Former LA Rams QB wants ‘very different’ offense from Sean McVay

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

LA Rams head coach Sean McVay needs to adapt his offense to suit the skills of a particular quarterback, according to a former Pro Bowler who twice led the NFL in touchdown passes.

Former Rams quarterback Jim Everett passed the Rams to the NFC Championship Game during the 1989 season and earned his only Pro Bowl nod a year later. Everett’s predicted how McVay can change the formula with LA Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford still out of action and dual-thread quarterback Bryce Perkins in line to replace him:

McVay needs to name Stafford’s replacement, either Perkins or fellow LA Rams quarterback John Wolford. They’ve both started this season, but Perkins should get the nod and bring Everett’s vision for the offense to life. Curiously, McVay had other ideas:

Like  Stafford, Everett was a pocket-based passer who relied heavily upon his offensive line to provide enough time for his wide receivers to burn defenses deep. The Rams don’t have the luxury of solid protection this season, so Stafford has struggled.

It’s the perfect time for McVay to refresh a playbook that’s gotten too familiar and amplify the skillsets of the players who will take the field.

Change is needed in McVay’s System

Perkins in the lineup makes change inevitable. He’s not like Stafford. Perkins is mobile, able to throw on the run or gash defenses on the ground.

Those qualities naturally lend themselves to the type of read-option schemes Everett referenced. packaging run and pass options together as the defining feature of many offenses this season.

Two-way plays help quarterbacks make quick reads based on what defenses give them. In theory, defenses can’t be right.

If they clog inside rushing lanes, dual-threat quarterbacks run off tackle, or else throw quick screens outside. If coverage takes away the primary passing route, the QB simply hands off to his running back, who steals some cheap yards.

There are endless possibilities for a creative play-caller with the right athlete at football’s most important position. McVay and a dual-threat quarterback like Bryce Perkins make up the right combination for this game.

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Rams equipped for successful blueprint

Nine rushes for 44 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 12 proved Perkins’ talent as a runner. McVay needs to use Perkins’ athleticism on designed runs like the Baltimore Ravens use QB Lamar Jackson and the New York Giants unleash QB Daniel Jones.

The best proponents of the running QB gambit are the Philadelphia Eagles. Disguise and design create rushing lanes for QB Jalen Hurts to exploit whenever he chooses, like on this play against the Green Bay Packers, highlighted by USA Today’s Doug Farrar:

A running quarterback usually equals a productive ground game, something the Rams are still missing. Keeping Perkins on the move will boost the Rams’ 3.5-yard per carry average, the second-lowest tally in the league.

Moving Perkins can also revamp the passing game. Moving pockets and rollout passes were a staple of McVay’s offense when Jared Goff played quarterback.

Perkins proved the effectiveness of bootleg passing by connecting with LA Rams wide receiver Tutu Atwell to convert a 4th-and-2 against the Chiefs:

Shifting the pocket will also help an O-line that’s allowed 38 sacks. Making defenses wary of Perkins’ rushing threat, then hitting deep strikes, can restore big plays to McVay’s aerial attack.

Perkins completed only 13 of his 23 passing attempts against the Kansas City Chiefs but did throw his first touchdown in the pros, a seven-yarder to LA Rams’ wide receiver Van Jefferson. The potential for more is obvious in a system tailored to Perkins’ versatility.

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