There can be no excuse for LA Rams offense now

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Be careful what you wish for – you just may get it” is something that my mother once told me many years ago. No, I’m not asserting that she came up with the phrase, but she knew whenever Christmas time was near, I would be swept away by images of new toys that were always better in the Wishbook than under that Christmas tree. It’s a lot like the roster that has been constructed by the LA Rams after the 2021 NFL Draft.

Is a consensus always the wisest course of action? Certainly not. The LA Rams roster would be burdened with busts and one-hit wonders if the fans’ wishes were fulfilled with each draft selection. And that applies to the 2021 NFL Draft as well. But sometimes it’s wise to seek counsel.  Sometimes a consensus is not such a bad thing.

No, the LA Rams did not address the offensive line during the draft. And yes, the team did sign up Alaric Jackson and Jordan Meredith after the draft. But the team’s offensive line is now just 13 players, and five of them are in their contract years. Forget filling the void at the offensive center position. How do the Rams plan to fill five offensive linemen defections in 2022 without the foreseeable means to afford to renew their contracts? Ah, minor details.

Farewell, OL, we knew thee not

Next year the LA Rams will say goodbye to Brian Allen, Coleman Shelton, Austin Corbett, Joseph Noteboom, and Chandler Brewer, many of the names cited by both GM Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay as players who the team is counting on to step up. They may, and that will place them out of the Rams price range. Sort of a Catch-22 right now.

The Rams clearly like offensive weapons. The team has added WR Tutu Atwell, RB Jake Funk, WR/TE Ben Skowronek, and WR/TE Jacob Harris to an offense that is fairly saturated with running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends. After all, the team still had WR Van Jefferson and Trishton Jackson, TE Brycen Hopkins, and RB Raymond Calais and Xavier Jones who were partially or fully red-shirted in 2020.

So the offense must now figure out a way to clear the way for nine new players (well, ten if you figure in DeSean Jackson) to hit the football field in one year.  Hey, we get it.  Skill players score the points. But how many of the new weapons will even see playing time? How many of the five returning players from 2020 will have a chance in the offense?

Who will block for them?

Have the Rams gotten too cute? Is this like a newly married couple who chooses to spend their monthly budget on expensive food, only to realize that they ignored purchasing dishes and cookware to prepare and eat the food?  Even if no offensive lineman in the draft ‘cut the mustard’, there is still the basic requirement of blocking.

In any offense, the offensive linemen plus the quarterback will always make up the majority. They play the most physical aspect of the game, they are most susceptible to injury. The fact is that the LA Rams do not invest in offensive linemen. They just don’t. When it comes to the NFL Draft, the team goes no higher than the third round. When it comes to paying out salaries? The LA Rams front office is the NFL’s version of Ebenezer Scrooge. It’s no anomaly. The Rams are on track to pay their offensive line 30th of 32 teams for the 2021 NFL season.

Do you get what you pay for?  Hopefully, the LA Rams can get more with less. The team hadn’t invested much for former offensive line coach Aaron Kromer, and yet the Rams, with the exception of injury-riddled 2019, seemed to play very well. Now, the miracle of turning the beer-budget-boys in the trenches into the champagne-shining-super-stars falls to offensive line coach Kevin Carberry.

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This is the offense that the Rams wished for. This is the team that was constructed to be one of the NFL’s top scorers. Let’s hope that it works out. After all, “Be careful what you wish for – you just may get it” still applies. And the Rams certainly got what they wanted in the end. Unfortunately, 2022 will be upon us sooner than we would like to admit.