Maybe I was wrong about these LA Rams, and I’m happy to say so
The LA Rams had a lot of personnel decisions to make in order to prepare for the 2020 NFL season. After just one game, it appears that the Rams may need veteran defensive tackle Michael Brockers and running back Malcolm Brown. In a previous post, I lobbied that the Rams needed to get rid of Brockers because the team needed the cap space for future extensions and just wiggle room in general.
I believed that rookie running back Cam Akers combined with second-year running back Darrell Henderson would be enough. In my estimation, they should be able to shoulder the load and lead the team in rushing. And by doing so, the would become the one-two punch that the Rams have needed since Todd Gurley‘s arthritic knee flared up.
Never too much leadership
Clearly running back Cam Akers was drafted to be the future at running back. Biting heavily on his upside, I thought he should as well be the present. 2020 had other ideas. With no training camp to speak of and no preseason, the Rams need Malcolm Brown to lead the running back room. It was clear in just one game that and they need his big body on key third downs and for blocking purposes.
Clearly, he is a critical piece of the Rams offense, one that is needed to make it all go. I’m sorry I thought otherwise, but I don’t believe that I was the only one. Of course, it’s a long season, so in the future, Akers and Henderson may play a larger role in the offense. For now, Malcolm Brown is the guy who is hot, so the Rams will definitely continue to feed him the ball.
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What about Brockers?
In the past, I had raised the scenario where the Rams should’ve released/not re-signed Michael Brockers. When the team brought him back, I openly thought that was a bad decision. I also lobbied hard for the team to cut him last year for salary cap purposes.
In 2019, it appeared as though his skills had diminished and I thought he was just a body on the defensive line. He made his presence felt in the first game of the season and so far has been pretty solid.
Granted, there has only been one game but he played well. This was a tough opener, and against what may prove to be one of the most talented offenses of 2020. That didn’t seem to intimidate Michael Brockers in the least. He was right there, playing different positions, gobbling up blockers, and disrupting the offense.
Most impressive was the way he put on a football clinic of his running-lane clogging ability. That is the perfect complementary skill-set to the ever-dangerous wrecking ball abilities of Aaron Donald.. Brockers role on defense is perfectly suited and he has done wonders thus far. Defensive lineman Aaron Donald needs some help. Just a little bit of help and Michael Brockers provided that. Beyond the performance, his veteran presence makes a huge difference for this young team.
I was wrong and I’m glad to be wrong on that end. The Rams are being slept on this season and that suits the Rams just fine. We should love that. With so many underestimating the Rams this year, good things are coming our way.