Starter: Jared Goff
Reserve: John Wolford
Fighting for practice squad: Bryce Perkins, Josh Love
This is quarterback Jared Goff’s offense and the Rams are committed to helping him return to his 2018 stellar performance. In fact, one of the primary duties of offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell is to coach up Goff away from some bad habits developed from last year’s offensive line struggles. The consistent flaw that surfaces again and again in last year’s blocking is failing to block the inside moves. That should be cleaned up for 2020.
While the Rams surprised many by not bringing back backup Blake Bortles, rolling the dice on the surprisingly effective John Wolford as the primary backup this season may pay off. The risk is that the next man up will be an undrafted quarterback with virtually no training camp. Yikes! Hopefully, both Perkins and Love are quick learners. The Rams could toss a curve here and keep three quarterbacks on the roster, or all four for that matter, and be rightfully justified in doing so. But the Rams seem intent on rolling the dice this year. So why play the odds only to hedge the bet?
Running back (4)
Starter: Cam Akers
Reserves: Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones, Malcolm Brown
Fighting for Practice squad: James Gilbert, John Kelly
Cam Akers is the guy. He is the feature running back for the LA Rams in 2020. But how quickly will he assume that “get me the damned ball!” role? As much as I love the guy, I’m not certain he gets more than a third of the offensive snaps in the first few games. After all, third-round rookie Darrell Henderson collected dust on the bench last season, and veteran workhorse Malcolm Brown came in primarily for red-zone runs.
I’m going with my “gut” and giving Xavier Jones the nod over James Gilbert and John Kelly for the final running back slot. That can change as soon as information from the training camp trickles in. But I have a good feeling about that NCAA scoring title as a running back. Some guys are bloodhounds when it comes to sniffing the endzone. Jones could be that guy. Don’t at me, lol.