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 /

Why it’s time for O’Connell to call the offensive plays now?

The LA Rams should delegate some play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell pronto. Why?  For starters, he is an accomplished professional and is very much capable of shouldering the load of additional responsibilities.

Rather than run the same stock formula of plays, O’Connell’s past experience at calling plays exhibited a natural ability to mix the strengths of the offense to the optimal plays that work for the team in the given down and distance situations. He is the type of play-caller who can get the most out of almost any quarterback, any running game, and any receiving corps, simply because he has a good feel for the game momentum and the defense.

He’s closer to the action, to the players, and to the knowledge that if he does not succeed, he will face the music by answering to the head coach. If that same situation happens with McVay’s offense, what happens? Eventually, some changes happen, but not until the Rams have lost some games.

I can think of three additional reasons why he would be an ideal recipient for such a responsible role:

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Rams’ Reason I – Better oversight.

As long as head coach Sean McVay is the logjam on this offense, the offense will continue to run into a pattern of getting ‘figured out.’ The reason is simple. There is no oversight from the coaching staff to the top coach on the coaching staff. Try as he might, eventually McVay’s attention will be pulled away from designing a better offensive game plan, and be forced to handle roster construction, or helping develop other parts of the team.

O’Connell is the offensive equivalent to a defensive coordinator. As such, he should have the same working conditions. That means he should have some say as to how the offense constructs the rosters, more say in how the team distributes running plays and passing plays, and more input as to how the team designs its plays.

Now, I’m not talking about an offense that shuts McVay entirely out of the process. Rather, a process where McVay’s greatest level of day-to-day management is developing offensive plays during training camp, and a review of the game plan before game day. That allows McVay the final yay-or-nay vote on the offense, without getting stuck in the weeds.