Prepare for a lot of course corrections to the LA Rams season

NFC Championship - Sean Payton, Sean McVay
NFC Championship - Sean Payton, Sean McVay / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The LA Rams 2023 NFL schedule is now only a matter of days away. Live football, the stuff that we have eagerly anticipated, is rolling down the street now. But how many of us are truly prepared for what happens when the LA Rams begin to play some football games?

We love to create expectations for everything. It's just human nature, and allows us to learn quickly and adapt to our surroundings. We form patterns, rituals, in our daily lives that allow us to get things down without the conscious thought that manages every step of the way. How we dress in the morning, what we eat for breakfast, the route we take commuting to and from work, even down to the restaurants we frequent and the stores that we shop at, are all patterned and habitual.

And we grow comfortable in those convenient habits.

We've never been here before

But those normal and natural processes of learning that categorize and set patterned expectations do not serve us very well when we are confronted by new situations. How well do you travel in a new area without a road map? How well do you sleep in a new bed? How easily do you handle a vacation if the airline loses your luggage?

Now, how well will you handle the LA Rams this season?

Even if the LA Rams finish this season with a record of 9-8, there are many ways to get there this season. The Rams could lose eight consecutive games, and then win their final nine games. The Rams could start the season with just one win in the first two months of the season, and come roaring back to life. Or the Rams could conceivably start the season red hot, only to lose a majority of their games at the end of the season.

No matter how you slice it, disappointment in how well these Rams perform this season is less about what the team actually does and more about what we expect them to do. And yet, each year, there is a chorus line of complaints about what the Rams did not do well, which makes almost no sense because indications were early in the season that the Rams would struggle at that.

Setting the bar at the right height

The LA Rams are not expected to play error-free football. What this young LA Rams roster is expected to do is correct mistakes this season as they are identified. Sean McVay shares a very insightful message in the embedded video below at the 1:11 mark.

"Repetition is the mother of learning. You know the more we're able to rep some of these things, the more comfortable and confident some of our players get in executing them. One of my favorite things is that guys are correcting themselves on their way back if it didn't go exactly the way they wanted to hit a certain block or the way they wanted to read a certain run."

Rams HC Sean McVay

Here's the video of that messaging:

The point is that to truly appreciate the Rams season with what appears to be a surplus of young and talented players, give them time. Let them make mistakes and learn from them. Has any non-expansion team attempted to onboard so many rookie players at the same time before?

I'm not saying that we should all turn into vitriol-fueled trolls. But the social media outrage is a bit overdone. The LA Rams will lose games this year. And the very young defense may not hold the line against opposing offenses. But that is all part of the journey this year. The Rams organization moved the goalposts from winning now to building a sustainable winner in the future.

The LA Rams finish preseason today, August 26, 2023, against the Denver Broncos. After that game, the Rams will turn to face roster cuts, assembling their practice squad, and preparing to travel to and face the Seattle Seahawks to open the 2023 NFL season.

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The more that young players on the Rams roster gets to compete, the more experience they will generate. By season's end, many inexperience rookies will be well on their way to establishing their NFL careers. And those careers may do a few touch and gos early in the season, but by season's end they will be well on their way.