What can Chase Blackburn do for the LA Rams in 2023?
The LA Rams should be re-signing place kicker Matt Gay. After all, he has done nothing but deliver for the team at an area that was chaotic before the Rams signed him halfway into the 2020 NFL season. While nothing is exactly a sure thing right now, let's proceed as though the Rams do intend to extend him.
That leaves the Rams special team 'changes' as the punter and the punt/kickoff return area as the area that will most likely be impacted by a new ST Coordinator. So how does Chase Blackburn stack up there?
Well, in 2022, the Tennessee Titans punt unit was the best in the NFL, both in terms of gross punt average and net punt average. The Titans were sixth-ranked in punt returns (Rams were 25th), and the Titans were 10th ranked in Opp FG attempted and Opp FG made.
In 2021, the Carolina Panthers special teams unit has a better Net punting average than the LA Rams (19th ranked vs. 26th ranked). So there is more to the story than just a homogenous ST ranking. There are multiple facets to special teams, and the LA Rams clearly like what Chade Blackburn brings to the table.
So the LA Rams' high-energy coach has hired a high-energy ST coordinator? That's very intriguing, and could be part of the answer to helping develop younger players. After all, the first stop for rookies is competing for a role on special teams. If Blackburn can jumpstart them on Special Teams play, perhaps they will have a better chance of contributing to the offense and defense as well.
Perhaps I haven't helped decipher why the LA Rams hired Chase Blackburn as their new ST coordinator at all, and if I haven't, I apologize. But when lining up where the LA Rams need to get better, those areas seem to align with Blackburn's strengths.
Chase Blackburn may or may not be the best suited for the job in your mind. But he is the best suited for the job in the LA Rams view. And since that is the case, I will continue to give the Rams the benefit of the doubt.