Sixth offensive lineman: Noteboom, Evans
One of the lesser discussed moves by the team, but one of the more impressive decisions was to go with a sixth offensive lineman in a tight-end role. Now, the decision for a 13-personnel package clearly fell upon the head coach, Sean McVay. But the LA Rams needed to get players up to speed in order to step onto the football field, declare to be an eligible receiver to the referee, and know the blocking assignments for that role.
This was a new development for LA Rams. A bit of mid-season ingenuity necessitated by a three-game losing streak and the fact that quarterback Matthew Stafford was taking a pounding with little to no run support to balance out the team’s passing attack. That running attack has been the spark that was missing.
Now the LA Rams offense is winning games despite offensive miscues. The LA Rams defense has become a bit stingier when they are not expected to handle two-thirds of the game clock. Even the special teams look better when they can cover and return punts.
The LA Rams offensive line has been a work-in-process this season. The starting five has played the entire game just in just seven games this season. That means in eight games, the Rams have had to rely upon the play of a backup offensive lineman, no matter how few offensive snaps that proved to be.
So how are the LA Rams doing? Well, as of the end of Week 14, Pro Football Focus ranked the Rams offensive as the seventh-best group in the NFL. That’s outstanding, considering that the unit had to play without the starting left tackle, starting center, and starting right tackle so far this season.
So how do you grade offensive line coach Kevin Carberry’s first season with the LA Rams? I’d have to say that he’s done A+ work so far. So much so that I’m looking forward to the offensive line in 2022.