Roadblocks or road graders
Now, let’s turn our discussion back to the Rams offensive line decision to infuse big bodies into the offensive line. Ignoring the lessons learned (or perhaps not learned) from the struggles in the NFL Playoffs against the Green Bay Packers, the Rams opted to get the five biggest roadblocks onto the field simultaneously. And in Organized Team Activities (OTAs), it all played out incredibly well. No blocking, no tackling, just pass and catch. Great.
But the pads did go on. What the Rams learned is that their original “this is our starting offensive line” cast was not, in fact, their starting offensive line. So in a bit of a hurried retreat, the LA Rams restored Austin Corbett to right guard and reinstated Brian Allen to offensive center.
A good breakdown with the LA Rams offensive center situation is the 11 Personnel podcast by The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue and Rich Hammond. (Subscription required) Listen to just how confused Jourdan Rodrigue is over the fact that the Rams flipped from 100 percent from Austin Corbett to Brian Allen at the offensive center.
Now things are just fine, right? Well not exactly. We still have the need to block for the running backs, and opening rushing lanes is a different skill set than pass blocking. The LA Rams have some linemen who actually do a pretty good job banging bodies: Put Joseph Noteboom, Tremayne Anchrum, Coleman Shelton, and AJ Jackson into that category. Now, where do all of these elements place the LA Rams and the final iteration of the offensive line?