Steve Avila about Kobie Turner: "We both got better as the season went on"

Los Angeles Rams, Kobie Turner
Los Angeles Rams, Kobie Turner / Mike Lawrence/GettyImages

Have you been curious how the LA Rams roster managed to develop 14 drafted rookies so quickly and effectively? I certainly have. Not just from normal curiosities' sake, but from a perspective of whether or not the team can repeat that success for this year's draft class. After all, with 11 picks lined up for the 2024 NFL Draft, the team appears to have placed their bets on rookies versus veterans for 2024 as well.

Judging by the results of the 2023 NFL season, I am here for all of it.

Still, there is something to be said about a rookie class that numbers 10+ on any football team. Just from the sheer volume of players who are new to the team, to the coaches, to the city, and even to each other, there is a bond that forms organically. Call it kinship, brotherhood, or esprit de corps, but it serves to coalesce a group of strangers into a singularly minded team is quick fashion.

You probably noticed that effect without calling it that. The way that rookies seemed to applaud the accomplishments of their fellow rookies throughout the season. It was that evidence that reassured me early into the season that this team has something special brewing, not just last season, but for years to come.

But this was more than a cheering section for one another. Iron sharpens iron, and the truth is that the Rams rookie stars, IOL Steve Avila and NT Kobie Turner, frequently opposed one another throughout training camp and weekly practices. Steve Avila spoke with the Fansided team in the video below, from the 31:50 to the 45:00 minute mark, and shared a lot of great insights about the team, his rookie season, and what may be in store for 2024.

Even as fans wonder how the Rams might deploy Avila in 2024, he nimbly evaded that question by stating that he will always do what is asked of him. But there is far more to his interview than that.

He also made it a point to share that he faced The Conductor throughout training camp and that the friendly competition between the pair helped to make each other better.

Steve Avila shares that Kobie Turner helped to improve him all season long

The question posed to him to generate that insightful answer was as follows:

Fansided (at 33:02): At TCU, transitioning from when you played at TCU to the Rams, what was the toughest transition?

Steve Avila (at 33:11): "On man. just the speed of the game, I guess. People always talk about that, but you don't really realize it until you are going against Aaron Donald. (laughs). It's so funny because, in one of the first practices that I went against him, I got spanked. And I am in my head, like, if this is anything of what I am going against, then I am in trouble.

But that comes from practice. You start learning things, and I feel that is what happened this year. I've learned a lot by going against him and (rookie nose tackle) Kobie Turner, who I felt that we both got better as the season went on." (ends at 33:45)

The Rams may have stumbled onto something here. By adding a very talented rookie at both the nose tackle and interior offensive line, the front office created a fast-track competition that made both players better in one season. Is that the answer to how quickly The Conductor led all rookies in quarterback sacks in 2023? Did he get an advantage by pairing up against the Rams star rookie guard as well?

That may hold some value as the team embarks on a new offseason with a new draft on the horizon. Will the front office try a similar strategy? Will the team draft a left tackle to compete against a rookie edge rusher? Will the team draft a shutdown cornerback, and then draft a talented wide receiver to push him throughout training camp and through the season?

It's a great strategy if true, and one that I can certainly envision GM Les Snead using this year as well.