Put yourself in his position
Let’s say you hired on for a job to work for a new boss. Within six months of your hiring, that boss was fired. Your next boss, a temporary manager, stayed on for six months. Then he was replaced by a new boss. But in six months’ time, you found out that your company had transferred you all the way across the country, and oh, by the way, be ready to hit the floor running at your new job. For all that moving and reporting to new bosses, that’s just the logistics side of the equation.
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Austin Corbett is a solid offensive line talent who arrived at the LA Rams from a very dysfunctional NFL team. He arrived and was almost instantly plugged into the LA Rams starting offensive line. Is it any wonder that his 2018 PFF grade of 54.9 looks very similar to his 2019 PFF grade of 51.8? It’s difficult to improve your swimming stroke when you are trying to keep from drowning.
From cobwebs to center stage
Lots of moving, learning a new playbook, and moving on in 18 months for Corbett. Shockingly, his arrival and being pushed into an immediate starting role for the LA Rams at left guard is the most stable situation Corbett has enjoyed in his first two seasons. Imagine that? Is it any wonder that his game performance never seemed to build from a sparse use from the previous season? Corbett was a collegiate left tackle who was trained to back up the center in his first NFL season, For his second NFL season, the Browns traded away their solid right guard, and expected Corbett to win the job. When he didn’t, the team pretty much gave up on him.
That’s how the Cleveland Browns converted their 2018 33rd pick into a 2021 5th round pick. But from the LA Rams perspective, the Rams landed one of the best offensive linemen from that 2018 NFL Draft. And in the process, found a player to plug into their offensive line as the successor to the great Rodger Saffold. Of course, that type of performance will take time to replicate, if ever. But the job as the starting left guard is most definitely his to lose now. So what should the Rams realistically expect from their returning veteran?