Method V: Offensive line
What is the first thing that the LA Rams needed to do to optimize the performance of newly arrived veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford? Well, keeping the offensive line as intact as possible is a good first step. Why? The footage for the Rams offense from 2020 featured the offensive line iterations from last year. And that was the basis for a majority of Stafford’s preparation before he arrived at Organized Team Activities (OTAs) this year.
By studying film from 2020, Stafford is able to get a huge jump on how defenses schemed against the Rams offense, where they attacked the line of scrimmage, and how the Rams offensive line countered those efforts. For each new variable, there is less value to learn from those historic videos. Even if the Rams only changed one player by drafting a rookie offensive center, that would be a huge overall change to the offensive line dynamics.
Los Angeles Rams
Instead, the Rams are experimenting with shifting offensive right guard Austin Corbett to the center position and filling that void with veteran offensive lineman Bobby Evans. Even though some fans may roll their eyes at an offensive line of Andrew Whitworth, David Edwards, Austin Corbett, Bobby Evans, and Rob Havenstein, that initial configuration will jumpstart the learning curve of Stafford because all five had starting roles in 2020.
Even as the Rams regroup and perhaps even swap out an offensive lineman, the head start afforded to Stafford allows him to work on what his receivers are doing downfield, and not worry about what is going on at the line of scrimmage. Even a veteran quarterback like Matthew Stafford can only learn and absorb so much, and the LA Rams offense is a complex beast to tackle. Keeping as few changes to the offensive line as possible is a solid move in the right direction for the Rams in terms of setting up their new quarterback to succeed.