How does Matthew Stafford affect the LA Rams 53-man roster?

Mandatory Credit: C. Morgan Engel-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: C. Morgan Engel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Matthew Stafford
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) /

Offensive line

The LA Rams coaching staff seemed to be a bit beside themselves when it came to a logical and patient approach to creating an optimal offensive line for Stafford. In fact, it seemed to be a hurried effort to put Austin Corbett at the offensive center and Bobby Evans at right guard all through OTAs and the pre-pads portion of training camp. Then, when the pads went on, a just-as-hurried retreat to restore Austin Corbett to right guard and install Brian Allen as the starting offensive center.

That type of snap decision followed by a complete reversal decision has created a shroud of confusion over the offensive line as a whole. In short, if the Rams got it wrong the first time, isn’t it just as likely that the team did not get it right with the second attempt?

All in all, the LA Rams did not embrace any changes to their offensive line, likely because the team has a rather healthy number of players with NFL experience returning in 2021. It was that decision, coupled with the low ball bid to re-sign offensive center Austin Blythe, which resulted in the coaching staff trying to cobble a workable Plan B. When that didn’t pan out as expected, they were forced into stitching together their current Plan C.

The coaches appear hesitant to consider young or inexperienced players on the offensive line, and that is very likely due to the fact that Matthew Stafford is a veteran who will need a good pocket to work his passing magic. That not only creates a template for who the Rams choose to start and keep on the roster in 2021 but likely who the team will draft in future years as well.

I am not convinced that the Rams roster at running back has as much to do with Matthew Stafford on the roster as it has to do with the onslaught of injuries that have decimated the rushing ranks so far. I do believe that Stafford’s presence prompted the team to shop the top-shelf trade market and land New England Patriots running back Sony Michel. But we’ll discuss those dynamics further in a future article.