8 Rams who are already turning heads at OTAs

Los Angeles Rams Ryan Wendell, Steve Avila
Los Angeles Rams Ryan Wendell, Steve Avila / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
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VIII: C Steve Avila

Perhaps no one has more pressure on them this season than second-year Rams offensive lineman Steve Avila. After jumping into the Rams roster to start all 17 games in 2023, he has been moved to the center position to start at a new position in just his second year. That's a tall order for an NFL veteran, let alone a second year player.

I suppose the optimist in me views this as an incredible vote of confidence in Avila from the entire Rams football organization, from the front office to the positional coach. Nobody is kidding themselves. The offensive center is just behind the quarterback in terms of overall importance to the entire offense, and the baton is being passed to a young man who is still familiarizing himself to life in the NFL, let alone calling blocking and protection schemes before the ball is snapped.

And he is hiking the football to one of the greatest active quarterbacks in the game today, veteran starting quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Still, Steve Avila understands the leap that he must make in year two. And he seems very grounded despite such a major shift in responsibilities:

"I started as early as I could, as soon I as I found out I was moving to center, to try to get everything packed up and ready for these OTAs. I feel like I did a good job with that. As soon as we started going faster, everything started feeling a bit more natural. So we still got a long way to go, but I am really excited for it."

Steve Avila

What I find most refreshing about Avila's perspective is the matter-of-fact nature in which he responds to this transition. He grasps the scope, is not the least bit intimidated by it, and already voices the fact that this is a journey that he will be making all season long.

Will he struggle at times? Of course he will, and to expect otherwise is foolishness. But he will learn with each game, with each snap of the football, and the truth is that he is such a solid and high football IQ player that he could become one of the best centers in the NFL quickly. I am eager to witness his journey.