3 reasons why LA Rams RB Xavier Jones can become red zone rusher

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Xavier Jones
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Somebody needs to step up

While I wouldn’t rush to rule out any of the LA Rams running backs this early in the process of setting the depth chart and the roles for each player, I wouldn’t necessarily count on a miraculous surprise either. After all, this rushing attack for the team’s offense hasn’t exactly been a case for smooth sailing. In fact, it’s had its own share of makeovers and refurbishments.

When the Rams moved on from running back coach Skip Peete, it was an omen of changes happening to the running game. Sure enough, the team hired South Carolina RB coach Thomas Brown to fill the void. Brown has a storied career and has worked with some of the finest NFL running backs in his day. But even he has his limits, and his first order of business was to work with Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson, and Cam Akers to prepare them for the sudden arrival of the 2020 NFL season.

Because there simply was not enough time to sort through who would be featured, the coaching staff allowed the group to work the running game by committee.  Each player found his niche. Malcolm Brown became the physical short-yardage rusher who attacked the defense between the tackles. Darrell Henderson became the big play-maker who attacked the perimeter.  Rookie Cam Akers became the all-purpose running back who can do a little bit of everything.  By season’s end, Brown and Henderson had each scored five touchdowns, and Akers scored two.

Brown is gone, and newly arrive rookie Jake Funk will likely find his first NFL season role on special teams. Brown was 5-foot-11 and weighed 225-pounds. Xavier Jones stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 208-pounds. He’s certainly built for a similar role for the scoring ‘vulture’ role this year that Brown claimed in 2020.