LA Rams Bobby Wagner discusses the team’s winning formula
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams can take a great deal of pride over the fact that this team has not experienced a losing season since the team hired head coach Sean McVay. The closest this team has come to falling below the .500 mark was the 2019 NFL season, the year after the team lost in Super Bowl LIII to the New England Patriots.
That 2019 season was a bit of an anomaly, as the offensive line was decimated by injuries, the running game never really gained a foothold, and the defensive secondary was so ravaged that the team literally rebuilt the unit mid-season, capped by trading for All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey.
Despite all of that turmoil, the team ended the season at 9-7. It was the only year that the team did not make the NFL Playoffs.
This team does not possess some lucky charm or magical artifact that keeps them in the victory circle. Rather, the secret sauce was recognized by veteran newcomer Bobby Wagner. He has known his share of good and bad teams and recognizes the qualities that make this team uniquely different: Accountability and respect.
Okay, so what does that mean?
Accountability is simply the fact that each player must take responsibility for their play. That is not to say excusing a poor play is forgiven automatically by the “My bad,” admission. Rather, it means that players will be expected to put in the work to ensure that mishaps and miscommunications are corrected.
Respect is the other side of the coin. Respect is the avoidance of beratement, insulting, or demeaning language in an attempt to correct challenges or fix problems. It’s the willingness, or perhaps even the requirement, to keep dialogue professional, focus on how to correct a problem, and not look for a scapegoat or someone to blame.
Those two qualities, when combined in the locker room, encourage questions and concerns to be discussed and resolved, rather than compel quiet compliance doomed to fail on game day.
One of the benefits of getting a fresh perspective is not only to troubleshoot what the team is doing wrong. But it also helps to point out what the LA Rams are doing right.