When the LA Rams finished the 2022 NFl season with a record of 5-12, the LA Rams had more questions surrounding the team than simply how to return to winning football games. Rams Head Coach Sean McVay was emotionally exhausted, his competitive drive had been floored for far too long, and he wondered how long he could sustain that pace.
But that was just the start of the uncertainty. Regardless of how they would react when asked by the media, Rams veteran players began to face their own limits. Veterans who had climbed to the top of the NFL with the Rams in 2021, had fallen far and long in 2022. Many players had to battle back from injuries. Others had to face the reality that the NFL is a young man's sport, and that they were getting older.
Finally, the Rams had to admit that the frantic pace of 2021 had carried over and forced shortcuts for the team's restocking a coaching staff and the 53-man roster. In short, the ability of the Rams to replace players and exiting coaches was overwhelmed after Super Bowl LVI.
Les make football fun again
The Rams have enjoyed tremendous success since hiring head coach Sean McVay in 2017. But that success has arrived in a three-year cycle. The challenge is trying to remain positive despite the roller coaster ride that has fallen on the Rams over the past eight NFL seasons.
The answer was so simple that no NFL analyst was able to understand the new direction that Rams GM Les Snead would take to recharge the entire LA Rams organization. The Rams would no longer chase veteran free agents who were solely looking for Lombardi Trophies and big sacks of cash. Instead, the Rams had to immerse the entire team in a pool of rookies. After all, rookies play the game of football out of love for the game. There are no contract negotiations or leveraging over the course of the team. They simply love suiting up and competing in the NFL.
The Rams tried a brand new approach this season. The Rams not only drafted 14 rookies, but the Rams signed hungry NFL veterans who were desperate to compete once again. For the love of the game became more than a catch-phrase or a cliche. It became a mission for the Rams entire organization to play the game of football the way it was meant to be played.
The LA Rams had to make football fun again for everyone. And so, the Rams scouts and analysts vetted hundreds of rookie and veteran prospects with an added criteria. New players had to have a measurable enthusiasm for the game of football before the Rams would seriously consider adding them to the team.
That intangible factor, a love of the game, is evident across the Rams entire rookie class of 2023. But it's even more apparent in the veterans who were added as well. A team is constructed of individuals who are confident enough in themselves to praise the contributions of others. And a team is constructed of individuals who face adversity together.
But more than any other factor, a team is comprised of individuals who trust their teammates to have their backs. Rams GM Les Snead handpicked rookie and veteran additions to the Rams roster because he understood that those players would do whatever was needed to cover one another's backs.
And the resurging Rams are no longer a secret. Just check out the following 'observation' made public on social media:
The Rams are 8-7 with two games to go. But this is just the tip of the iceberg for this young team. Stay tuned.