then there is the LA Rams defense, which in itself was probably the best overall performer for 2019, but had plateaued and no longer was useful in it’s “protect the lead” structure. The overall defense was 20th ranked in 2019, but the passing defense was an almost respectable 12th ranked in the league.
Measure success? First to a top-10 ranking in the NFL
So how do we track success among such a diverse field of roles and contributions to the overall football team? The easiest method is simply to wait for 2020 rankings to come out, and determine if any of the three areas are ranked in the top-10 for the NFL. That means the grades come out after the final exams for the season. But how can fans get a gauge on the interim impact?
The win-loss record is certainly the most certain area. Tracking the Rams record into 2020 is the first stop. Of course, the second step is to track box stats. Each week’s performance compared to 2019 averages, last year’s best, all reveal a bit of how the team is performing compared to last year’s best and against the team’s own performance from a year ago.
Ultimately, the Rams want to improve all three phases of their team to the top-tier of the NFL. But realistically, moving the needle on each of the three areas could be enough to get the team back into the NFL playoffs. Will it be John Bonamego, Brandon Staley, or Kevin O’Connell who make the greatest impact for the Rams in 2020? And even more importantly, will it be enough to return the Rams to the playoffs?