How quickly can this young LA Rams team learn to win again?

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

Is winning instinctive for professional athletes, or is it something that athletes must learn how to do? I suppose the answer to that question will be determined at some point in time by the LA Rams this season. After all, even with veterans returning for another chance to compete in the NFL Playoffs, there are too few answers and too many questions at this point in time to be certain of anything.

We know that players who reach the NFL level understand how to play their position. While the game of professional football is a physical sport, one that will test the limits of a player's strength, speed, agility, and durability. But it's more than brute athleticism. It's also a game of tactics, of strategy, and of awareness.

It's knowing how much time is left on the clock. It's knowing the down and distance on each play. It's knowing how to get a first down to move the chains, and how to take plenty of time off the clock to preserve a win. It's defenders knowing how to create turnovers, and ball handlers knowing how to keep a handle on the football. It's knowing how to set up the next go route with a double move on the previous play, and how to use the sideline as an advantage.

The McVay Way

Veteran players of the LA Rams know the ins and outs of keeping head coach Sean McVay from flipping his top. He is a head coach who will defend a player who takes chances and fails, rather than a player who insists on playing it safe. But he does insist on playing it smart.

As fans, it's not always easy to know how a play was intended to go. What we see is what happens during a play. So it's easy to miss the mini-heroics that occur if a play in breaking down and someone on the football field improvises successfully. Sometimes those busted plays don't' go in the LA Rams favor, but a savvy save by a player prevents a disaster.

As fans, we are naturally inclined by NFL highlight reels to point to the plays and players who splash the game with one or two huge plays that we can takeaway as the cause of a win or a loss. But the truth of the matter is that its the myriad of little plays too that seal the win.

That's the risk with a young roster. It's easy for rookies to point to big plays and want their turn in the spotlight. But it's the little plays, the #DAWGWORK elements of the game, that translate into sustainable success. How long will it take this young team to learn how to win games based on doing all of the little things right?

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It may not be an answer we learn quickly. But it could be an answer to the bigger picture of how well the LA Rams perform this season.