3 ways LA Rams Darrell Henderson erupts in 2020

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams Darrell Henderson
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Let the new RB coach do his thing

The LA Rams made changes to the running program for 2020. The team parted ways with running back coach Skip Peete and hired on a new running back coach in Thomas Brown. His career includes coaching up NFL greats Melvin Gordon and Nick Chubb. While he likely weighed in on the selection of running back Cam Akers to the team, he was hired to improve a running game that seemed to stick at the average in 2019. The spectrum of Rams rushers in 2019 covered from 3.7 YPC to 3.8 YPC. That type of range is unusual in an NFL team’s backfield.

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It illustrates one of the problems of the 2019 running game. One size fits all. A bland philosophy in the running game that drove everyone to the midpoint. Originality failed the team at a time when it was needed most. While the team did go 9-7, a more adaptive running game could have propelled the team to more wins, a playoff appearance, and an entirely different way of looking at the Rams this season.

Reset, reload, run Darrell run!

Henderson did not take the NFL by storm last season. In fact, it’s difficult to argue he made any impact at all.  But the story changes in chapter two. The Rams running game is no longer dominated by Todd Gurley, and the team has new coaches in place to refocus the running game. After a lot of hit-and-miss experimentation in 2019, the Rams did finally discover that they run a pretty good two tight end offensive formation. Two tight ends mean extra blocking to either perimeter, which opens up the playbook for Henderson in 2020.

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Henderson on the field signals running play to NFL defenses. Improving pass protection to allow passing options when he is on the field would be a tremendous benefit to both the team and the player.  If a defense must keep a defensive back in coverage, that opens up the most important running lanes for Henderson – the outside. And success at running to the perimeter opens up running between the tackles and deep pass plays down the middle. Getting the running game into a good rhythm opens up the entire LA Rams offensive playbook.