American Football

Random Ramsdom: Speculation on the Rams, Caleb Williams and tanking


NCAA Football: Southern California Spring Game
Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams News and Links for 5/29/23

Rams Facing ‘Burning Question’: Playoffs or Tank For QB Caleb Williams? (ramsdigest)

“One of the big questions surrounding this roster entering the season is just how good they will be – with CBS Sports wondering whether or not they’ll be a contender for the playoffs or race to draft Caleb Williams at No. 1 overall.

The talent is definitely there, and Sean McVay is still an offensive guru on the sidelines. Stafford and Kupp alone showed they can carry the offense in 2021, doing so all the way to the lifting of the Lombardi Trophy. That, paired with a potential Cam Akers breakout season, and the Rams offense has sneaky potential to be one of the NFL’s best again.

On the other hand, though, there are plenty of concerns about the Rams. Most notably, their health. Stafford and Kupp are both returning from injuries, while the offensive line last season was plagued with injuries throughout the season.

However, wondering aloud if they will be in the race for Williams is a fair question. After all, it takes only one bad injury to Stafford to potentially sink the Rams’ season just like last year.

And, of course, Williams has been labeled the next surefire quarterback prospect. Landing him could change the trajectory of whichever team selects No. 1 overall – which could be the Rams.

Ultimately, the Rams shouldn’t outright tank. They have the talent to compete for a wild card spot in the playoffs, just one season removed from going a disappointing 5-12.

Of course, injuries and general bad luck could see the Rams end up with a high pick in the draft next season. That’s just football, after all. For now, though, they should look to continue bolstering their roster to show that their 5-12 showing was not the new norm.”

Stetson Bennett grateful for mentorship from Rams QBs Matt Stafford, Brett Rypien (yahoo!sports)

“Recently drafted in the fourth round of the 2023 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams, Bennett has the opportunity to learn from seasoned players in the team’s quarterback room. In addition to fellow former Georgia Bulldog Matthew Stafford, one of Bennett’s key mentors is quarterback Brett Rypien. A 26-year-old who went undrafted out of Boise State in 2019 with the Denver Broncos, Rypien is one year older than Stafford, but he brings valuable knowledge and experience to the table.

Bennett acknowledges the importance of having Rypien’s guidance as he adapts to the professional level. Not only does Rypien offer on-field tips and suggestions, but he also goes the extra mile to provide assistance off the field. Bennett expressed his appreciation for Rypien’s help, particularly the advice given to him on local food options in the Thousand Oaks area.

“Brett’s a pro’s pro,” Benett said last week. “He knows how to go about it. He also already texted me, ‘If you need any DoorDash or UberEats suggestions, I gotcha.’ I was like, ‘I will, dude.’ But little things like that, it helps. This is brand new for me, all of this stuff. I was at Georgia for the past six years, and then a small town in Georgia. Now we’re in Thousand Oaks right now, training, so you need all the help you can get. But just little questions like about footwork here on play fakes or handoffs, stuff like that, he’s already had those questions and heard it from different offenses, too, as well as this one. But yeah, Brett’s been a huge help.”

After the first few weeks of being teammates in Los Angeles, Bennett also discussed how beneficial it has been to have Stafford mentoring him and helping him transition to the pros.

Bennett on Stafford:

“He remembers what it was like whenever he was me, a younger guy not really having a full concept of it,” Bennett said. “And so he dumbs it down for me and just says, ‘look here, look there, blah, blah, blah.”

“So that’s where listening to him and how he applies the simple stuff to the complex stuff (helps).”

According to Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, the Rams were one of the best possible fits for Bennett, a two-time national championship-winning, 25 year old quarterback.

“He’s talented. He’s a great athlete. He fits their scheme,” Smart said.

“I think Sean (McVay) liked him playing in (Todd) Monken’s system. There’s a lot of similarities there. He loves Stafford, and he’s got a chance to learn under one of the best. I don’t think you could find a better fit for him.”

Smart said he spoke to several people in the Rams’ organization about Bennett, but head coach Sean McVay was not one of them.”

Rams’ Matthew Stafford Reveals View of NFL Controversial New QB Rule (ramsdigest)

“The NFL has introduced a significant rule change this offseason, allowing teams to have a third quarterback available on game days without occupying a roster spot. However, the “emergency quarterback” still needs to be part of the 53-man roster, requiring the Los Angeles Rams to retain three quarterbacks in their regular-season roster to take advantage of this provision.

“I’m glad to have it back,’’ said Rams QB Matthew Stafford of the readjustment.

“I think it’s good for the league.”

This rule adjustment stems from the aftermath of last year’s NFC title game, during which the San Francisco 49ers experienced a scarcity of available quarterbacks due to injuries. Under the new rule, teams are now permitted to have 47 players (or 48 if they fulfill the requirement of at least eight offensive linemen) along with an active third quarterback on game days, effectively addressing the necessity for a backup quarterback in crucial situations.

During an interview with J.B. Long and D’Marco Farr on Thursday, Rams quarterback Stafford was informed about the rule change, and his initial reaction was favorable. He recalled the previous existence of this rule in the NFL and expressed support for its reintroduction.

Stafford even perceives a safety advantage in that quarterbacks may be more forthcoming about their injuries if they are aware of the presence of a third quarterback.

“I remember them going away from it, thinking it was maybe going to help develop quarterbacks in some aspect and also get an extra special teams-type player, somebody that can really help in the core special teams stuff on the field,” Stafford said. “I’m glad to have it back. I think from a safety standpoint, guys will be more willing to be honest with whatever’s going on with them. If they need to be out of a game, if they know they have a third guy waiting there to go in. glad to see it. I think it’s good for the league.”

In the 2022 season, the Rams opted to carry three quarterbacks on their active roster, including Bryce Perkins as the third option. Although Perkins was predominantly inactive since Matthew Stafford and John Wolford were available, the newly implemented rule would have allowed him to serve as the emergency quarterback without occupying a spot on the 48-man game-day roster.”

Desjuan Johnson embracing title of Mr. Irrelevant, ready to prove himself in NFL (ramswire)

“Johnson, a defensive tackle out of Toledo, isn’t bothered at all by that nickname. He’s just ready to prove himself as a member of the Rams in an attempt to make the 53-man roster as a rookie.

“Call me Mr. Irrelevant. I ain’t trippin’. I’m just ready to play football,” he told WTOL11. “Everybody was making it seem bad. Like, it’s just a name. I understand the things that come with it and everything, but at the end of the day, I got picked and I’m ready to prove that I’m there and I’m ready to play.”

Johnson adds depth to the defensive line, which lost Greg Gaines and A’Shawn Robinson this offseason. He joins fellow rookie Kobie Turner as new additions to the D-line, and both players will try their best to carve out roles alongside Aaron Donald.

Right now, Johnson is just trying to learn as much as he can.

“Trying to soak up as much knowledge as possible,” he said.”

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