The NFL unintentionally motivated the entire Rams roster for 2024

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The LA Rams young players certainly had a great deal of fun in 2023. Whether it was their innate passion for the game, the chance to work with veterans of Super Bowl LVI, or simply the fact that the team turned around a 3-6 season to finish at 10-7, the results are the same. The team enjoyed playing football so much last year that HC Sean McVay seems to have a new lease on life as the team's head coach.

That passion for the game was not limited to rookies. It spread quickly, infecting coaches and veteran players raplidly, until the team appeared to have transformed completely. This was no longer the team with strained expressions, slumped shoulders,and signs of physical and mental fatigue. This was a team in the moment. eager to step foot onto the football field again, and open to open laughter.

But don't confuse mirth and merriment among the players and coaches as a lack of focus or competitive spirit. The opposite is true, as this is a team forged to hardened steel through adversity. This team is completely focused, and the NFL just gave them a reason to turn their attention from fun to determination.

Rams shutout from post season awards

The LA Rams ended the 2023 NFL season with a record of 10-7, and by all accounts had finalists in a number of post-season awards. For starters, there was league leading defensive rookie, nose tackle Kobie Turner, who was up for the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award. Despite leading all finalists in both quarterback sacks and tackles, he was not named as the recipient.

That may have disappointed some fans, but it will only serve to motivate the team for the 2024 NFL season.

In fact, the Rams had QB Matthew Stafford up for NFL Comeback Player of the Year (CPOY), WR Puka Nacua up for NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (OROY), and HC Sean McVay up for NFL Coach of the Year (COY). No Ram received honors for 2023.

Some fans may poo-poo the lack of honors and awards from 2023, but I can assure you that it did not go unnoticed by players on the Rams roster. This is a closely knit group, and slighting one player gets noticed by everyone on the team. If you believed that the team may suffer a setback in 2024, I believe that you will be pleasantly surprised.

Motivations come from unusual sources, and money and bigger contracts are fall down on the list. The NFL is a competitive sport, so what else would competing for top honors do for the players and coaches who put up better performances but lost to lesser production? That almost certainly has everyone's attention, and with a long off-season, will serve to get everyone back with one thing in mind.

In 2024, the LA Rams will prove all of the doubters wrong.