The LA Rams may not be one of the projected powerhouses in the NFL for the 2023 NFL season, and that's okay. This is the offseason, and there are no power rankings, projections, or other speculative rankings that carry any weight into the 2023 NFL season. From the opening kickoff, it is pure competition. Right now, the LA Rams are behind in preparing their players for the 2023 NFL season.
That's just how it goes when the Rams organization opted to flip the switch form competing today to competing tomorrow. The Rams must still play 17 regular season games. But for this team, this season, there is less emphasis on winning than before, and more emphasis on competing, improving, and playing fundamentally sound football.
Why is that different?
The Rams had managed an incredibly long and impressive winning streak in the NFL that culminated in winning Super Bowl LVI by overcoming mistakes, injuries, and obstacles. The difference is that the Rams will be paying more attention to fixing those mistakes now, and will not simply patch things up to move forward. It means that the Rams roster will give countless opportunities to young players, perhaps more chances to play than any other team in the NFL this season. Still, some savvy veterans are poised to benefit from the influx of new energetic talent. Here are three off the top of my head.
Player III: Inside linebacker Ernest Jones
Lost in the shadow of playing alongside ILB Bobby Wagner is the surprisingly great showing that ILB Ernest Jones made in his second NFL season. While Jones played just two-thirds of the LA Rams' defensive snaps, he put up 114 tackles, four tackles for a loss, two deflected passes, one forced fumble, and one pass interception. So how does Ernest Jones stand to benefit from the rookie additions to the Rams roster?
Reasons why he will flourish in 2023:
The LA Rams emerged from the 2023 NFL Draft with 14 rookies, but not one inside linebacker. While that was to be expected, it almost automatically designates Jones as the defensive quarterback for the LA Rams in 2023 and beyond. And perhaps more than that, he will play a huge role in communicating and aiding in the development of his younger teammates.
While we do not yet know who will line up alongside Jones this season, we do not that he flashed brilliance in his role as a rookie. Then, in his sophomore season, he was mentored by one of the best inside linebackers in the game in veteran Bobby Wagner.