Ironclad reasons not to sleep on the LA Rams offensive line in 2024

Los Angeles Rams Minicamp, Ryan Wendell, Steve Avila
Los Angeles Rams Minicamp, Ryan Wendell, Steve Avila / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
4 of 8

2023 season took time to get traction

The keys to a great offensive line in the NFL are continuity, communication, chemistry, and cohesion. While the offensive line had all of the right building blocks las season, it took some time before the group was able to put the right iteration onto the football field.

The Rams did not start veteran IOL Kevin Dotson, the veteran acquired via trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers, until Week 4 of the 2023 NFL season. The team did not get starting left tackle Alaric Jackson back onto the football field until Week 5. In Week 6, both center Coleman Shelton and right tackle Rob Havenstein were shaken up, and had to let backups Brian Allen and Warren McClendon Jr. finish out the game.

As if that was not enough, Havenstein was injured again, and was forced to sit out Weeks 8, 9, and 15 as well. It was not until the team regrouped over the BYE week on Week 10 that the offensive line seemed to get healthy and began to pull together. Of course, that contributed greatly to the team's winning streak of seven games to close out the last eight games of the season.

But keep in mind that the offensive line faced more challenges than making the acquaintances of new teammates. The team welcomed a new OL Coach in Ryan Wendell, and with the new coach came a new perspective and philosophy to the approach taken by the offensive linemen. Wholesale changes are not instantaneously effective. Training camp and drills gives the basic foundations, but the team needed real world applications to master the techniques.

That will not be the case this season.