Reason I: Rams have nothing to lose
Now that the LA Rams have fallen to 3-6, does it really make any sense for the Rams to keep rookie RB Zach Evans in mothballs, while running veteran Darrell Henderson Jr.? Unless the Rams front office has plans to extend Henderson, or any veteran who is starting as a stopgap measure for the Rams right now until injured players return, I have to ask why.
There are plenty of talented rookies and second-year players who have not seen much action yet. Rookie RB Zach Evans, DB Tre Tomlinson, TE Davis Allen, DT Desjuan Johnson, OLB Nick Hampton and Ochaun Mathis, and even OT Warren McClendon Jr. It's time for the Rams coaching staff to give younger players an opportunity to benefit from live game experience. Of the group, OLB Ochaun Mathis leads everyone with 45 defensive snaps so far this season.
Chess, not checkers
The strategy for developing young players for larger roles in the future is much different from that of competing with veteran players. Young players need to see live NFL action in ever increasing frequency and duration. Even if they have lapses in mental judgement, or simply play poorly, that feedback helps coaches focus training for that player. The player himself can learn more quickly simply from examining what did and did not work in games.
Remember, this LA Rams roster is focusing on 2024, not 2023. So the more that coaches and players learn about themselves now, the better. Not only does the extra work today pay off handsomely with better prepared players next year, but the data allows the Rams Nerd Nest to generate valuable summaries of the Rams strengths and weaknesses, allowing the front office to be far more effective in the 2024 NFL Draft, as well as the 2024 NFL Free Agency market.
The LA Rams need to loosen up the rotations, give young players an ever increasing workload, and prioritize developing players. Win or lose, the LA Rams have got to take responsibility for the lack of work that WR Tutu Atwell and TE Brycen Hopkins have gotten with the Rams over the course of their careers.
But this season, I believe that the Rams youth will get involved. The Rams have to determine who can and will step up for the team in 2024. Stay tuned, because I expect the Rams to win some games to finish out the sea