LA Rams made these 7 ‘right calls’ over the offensive line

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams offensive line
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

IV – Rework playbook

The greatest flaw of the 2019 season for the LA Rams was not the injuries, the schedule, or the poor performance by players. It was the way the team overlooked what was happening to the roster, the players, and on the field and failed to adjust. Redesigning the offensive playbook was a systemic flaw of the Rams organization. The man who was the ‘big thinker’ for the team, head coach Sean McVay, was also the lone author of the offensive playbook.

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Knowing that the Rams organization was crippled in 2019 with an inability to refocus on each week’s opponent, McVay opened the offensive coordinator role. Not just for anyone, but for a specific niche offensive coordinator. The ideal candidate would need to be able to work with quarterbacks, not just to cheerlead but to infuse brutal honesty into the conversation. And the candidate needed to work with an imperfect roster. He needed to find a way to get the most out of an offense that may not have been the most talented roster on the field.

Okay, O’Connell

The Rams decided upon Keven O’Connell, the quarterback whisperer from the Washington Football team who had coached up rookie Dwayne Haskins. Now he would be given the primary responsibility to coach up Rams starting quarterback Jared Goff. But at the same time, he would be the second set of eyes upon the playbook and the plays called.  He would ask the tough questions upon McVay himself, challenging the wisdom of plays that required a different skill set than those fielded by the Rams.

That combination forced the Rams to rethink their belief system in ways that benefitted everyone.  With a perspective to run plays for that week’s opponent, the Rams have been able to generate optimal yardage by attacking the defense vulnerabilities. But the team has been able to do so with a new arsenal each week, allowing the Rams to play the short game of this week’s opponent, but also to play the long game of setting up future opponents with unseen plays.