II: Rams are likely starting Coleman Shelton at C
In 2022, the LA Rams allowed open competition for the staring offensive center position between Brian Allen and Coleman Shelton. Against my better judgment, the Rams opted to start Brian Allen at the offensive center position, and promote Coleman Shelton to the LA Rams starting right guard. But that plan had one glaring flaw built into it.
By starting Brian Allen, the LA Rams were rolling the dice that Allen would beat the odds that plagued his NFL career over his less-than-desired durability issues. But that was simply some bad judgment on the Rams' part. The true flaw in their plan was in their assignment of backing up a starting center role to their starting right guard, Coleman Shelton. So any injuries to Allen would force the Rams to reconfigure two starting roles on the offensive line.
And Brian Allen fell to injury almost instantly in 2022.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me
While Shelton eventually was injured in 2022, he did suit up and start in 13 games for the LA Rams last season. For comparison's sake. Allen suited up and played in just seven of 17 games for the Rams last season.
But despite playing and starting at multiple positions for the LA Rams last season, whenever Coleman Shelton started at the center position, Rams rushers had a shot at grinding out 100+ yards in a single game:
Curiously, LA Rams running back Cam Akers ended the 2022 season with three games in which he ran for 100+ yards. Guess who was starting at offensive center? That's right, Coleman Shelton. You see, Shelton does more than block at the line of scrimmage. He actively runs downfield and tries to block defenders in the secondary as well
For former Jets quarterback turned broadcast commentator Mark Sanchez, that stood out to him.
So what does this have to do with Kevin Dotson? In truth, the fact that Coleman Shelton is unavailable to play as a starting right guard suggests to me that the Rams have decided that Shelton will play as their starting center. Allen is less versatile than Shelton, so that eliminates sliding Allen to a starting guard position.
But what about IOL Tremayne Anchrum Jr.? With Bruss unlikely to make this roster, and rookie OT Warren McClendon struggling all preseason, I'm growing more confident that the Rams view Anchrum as the backup RT to Rob Havenstein.
That all factored into the LA Rams immediate need for a starting right guard. Now, now for the reason why the LA Rams pivoted so quickly to Pittsburgh Steeler's Kevin Dotson: