Rams Top 5 list for HBO Hard Knocks
5. Two tight-end formations – There is really no question if the Rams will run multiple tight-end formations. The question is WHO will the Rams run in multiple tight-end sets. The team had good success by combining Tyler Higbee and Johnny Mundt last season. Will the Rams use Gerald Everett with Johnny Mundt? Higbee and Mundt? What about rookie tight end Brycen Hopkins? So many questions, so little time.
4. Red zone running backs – The LA Rams have some options in the red zone this year. The team can stick with rookie RB Cam Akers. The team can opt for rookie scoring savant Xavier Jones, who held the NCAA scoring title in 2019. Or the Rams can go with savvy veteran RB Malcolm Brown
3. Bryce Perkins e on the field, anytime and every time – The LA Rams not only went off-script when the team signed Virginia dual-threat quarterback Bryce Perkins, but they also went out of the box. Perkins is fighting for the third quarterback spot on the team, a role that is very important to the team this season. But his skill set is so rich with offensive talent, he could line up at any offensive skill position and do very well. How will the Rams use him? That’s what we are tuning in to find out.
2. Van Jefferson running routes – When the LA Rams selected WR Van Jefferson with their last second-round pick, some questioned why the team chose a receiver with a foot injury. That injury was detected at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, negating Jefferson’s timed running drills. But don’t equate that foot injury to a lack of speed. He’s fast. But fast is not why the Rams drafted him. The Rams loved his route running, and they need an ace in the hole as the team faces free agency with both Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds. He could explode for 1,000 yards this season if he can shake enough offensive snaps loose.
1. Jared Goff’s footwork – LA Rams quarterback Jared Goff did not suddenly “go bad” last season. He ran out of time. Defenses quickly learned that the Rams offensive line struggled to pick up A gap blitzes. So defenses ran A gap blitzes. Defenders got to Goff so quickly that by the time he set his feet to make the throw, he was already in the arms of a tackler. While the Rams try to work a better strategy to pick up blitzes then pointing the way to Goff and laughing, Goff himself is taking a proactive approach. Each year, he trains with 3DQB, a Huntington Beach, Calif.-based quarterback training facility that has been active in helping several NFL quarterbacks.
This year, he focused on throwing off the wrong foot. The Rams head coach Sean McVay and offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell are looking for Goff to make something happen. Rather than taking a sack or throwing it away, the coaches want Goff to “take ownership”. In short, if the play breaks down, Goff is still on the hook to make something happen. That being said, Goff worked on his ability to move inside the pocket and throw off multiple platforms. In a word, footwork. Keep your eyes on Goff’s footwork.