LA Rams must delegate offensive play calling duties before playoffs

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Kevin O'Connell
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams offense has been ‘figured out’ twice already this year. In fact, the pattern of opposing defenses figuring out what the Rams offense is up to with their latest iteration is bound to confront the team between now and competing in Super Bowl LVI.  That’s a problem that is inevitable, and one that the LA Rams have yet to overcome. In fact, it’s one that the team has yet to even attempt to fix.

After all, the Rams’ offensive playbook is no longer a secret, but rather is an open book. A pattern of what the team will do in certain down and distances have become so patterned that defensive coordinators can prep their defensive players as to where to be to make the tackle, deflect the pass, or even intercept the football.

If you doubt me, just revisit the Arizona Cardinals interviews after beating the Rams in Week 4. Check out the Tennessee Titans strategy that won their Week 9 matchup with the LA Rams, and then watch how the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers matched that defensive game plan.

The Rams offensive design is flawed

The trouble is, the head coach of the LA Rams cannot fire the offensive play-caller. You see, Sean McVay is the offensive play-caller. And that has hindered the team’s chances of surprising opposing defenses in the postseason.

When the team hired offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, the original assignment was to work closely with quarterback Jared Goff and help translate defenses for Goff to speed up his ability to recognize and diagnose the correct counters, whether to change the read progressions or audible at the line altogether. That failed.

So now the LA Rams have an offensive coordinator whose help-our-quarterback role has essentially evaporated. It’s very likely that Matthew Stafford is translating what he sees on the field to O’Connell. All the while, head coach Sean McVay is creating the offensive plays and calling those plays during the game. And that’s a problem.

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The current system has no self-corrections. Nobody is checking the offense’s tendencies, because the head coach, the big cheese, is also mucking about in the grunt work of putting the game plan together.