LA Rams rookies show up when the team needs them most

Has there ever been a more accomplished rookie class in NFL history? The LA Rams needed rookies to play well in 2023. But it's clear that the Rams roster gets more from the rookies than 'playing well.'

Los Angeles Rams v New York Giants, Puka Nacua, Sean McVay
Los Angeles Rams v New York Giants, Puka Nacua, Sean McVay / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages
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Rams rookies breaking records

The LA Rams prepared for the busloads of young players by bolstering the coaching staff with some of the most respected coaches in football. But this was more than added coaches with pedigrees. The Rams insisted that coaches know the game, were able to communicate to players, had a passion for football, and could weather tough times if the Rams were unable to find success quickly in 2023.

The Rams were willing to take a chance on young players. But this was the NFL team that still did not have a pick in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft. The Rams did enter the 2023 NFL Draft pre-armed with vital information: Many of the positions that the Rams desperately needed to fill were deep with talent in 2023. The Rams had advance scouting that confirmed that the team would be able to find help on the offensive line, wide receiver, and outside linebacker in 2023.

But nobody could have foreseen just how well the Rams rookies would play this year.

Or did they?

Just because the Rams needed rookies to play well did not mean that the Rams would take it easy on the new faces in OTAs or in training camp. In fact, it seems that the opposite was true. Knowing that the rookies and new veterans would face huge challenges this season, the Rams coaches seemed to ramp up the intensity of drills and practices. The intensity increased, but the pace slowed.

Rookies were given plenty of time to learn plays and techniques, but none were graded on a curve. Much like the motto used in recruiting advertisements, the Rams players became:
"The Few, The Proud, The Rams players"

When the team unleashed the mob of new Rams players into the NFL, rather than being confronted with new and difficult challenges, the young men found ways to succeed right out of the gates. Perhaps it was the coaching. Perhaps it was their talent. But perhaps it was the passion of these Rams players for the game that ensured them to be the right kind of men for success.

Is this the changing of the guard for the LA Rams? I wouldn't rush anything at this point, but the Rams rookies have certainly shown up when the team needed them the most. At the end of the 2022 NFL season, the Rams football team seemed to have more challenges than solutions. While there is one game remaining in the 2023 NFL season, the Rams football team now seems to have a very bright future.

The young Rams players not only have met expectations this season, but they have blown the ceilling off of this team's future.