LA Rams OTAs trying some new innovations in 2023
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams, like all 32 teams in the NFL, have kicked off their OTA - or Organized Team Activites - to get the offense and the defense prepared for the 2023 NFL season. But the LA Rams are trying a few new wrinkles this season, a bit of makeshift innovations for their OTAs. With so much activity, or lack thereof, regarding the makeup of the LA Rams roster, it's easy to miss the fact that players are working out together. Well, all 44 players that is.
The LA Rams' offseason workout schedule has been set and the Rams convened as a group on Monday, April 17, 2023, for the first time for the 2023 NFL season.
- First Day: April 17
- OTA Offseason Workouts: May 22-23, May 25, May 30-31, June 2, June 5-8
- Mandatory Minicamp: June 13-15
Rams Phase One: Two weeks of the program begins with activities limited to meetings, strength and conditioning, and physical rehabilitation only.
Rams Phase Two: These are the next three weeks of the program. Now, the team list of activities expands to on-field workouts, including individual or group instruction and drills, as well as "perfect play drills," and drills and plays with offensive players lining up across from offensive players and defensive players lining up across from defensive players. These drills are, conducted at a walkthrough pace, and no live contact is permitted.
Rams Phase Three: The activities over the next four weeks of the program now include a total of 10 days of organized team practice activity, or "OTAs." No live contact is allowed, but 7-on-7, 9-on-7, and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.
So what is the new wrinkle?
Rams have limited personnel for OTAs
Well, at this time of the year, Almost all NFL teams have multiple quarterback, and enough special team specialists to run drills in OTAs. But the Rams are trying something new this year. The Rams have just one quarterback, and no place kicker, punter, nor long snapper on the team for now.
While that is not a fatal scenario, it does seem to be a waste of time to conduct OTAs to start with fewer than half of the team roster in attendance at full participation. While OTAs are optional, many players attend to get the full spiel of the Rams 2023 playbook and offensive and defensive strategies. Since the team has so many new coaches on staff, this is the ideal opportunity for players and coaches to interact in preparation for the new 2023 NFL season.
The Rams 2023 strategy seems to have a goal to get good in 2024, and that is certainly an admirable objective. But it's the nuts and bolts details of getting there that seem to have not gotten enough discussion and attention.
This is a very thin roster, one that cannot afford a single injury, mishap, or even swing and a miss in the 2023 NFL Draft to have a shot at competing this season. Even if all of the dominos fall perfectly, does this team have the personnel needed to play to .500 or better? I'll leave that answer up to you.
For now, the Rams have opened OTAs. Well, for the players who are on the roster anyways.