Amidst all of the LA Rams roster shuffling over injured and perhaps now healing offensive linemen, the LA Rams have a wildcard up their sleeve. Even as the outcries from fans for the LA Rams to start drafting offensive linemen increase in volume, the Rams have one offensive lineman in their talent pipeline who will surprise everyone, perhaps as soon as the 2023 NFL season.
He is the guy from Italy who joined the LA Rams in 2021 via the International Pathway Program (IPP), Max Pircher, and he is perhaps the best-kept secret on the Rams roster.
Sure the Rams’ offensive line has been hammered with injuries, and after the team promoted Alaric Jackson into a starting role, the next offensive lineman talent-wise on the Rams roster was like Max Pircher. So why didn’t the Rams make the decision to activate him? Well, it’s not that easy.
Pircher is ready to play
Max Pircher is a 6-foot-7 300-pound offensive lineman who is a bonus roster spot for the LA Rams, at least as long as he is signed to the team’s practice squad. The IPP is designed to provide an extended period for international players to understudy on rosters of NFL teams and eventually learn the game well enough to earn a roster role. Or, as was the case of Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Jordan Mailata, a starting role.
Pircher may not have arrived at the LA Rams in a conventional way, but it was clear in preseason that he was arguably one of the better offensive linemen for the Rams in those games. And because he is hidden away in the practice squad, his name is not mentioned in conversations about this team. Should it be? I think so.
The LA Rams will get OL Logan Bruss and Tremayne Anchrum back for the 2023 NFL season. And the team will get Max Pircher back as well. I think that, if given a chance, Pircher could successfully compete for and win a starting role for the Rams’ offensive line next season. Not only is he being coached up by Rams OL Coach Kevin Carberry, but he had a year of mentoring by retired OL Andrew Whitworth.
And when he plays, it shows.
So why haven’t the Rams promoted him yet? Well, it’s a one-way street. As soon as an NFL team promotes an IPP player, that bonus roster spot ceases to exist. With so many injuries, the Rams are just as keen about preserving that bonus practice squad spot.
Patience is indeed a virtue. And in the case of the LA Rams offensive line, it will receive its just rewards.