LA Rams wide receivers prove that ‘we-mentality’ strong on roster

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /

The LA Rams are one of the NFL’s best in terms of humility. Players on this roster rally around one another

The LA Rams may be a team filled with NFL stars, but you wouldn’t know it if you talk to their players.  The Rams are a group of players that have truly embraced the team philosophy.  The Rams do not play games for statistics. Instead, this team plays for wins. and for the most part, they do.

It takes selfless play to win in the NFL now. Running backs and receivers, who emerged from college tasked with advancing the chains, but learn how to block. Quarterbacks who once relied upon pristine pockets must now learn how to move in the pocket, pump-fake, read progressions, fake handoffs, and even scramble out of the pocket.

Defend one another

The same can be said about the LA Rams defense. All-Pro Aaron Donald plays against two, three, or four blockers per play in the hopes that his teammates can make the play. OLB Leonard Floyd sets a hard edge against multiple blockers to turn plays inwards to his teammates. Defensive linemen gobble blockers to allow linebackers to make the plays.

But of all the positions on the LA Rams team, perhaps the most difficult to master is that of the wide receiver. At one time, receivers fell into 3 basic categories: speed, route runners, or possession type receivers. For the Rams, they require all of those attributes, plus the ability to block as well as run with the ball. And one more thing. They have to have a ‘we’ mindset.

And so it goes that the Rams premier receivers have created a support group for the receiver room.

Positivity is infectious

Why is a positive culture so very important? Well, the very nature of professional sports is the continuous feeding of young inexperienced talent on one end to replace and continue the traditions of veteran players who either retire, are not re-signed, or are injured. It’s an open-ended pipeline, and each year the players draw closer to the end of their careers.

Successful teams find ways to fast-track experience into young talented players. Some do it by throwing them onto the football field in a sink-or-swim ritual that quickly makes or breaks careers. But there are other means of doing so as well. The LA Rams throw out the welcome mat to younger players. And they respond well to the warm reception.

Circle the wagons

A positive culture removes the shame of being naive. Veterans who reassure rookies that ‘we’ve been there too’ immediately create a bond. That bond is vital to building a team, and a team is vital to accomplishing common goals. Teammates create the appreciation for everyone on the roster, while headlines limit the appreciation for the spotlight. And teammates can circle the wagons when appreciation in the world outside of the lockerroom wanes.

We will discover just how effective the Rams mentality can be this weekend. Once more, they are traveling to face a dangerous opponent.  Once more, the smart money is betting against the Rams. And once more, the Rams face a must-win game to remain in a good position for the NFL Playoffs.

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This is one the Rams need.  This is one the Cardinals want. And this is good football about to happen.