Did Rams Coach Gould strike gold with the latest LA Rams free agency signing?

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Cam Akers
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Cam Akers / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

As soon as the LA Rams acknowledged the unexpected retirement of veteran running back Sony Michel, the Rams roster was suddenly down by one rusher. In the same breath, however, the Rams stoically asserted that they would be seeking to sign another veteran runner to this team.

Is it a lack of confidence in who the Rams currently have on their roster?

I don't think that is quite it. I have sensed that the LA Rams truly want to get bigger in the backfield, and the Rams have only had modest progress on that front. In the past, the Rams seemed to be fascinated with smaller change-of-pace rushers to round out the Rams roster and the offense. But something seemed to change with the hiring of RB Coach Ron Gould.

And baby, isn't it time

DId Coach Gould strike gold with this free agent signing?

I unashamedly have wanted the LA Rams roster to bulk up at the running back position for some time. If you recall, former Rams running back Darrell Henderson was very effective when healthy. But he was never designed to carry the load, as he was a swift change-of-pace running back. Unfortunately, the Rams roster evolved to the point where he was forced to lead the team's running attack.

He did well, but he was quickly banged up. In fact, the Rams roster has struggled to stay healthy at the running back position. The Rams clearly wanted veteran Sony Michel to back up Cam Akers this season. But after news of Michel's retirement, the Rams had to scramble quickly. Unlike many other websites, we considered the fact that the Rams' front office would not suddenly open the vault to compensate for a running back.

And so, we had the right idea, as the Rams settled for a mid-tier veteran rusher in former Houston Texans running back Royce Freeman.

More power to the Rams power back

How about that? The LA Rams truly have signed a power back to their roster. Free agent veteran running back Royce Freeman stands 6-foot-0 and weighs a whopping 238 pounds. Despite competing in the NFL for five seasons, he has had only nine starts over the course of his career.

Over the span of his NFL career, Freeman has seen over 1300 offensive snaps, and just over 250 special teams snaps. Despite his size, Freeman is effective in both the running and passing game. In 2022, he rushed 41 times for 117 yards, and caught six of eight passes for 33 yards.

Despite a yard per run average of just 2.9 yards, he was able to convert 41 carries into 11 first downs last season. Freeman struggled to put up big gains behind the Houston Texans offensive line because, well, the Texans were just not good at running the football last season. In fact, the Texans average of just 86.8 rushing yards per game was only good enough for 31st place among NFL teams. The Rams, at 97.7 rushing yards per game, ended the season as the 27th ranked rushing offense.

While Freeman may not wow Rams fans, this signing is both smart and value-added. The pads are about to go on in training camp, and the LA Rams suddenly have a bruising running back. That will not only change the offense but will add far more realism to the Rams defensive training regimen as well. And per DraftSharks.com, Royce Freeman is among the most durable category of NFL running backs.

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We'll talk more about Royce Freeman in the near future. You'll have to forgive me if I pause on touting ways that Freeman will benefit the Rams' offense. The last time I did that, the guy announced his retirement less than 24 hours later.