LA Rams: 3 offensive vets who explode in debut on Sunday Night Football

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News DeSean Jackson
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

Wide receiver

How much do you trust veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson to be available to play in this LA Rams’ offense this year? Based on the comments and social media responses, many expect D. Jackson to be playing for less than half of the games this season.  I’m hoping for a bit more than that. Much more than that, you see.

The Rams signed Jackson for the 2021 season knowing about his recent history with the Philadelphia Eagles. But the Rams did so with a plan already in place. You see, the Rams will time share the third wide receiver role between DeSean Jackson and Van Jefferson. Much like the running back by committee rotation of 2020, the concept of rotating wide receivers will give the Rams predictable continuity at the receiver role, regardless of how available DeSean Jackson is for the season.

That ability to play him 10-20 plays a game (rather than 40-60 like the Eagles did the past two seasons) will give Jackson a solid and sustainable pace for the season. And DeSean Jackson needn’t catch 150 passes in this offense to be effective. The LA Rams will test defenses deep on about five plays. But with Jackson in on 10-20 plays, they won’t know which five they will be defending the deep ball. And so, the Rams will frequently have seven defenders in the box to open up the running game and short and intermediate routes.

If there is an offensive equivalent to outside linebacker Terrell Lewis, DeSean Jackson is it. Nobody effectively argues that either player is not very talented. The challenge is in their availability to suit up on game day Sunday. Jackson doesn’t need to be on the football field for every offensive snap? But catching at least three passes for 20+ yards each, and a touchdown pass would be enough to put every defense that the Rams face going forward on alert.

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The LA Rams want to put up a lot more points this season. To do so, the Rams will need the help of DeSean Jackson to do it. Not just by scoring on long touchdown throws, but by what he forces defenses to do to stop those deep touchdown throws.

DJax will show up. It’s a huge stage. It’s LA. It’s his hometown.