3 steps LA Rams must make to earn respect for QB Jared Goff

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams Jared Goff
(Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) /

Offensive line play

The most obvious fix may be the most elusive for the LA Rams. After all, good offensive linemen do not come cheap. Right now, the LA Rams went all Scrooge when it comes to committing salary cap dollars to the offensive line. Compounding the issue is the fact that the Rams re-signed all free agents from 2019 for the 2020 season. The 31st-ranked offensive line back for another go of it certainly gives casual football analysts cause to bury the Rams, and Jared Goff’s upside, for 2020 NFL season.

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The LA Rams are taking a huge gamble that the offensive line that struggled so obviously to block and stay healthy in 2019 will find ways to do both in 2020. They may, in fact, be correct. After all, any lineman added this year would not help the team turn the corner this year. In fact, due to so little time to become familiar with anything, rookies drafted in even round one may struggle worse than poor veterans from 2019 for a long time this season.

Running game

The running game will always be the quarterback’s best friend. For the first three seasons, Goff and the LA Rams counted upon the incredible running talents of Todd Gurley. But Gurley was injured late in the 2018 season, a fact that forced him to miss several games as the Rams prepared for and competed in the NFL Playoffs. In 2019, the Rams running game was a pale shadow of itself. The Rams struggled to run the ball between the tackles. Without an inside running game, the offense relied on Goff.

And defenses smelled blood in the water.

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When the running game fails as badly as that of the Rams in 2019, defense no longer plays the run. The defense can line up extra defensive backs, double up one or even two of the Rams receivers, and wait for the quarterback to make a mistake. Isn’t that exactly what happened last year?

The Rams need to commit enough blockers to establish some semblance of a running game in 2020. Whether that means an up back, two running backs, or two tight ends, the Rams need to commit enough resources to ensure that they can move the ball on the ground this year.