Rams Ethan Evans proves why he is special on LA Rams special teams

Los Angeles Rams v Cincinnati Bengals, Ethan Evans
Los Angeles Rams v Cincinnati Bengals, Ethan Evans / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The LA Rams roster may no longer boast veteran kicker Matt Gay, kicker Greg 'The Leg' Zuerlein, or punter Johnny Hekker, but that should not be a reason for Rams fans to stop lauding and applauding the performance of the Rams special teams. When the Rams hired Chase Blackburn to be the team's new Special Teams Coordinator, the Rams front office cleared the slate of all special team specialists.

That placed a great deal of pressure on Blackburn to deliver a competitive group of special teams units, but with no benefit of any veteran players to help lead the group. That was particularly problematic for the LA Rams punter position. Since the Rams were in rebuild mode (or is it reset, restructure, or even rearranging mode?), the team knew that of all special teams players, the starting punter for the Rams would be a critical position to fill.

Our initial analysis of rookie punter Ethan Evans did not shy away from piling on the pressure for this young man. We openly identified this young man as possessing the leg of a superhero. The biggest challenge for the LA Rams was assembling a coverage team capable of getting downfield quickly enough to prevent punt returns.

"I think he could be one of the Rams most important players this season."

Bret Stuter

It was clear from the get-go that ST Coordinator Chase Blackburn was all-in on former Wingate punter Ethan Evans. Evans was a one-man kicking calamity, possessing the power to punt 50+ yards routinely, and even holding the ability to kick off without hesitation.

While the LA Rams did not hit on their rookie field goal kicker, the Rams did score on a rookie long snapper Alex Ward, and the Rams nailed their future punter in the 2023 NFL Draft in Ethan Evans. Per Lineups.com, the Rams averaged 42.3 net yards per punt in 2022, and 48.4 gross yards per punt. This season, both numbers have improved. In 2023, the Rams are averaging 45.0 net yards per punt, and 51.0 gross yards per punt.

Ethan Evans is an unsung hero

It's all thanks to the booming punts from rookie punter Ethan Evans. He has been steadily improving each game and has earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors for his Week 11 performance.

The NFL Is a game of inches. If the Rams can boast the advantage of a superior punter, that translates into the Rams defense having more field to defend, and the Rams offense is setting up with less field to score on.

Building a winner is not about aiming solely for All-Pro NFL players. It's not even about aiming for a Rams roster stockpiling veteran players. The key to sustainable success in the NFL must include the ability to add top performing young players to the roster who are easy on the team's pursestrings. Right now, Ethan Evans is an incredible bargain for the Rams in 2023.

When the Rams pay one player, they cannot use those dollars to pay another player. That is why the outstanding performance of rookie punter Ethan Evans is so vital for the Rams hopes of competing in the future. He will be an incredible bargain for the Rams through 2026.

That give the Rams a step up on other teams in the future. Stay tuned.