Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile


Re: Still 7 games to be played, but here are my offseason thoughts to fix things…

November 20, 2023 09:06AM
First a caveat. I don’t intend to sugarcoat anything and so my thoughts might ruffle some feathers on certain posters with ‘sacred cow’ fandom for particular players.

And in no particular order:

Regarding Offense

McVay needs to turn over playcalling to LaFleur. Too many impulsive and irrational calls and decisions now being made that defy explanation. Our O stats speak for themselves. I really think that Rams would be 7-3 today with better decision making and play calling. This needn’t wait until the offseason, it should be done before the upcoming Cards game.

QB. Stafford is a warrior but he’s been too wobbly/injured of late. Unless Rams are prepared to commit to Wentz as their franchise QB for next 5 years then they must draft their future heir to Stafford with their 1st rounder. Maybe even have to throw in picks to trade up to get their reasonable favorite. Yeah, expensive and somewhat risky, but we’re talking about a franchise QB here without which nothing else much matters. Too good of a QB class to pass on this rare opportunity. Gotta do it.

RB. Gotta keep drafting one every year. Freeman does look like a pretty good #3 RB but we need to bring in someone to really challenge Williams. Unfortunately, probably not gonna happen until after 3rd round because of other more pressing needs.

LOT. Either sign a proven stud (emphasis stud) LOT in FA or draft one high. Probably with their 2nd, actually. No more pussyfooting around with this OL. Stafford deserves at least that much. Jackson will be a fine swing OT/OG.

OC. Here again, either sign a real stud OC in FA or draft one fairly high, such as with the 3rd. Both Stafford and KW deserve at least that much. Rams need to stop ‘making do’ on their OL if they want a dominant O once again. Shelton will be a good swing OC.

OG. Extend Dotson. He’s certainly earned it and such investments are exactly what those newly available cap dollars are for. This move will complete Rams OL.

TE. Effective immediately I recommend reducing Higbee’s snaps in order to experiment with Allen, Hopkins, and Long. Higbee is playing hurt anyway and he’s been missing too many blocks, dropping too many passes, and not scoring as he should be. I recommend that the 4 above each share approximately 25% of snaps until someone steps up to claim that starter role. Also, be prepared to draft and/or sign a TE for next year. Hopefully, our new play caller will actually use his TE’s in his game plans.

WR. We all love Kupp but he’s always injured lately. Time to bring in another WR via draft or FA for the future. Btw, Trammel seems to make plays when given opportunities.

Regarding Defense

OLB. Hoecht is playing out of position and though he flashes occasionally he is mostly a liability on the field. Opponents constantly abuse him. So bite the bullet and sign a proven vet OLB, dammit! Sure, it will be costly but it will transform this D. And that’s exactly what those cap dollars are for. Draft doesn’t look like a realistic option because we’ve already invested our top 3 picks on O above (unless Snead gets incredibly lucky again). Just do it.

CB. Gotta keep drafting CB’s for the foreseeable future. I like Durant and still think Tomlinson could be a quality starter but they scarcely give him snaps unless others are injured. Maybe hedge their bets with late pick and a 2nd tier FA signing? I’ve soured on Witherspoon and Kendrick.

DL. What to do? AD won’t play forever, 2024 might be it for him. So I see Rams drafting DL relatively late here and maybe sign a FA if there’s any money left. Hoecht could help on DL and Mathis looks promising. DL is gonna be tricky for Rams in 2024.

S. Keep drafting for the foreseeable future. Fuller is a goner and should be. We’re not there yet at S.

Regarding ST

Actually might be finally coming around.

Returner (Trammel seems fine back there)

McVay’s patience with Blackburn might be rewarded in these final 7 games.

So there you have my thoughts.

Major changes in several areas:

TE (emphasis, anyway)

I do believe that if Snead can address these personnel areas with some combo of FA and early draft picks AND if McVay can bring himself to hand over playcalling duties, then Rams can be a force in next year’s playoff run.

Playcalling has very little to do with our issues. It's the opium of the masses to criticize play calling, but I don't see more examples of dumb play calls with McVay than anyone else. In fact I'd say chances are LaFleur is still learning, and isn't up to the level of his brother yet in his gameplanning, so turning play calls over to him would probably be a bad call. Certainly any owner pressuring McVay to turn them over would be a bad owner.

Where McVay deserves criticism is his personnel decisions. Schematically he's among the best in this league, not quite at Shanny's level but very good. Where he sucks is his player acquisition in concert with Snead as it pertains to RB, backup QB, and finding speed threats in the pass game. This offense badly lacks speed. And don't tell me Tutu because speed doesn't count if it's a guy who is ineffective. Tutu is a non-factor more often than not. The Rams badly require speed that can translate into big plays. We badly need a gamebreaker. Players matter and that is where we are coming up short, and it allows teams to gamble more, particularly when he forgets about the run game plus has no real run threat in the backfield. Like when Henderson is lined up back there and they just pin their ears back. Did you notice the difference in the rush the very moment Freeman started mashing some yards? Yeah. It was obvious.

We have a speed problem on both sides of the ball. We need speed at wideout and gamebreaking ability. We need speed off the edge on defense. And we need speed in the secondary because two of our corners (Kendrick & Witherspoon) are slow as heII.

But the primary issue offensively is protections, because Stafford is an old guy who doesn't want to get hit and he gets hurt when he gets hit. He'll play through pain sure. But he's being paid for a couple more seasons so let's double down on that front and get it fixed. LT in particular is glaring and also it's something that greatly affects the QB being able to not let the rush get in his head. Moment Stafford takes a blindside hit his throws are hurried and inaccurate. Some of that is on him but he has shown an ability to focus through that and overcome it. So fix the blindside protection and then you have Jackson available for guard and the line as a whole is stronger.

And also McVay needs to quit screwing around with RBs. Quit drafting guys who cannot be depended on. Who did they take this year? A speedy upside type who was unreliable and fell out of favor with two programs. It's ridiculous. And ok sure maybe Evans can focus and get it together. But how long will that last, even if it does happen. Production over time is not an easy thing at this level and requires much more than talent alone.

Last but not least the defensive front plays all-out thanks to good mentality by the players plus a top DL coach. But they're woefully short on talent. We are shorter on the DL than the OL but it's not obvious because of AD.

So seeing the truth here is important in terms of what this roster is. This staff as a whole this season is doing their jobs. They're getting a lot from a poor roster. Nobody is happy with the offensive production but it's tough sledding to sustain in this league without speed. Even if your play design is on point.

  Still 7 games to be played, but here are my offseason thoughts to fix things…

Rams43161November 20, 2023 06:31AM

  Re: Still 7 games to be played, but here are my offseason thoughts to fix things…

merlin57November 20, 2023 09:06AM

  Thought there would be a lot more discussion on this topic…

Rams4331November 22, 2023 05:47AM