5 problems LA Rams must avoid in 2023’s initial roster

Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Roster Rams News Cooper Kupp Matthew Stafford
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III: The Rams never distributed passes

The LA Rams are never short of wide receiver talent, and the 2022 NFL season was no exception to that rule. In fact, you could argue that the LA Rams roster had too much talent at the wide receiver position. Certain, the WR skillsets had expanded into areas that the Rams had neglected to address in the past.

The talent was there, and the Rams’ offense had the potential to enter the 2022 NFL season with their offensive guns blazing. Unfortunately, the playcalling remained set on WR Cooper Kupp and TE Tyler Higbee.

In Super Bowl LVI, the Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals on the pass-catching ability of Odell Beckham Jr, Cooper Kupp, and to a lesser extent, Ben Skowronek and Brycen Hopkins. Thanks to that ability to find Kupp in coverage, the Rams came back to win that game and hoist the Lombardi Trophy for the city of Los Angeles.

Rams’ 8-track offensive playbook

Unfortunately, the Rams’ offense became stuck on that play selection. Even as the Rams flooded opposing secondaries with plenty of pass-catching options, the Rams continued to target WR Cooper Kupp and to a lesser extent, TE Tyler Higbee. Even WR Ben Skowronek rode the wave of his Super Bowl performance.

But as for the team’s other receivers, like Allen Robinson, Tutu Atwell, Brycen Hopkins, and even TE/WR Jacob Harris, they were thrown to only a handful of times. Opposing secondaries did not have to play well, they simply had to cover Kupp and Higbee and wait for the inevitable mistake of an overthrown or underthrown football. It was not until the Rams lost Cooper Kupp to injury after nine games that the offense began to spread the ball around.

Curiously, Kupp’s nine games resulted in 98 targets, more than any other receiver not named Tyler Higbee on the Rams’ roster. The Rams’ offense showed almost no deviation from that rut, and defenses were delighted to exploit the very predictable nature of the offense.