LA Rams OL: A bricklayer’s tale of bricks, mortar, and walls

Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports /
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The LA Rams offensive linemen are getting mercilessly criticized on social media, in Rams discussion forums, by NFL analysts, and worst of all, but the trolls who only seem to crawl out from their dark spaces to relish in the struggles and misery of others, the talk is almost monopolized from how poorly the LA Rams offensive linemen have played this season.

Many want the LA Rams to abandon practically every offensive lineman on the roster, commit a significant number of draft picks to restock this offensive line and start over. That’s a pretty dramatic and knee-jerk reaction to the Rams’ offensive line woes this year.

Ironically, it’s the same response to the Rams’ challenges after the 2019 season, a year in which the Rams offensive line ended 31st out of 32 NFL offensive lines. The Rams were expected to restock the offensive line in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Rams drafted one offensive lineman, Tremayne Anchrum Jr. in the seventh rough.

I don’t think that will happen this year either, and here’s why.

Stonewalling the issue

Just a bit of background information. I am the grandson of a stone mason, a trade that has all but vanished from the trade skills of American artisans and craftsmen. But there continues to be a market for bricklayers, and the concept is the same. To build a study wall, you need a supply of quality bricks, a well-mixed and ready supply of mortar, you need a patient and skilled bricklayer, and time.

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Bricks are no more a wall than offensive linemen are an offensive line. Sure, if you look at a brick house with brick walls, all you see are the bricks. So too if you watch an offensive line play, all you see are offensive linemen as a group, not as individuals.