What’s up with LA Rams personnel all expressing a sense of urgency?

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Sometimes writing for the LA Rams can be extremely exciting. Sometimes it’s a bit of a burden. Yes, there are slow days where there are simply no new newsworthy events that trigger a reflection upon the team roster. Player potentials, new schemes. Sometimes the team makes a move that we don’t understand.  Other times, a pattern develops in the team’s actions that could lead to a less happy place. That can all become a challenge to write about. Why?

Well, the tough qualities of covering the LA Rams happen when things simply do not make sense to me.  Perhaps it is something that someone says. Perhaps it is something that another sportswriter puts out there as gospel truth that doesn’t connect to any dots that I’ve experienced.

And so I start digging, and more often than not I take anyone who wants to follow with me along for the ride. Right now, the puzzle driving my investigative nature about the Rams is the sudden appearance of the word ‘urgency’ in almost all interviews with coaches and players for the LA Rams.

Sense of urgency is the new buzz phrase

It began when I first noticed the word when LA Rams’ new veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford used the word in one of his initial post-OTA interviews about his impression of the team. The term ‘sense of urgency’ stuck in my head, because while the meaning of the term is not cryptic, it’s something that is not often used to describe the behavior of a new and unfamiliar group. Why?

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams /

Los Angeles Rams

The definition of urgency is the importance of something that requires swift action. It can also mean an earnest and persistent quality; insistence.  So why is that an unusual term for a newcomer? Well, the very definition implies that the pace of the team has hastened. That’s a hard call for someone to make if they haven’t been part of that team before, right? I mean, if the LA Rams’ normal pace is already quick, then the urgency is a false claim.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I made an effort to catch up with the video interviews of key players and coaches on the team. Invariably, the term urgency came up in the form of a question or an answer.  Did everyone get a memo that insisted that team interviews uniformly use the term ‘urgency’ in 2021? Is that the LA Rams mission statement for 2021?

Sense of urgency is an apt description after all

To be fair, a sense of urgency is an incredibly insightful description of the LA Rams approach to the 2021 NFL season.  There is a hastening of the team pace, a need to get better more quickly than ever before, a strong focus upon synching up as a squad, unit, and team more quickly than ever before.

And then, there is the other definition – an earnest and persistent quality – that is exactly what the Rams want this year.  The Rams were wildly inconsistent in 2020. The team defeated the eventual Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa Bay last year but lost to the then-winless New York Jets in Los Angeles that same year.

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If the Rams can persistently field the quality of the team that defeated the Bucs on the road last year? This team can go places. The LA Rams knowing what needs to happen in 2021 this early is a very good sign. Now, the team just needs to find a way to make it happen.