5 underrated moves the LA Rams made in 2022 offseason

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Rams Roster Coleman Shelton
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams have been a team of big risks and roster transactions that have often splashed the NFL headlines, sometimes to the point of NFL Insiders and analysts openly asking the question: “How are they doing that?

Well, that is a question that LA Rams fans have simply gotten used to asking over time, sometimes to no obvious answer. The entire organization has been as aggressive off the field and in the front office as the team has been on the football field. The Rams love to go for it, whether that means trading first-round picks for a game-changing veteran, to scoring the winning touchdown in the closing seconds of the football game.

But the LA Rams are more than a top-heavy football team that needs to be carried to the final buzzer by a handful of NFL elite players. The Rams are constantly tweaking, tuning up, repairing, and renovating their roster from top to bottom.  While that may not make the headlines of NFL sports shows, it gets noticed by those of us who watch the team’s full roster activity. Some of the moves do not get picked up by the big NFL networks, and get glossed over by those who report on what is perceived as transactions that move the needle.

But some of the best roster moves are those moves that are not viewed as moving the needle. Or simply make news, but more in the form of the for-your-information than as a solid player addition who can make a difference for the team today and into the future. Like who? Well, we have five moves that could qualify as underrated moves by the team this year.

V: Re-signing Coleman Shelton

One of the rules about the LA Rams roster is that the team is both frugal as well as quite strategic in how the team metes out salary cap dollars. To the naked eye, the Rams were perfectly safe by re-signing both Brian Allen to resume his role as the team’s starting center, and re-signing backup swing tackle Joseph Noteboom to begin a new chapter of his career as the starting left tackle for the Rams.

But the Rams did not stop there, as they also re-signed backup center, Coleman Shelton, as well. The move was not just surprising in and of itself, but it was a significant move for the team and led many to believe that Shelton was coming back to be a starting guard who would fill the spot vacated by former offensive lineman Austin Corbett.

I’m not sure that is what the Rams have in store for Shelton.

We know that while Allen has roared back to life and won back his starting spot in the middle of the LA Rams offensive front, he has had to fight through significant injuries. Not only did he lose half of the 2019 and all of the 2020 season to injury, but Allen was injured in Week 9 against the Tennessee Titans, played just one snap against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 13, out Week 14 against the Arizona Cardinals, and played just 18 snaps in Week 16 against the Minnesota Vikings.

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On each occasion, Shelton stepped in and stepped right up. In fact, the LA Rams’ rushing attack in Weeks 13, 14, and 16 performed at its best of the year. It was no coincidence. Shelton aggressively blocked at the line of scrimmage, then pursued additional blocking assignments downfield. He may back up at the center position to start the season, but he will find his way onto the football field over time.