When the LA Rams start Coleman Shelton as their starting center, the offense has the potential to run for 100+ yards in the game. That has been the forte of Coleman Shelton, understanding that a productive running game means more than blocking ot the line of scrimmage. It means blocking linebackers and defensive backs downfield as well.
It is really no surprise that LA Rams RB Kyren Williams has 801 rushing yards, despite competing in just nine games so far this season. The Rams finally wised up and promoted Coleman Shelton as their offensive center for 2023. And so far, Shelton has been the flagship to an offensive line that is creating running lanes for Williams this season.
In 2023, the LA Rams rushing attack has sprung RB Kyren Williams for 100+ yards in a game four times. In 2022, the LA Rams managed to spring RB Cam Akers for 100+ yards three times. In 2021, the LA Rams managed to break RB Sony Michel free for 100+ yards in a single game two times. So what was the common denominator? In all games over the past three seasons in which the Rams have a RB run for 100 or more rushing yards, Coleman Shelton has been the offensive center.
That's something that no data analytics has effectively captured in assessing his performance.
Shelton supercharges the Rams rushing attack
In short, Coleman Shelton is a significant reason why the Rams are able to run the football. He has led the charge with three different rushers in three different seasons. The truth is that as we become more and more detailed in our use of data analytics, and more and more discerning over how we grade our offensive linemen, facts like how effective that player is to the grant scheme of gaining yards and putting points on the scoreboard seems to be falling by the wayside.
No, Coleman Shelton is not perfect. But he is only costing the LA Rams $2 million this season, and thanks to the amount of his playing time, he can void the option on his contract in 2024. If he does remain, he will only cost the Rams $2.375 million next season
The LA Rams need to run to be effective on offense. For that matter, the Rams need Coleman Shelton at offensive center to run the football. Yes, you can lobby for the Rams to upgrade at the center position. But for goodness' sake, let's be certain that it is a true upgrade.
The LA Rams offense is running well right now. Well enough to get this team into the NFL Playoffs, we hope.