Why is it more than okay to be optimistic about the LA Rams in 2024?

The LA Rams have given fans plenty of reasons to be optimistic. Here are four that you can bank on.
Los Angeles Rams Minicamp, Sean McVay
Los Angeles Rams Minicamp, Sean McVay / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
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II: Special teams upgraded

When the team hired ST Coordinator Chase Blackburn, the front office did next to nothing to help ease him into the new role. Still, Blackburn did manage to identify the versatile foot of rookie Ethan Evans, a young man who not only anchored the teams punting in his first season, but also held down the teams kickoff duties as well.

The hope was that with both punting and kickoffs secured, the team could trial field goal place kickers and find one suitable enough to kick for the team in 2023. That didn't exactly pan out as the team rifled through four kickers and still ended the year dissatisfied.

The team tapped seldom used WR Austin Trammel to be the team's return specialist. He was not extended for 2024.

The team did land a solid rookie long-snapper after the draft in Alex Ward. So the team found two starters and needed to find two more starters. That isn't too bad for an entirely rebuilt special teams group. but it was a noticeable detractor from the team's plans to win games last season.

About those ST specialist roles

The front office was not nearly as stingy for Coach Blackburn in 2024. For starters, let's turn to former Eagles running back Boston Scott, a shifty elusive running back who has vast experience returning kickoffs and punts. With Scott on board, the Rams have secured a solid go-to guy who is not only expected to contribute in a niche role on offense, but who will lead the team as a return specialist this season.

Scott is the the type of contributor who is dangerous every time he holds the football in his hands. While he was limited eight kickoff returns in 2023, one for 38 yards, he has a two game streak in 2022 in which he returned six kickoffs for 209 yards and one touchdown (nearly a 35 yard average). THat is who the Rams will have returning kickoffs in 2024. Grab your popcorn folks.

But what about kicking field goals? The Rams did hedge their bets by bringing back rookie K Tanner Brown for Year 2. While the second year is often much better for kickers, it's the former Stanford kicker, Joshua Karty, that we'll be discussing next.

While he was the second kicker selected in the 2024 NFL Draft, he was heads and shoulders better than the other rookie kickers. Not only did he boast the best performance in kicking stats of all rookie kickers, but many draft analysts touted Karty as the best kicker in the NFL Draft in the last 5-10 years. So what made him so very special?

And then there is the fact that he and his family wanted to play for the LA Rams. That is the icing on the cake for this position.

Karty is the right guy for this pressure-packed role. The team has a strong need for a starting and reliable kicker, and Coach Blackburn was on point in terms of showing up and meeting with Karty over breakfast at his Pro Day.

Karty knows punter Ethan Evans and was in communication with Evans in the days leading up to the draft. With the Rams special team's roster rounded out with what appears to be a solid group of young performers, we can finally turn our attention to the defensive side of the football.