Reason I: Champagne ideas on a beer budget
What is the price of success? For the LA Rams, the price of a successful special teams unit was just $1.0 million. At least, that is the report as per Spotrac.com as to how much salary the LA Rams invest in the position in 2023. That is just 40 percent of the $2.5 million spent on the special teams unit of the Detroit Lions, the 31st cheapest ST group in the NFL
LA Rams have been irate over the Rams' poor performance on special teams all season. But with the Rams spending pennies to other NFL teams spending dollars, what could you realistically expect? In essence, the reasons for a poorly productive special team unit in 2023 may have been due to decisions that were far above Chase Blackburn's pay grade.
A review of positional spending by NFL teams in 2023 as compiled by Spotrac.com reveals that the LA Rams dedicated just $1.9 million towards the special teams specialists in 2023. That is no better than the 29th least amount spent by NFL teams and is a key and compelling argument that it was not a matter of mismanaging the resources committed to special teams by the Rams.
The phrase: "You get what you pay for." comes to mind.
The Rams front office drafted rookie punter Ethan Evans in the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft. The Rams signed two kickers and a long snapper after the draft, Even punt return/kick return specialist Austin Trammell was a practice squad player in 2022. In essence, the Rams basically gave Blackburn no access to meaningful resources and expected him to spin gold out of wool.
Clearly, that did not happen.
I'm not lobbying one way or the other in terms of ST Coordinator Chase Blackburn's ongoing relationship with the LA Rams. But I am trying to assess the situation objectively, as I ask myself this question: Did Blackburn fail to develop the resources entrusted to him? Or did the LA Rams front office fail to provide him with sufficient resources to get the job done? From what I can tell from the evidence presented in this article, I am more inclined to believe that the Rams, and not ST Coordinator Chase Blackburn, who is ultimately responsible for a poor performance in 2023.