Whoa, are LA Rams able to handle pressure up the middle?

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

Will the LA Rams interior offensive line struggle with A-gap blitzes this year as they seem to have in training camp?

The LA Rams believe that restocking the offensive line with healthy versions of last year’s battered and beaten players is enough to succeed in 2020.  And to be honest, I want to believe them. I really do. In some ways, I think that the Rams will have more success this season with pressure up the middle than last season.

More success may be a bit misleading, however. The Rams offensive line was decimated last season by a simple series of A-gap blitzes which the offense seemed to have no answer for until they faced the Chicago Bears. In that game, the Rams deployed blocking tight end Johnny Mundt all over the offense. He lined up on the line of scrimmage at times. At other times, he lined up in the backfield.  The result? A desperately needed win and the Rams running game sprang back to life.

What if Blythe buckles under pressure?

Until now, we’ve been cautiously hopeful that with a healthy Austin Blythe at the center, the Rams offensive could turn the corner and begin the slow process of improving this year. But the image of Aaron Donald having his way up the middle does shake that confidence a bit. The consensus for the Rams in 2019 was that starting center Brian Allen found himself pushed around a lot.

Thankfully, there are other ways for the Rams to extend plays. We know that QB Jared Goff is working frantically to extend plays by avoiding pressure in the pocket. We also know that the Rams offense will have plays to push the offense along faster, working around interior pressure to get snap plays to the outside.

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The offensive line is not perfect.  But it will be ahead of other offensive lines in many ways. As long as the team remains healthy, they will improve each week.  Other offensive lines will likely struggle this season. The Rams offensive line may struggle at times as well. Even if it isn’t pretty, and win is a win.  The season is more important during the playoff run.  For now, any win in any means possible is just fine.