The Rams’ return to sunny California has reinvigorated their dormant fan base as indicated by the number of Todd Gurley and Jared Goff jerseys being worn on the streets of Los Angeles. But the Rams will need to transcend the hype and win games if they want the fans to support them long-term. Mediocrity will not be tolerated in the Rams new home. Unfortunately, that has been the case for the struggling franchise under the tutelage of Jeff Fisher. Six and seven win seasons will not save his job nor will it sell tickets, and ticket sales is exactly what owner Stan Kroenke wants.
Offensively, the Rams are inconsistent — yet, the one thing they do manage to be consistent at is ranking near the bottom of the league in points and total yards. While the offense has had success running the ball these last two seasons, the NFL is a passing league — and more often than not, a team is only as good as their quarterback.
To aid in the Rams’reboot for the 2016 season, a few shifts were made. For starters, the impressive maneuvers made during the NFL draft to lock in Jared Goff; another being the promotion of former tight ends coach Rob Boras to offensive coordinator.
When Los Angeles traded up for Goff, they must have presumed the Cal standout would be ready to take over the offense. The presence of a formidable passing game should mitigate the load for Gurley. All that’s left is for Boras to find a way to incorporate Goff into the Rams scheme without a steep learning curve.
As training camp nears, there are other question marks in the offensive line that need to be addressed, namely Greg Robinson and Tim Barnes.
Barnes has to build some camaraderie with Goff so they are on the same page at the same time. He has to get used to his quarterback’s cadence and adjustments at the line of scrimmage. A rift between the quarterback and center can be irreparable and disastrous for an offense. Barnes has to become a leader along that offensive front as well. He does not have to be the most talented, but he must earn the trust and respect of the linemen.
Robinson is in a make or break year. He has to protect Goff’s blindside and Boras has to install a quick passing game to keep his rookie upright and in rhythm.
While wide receivers Tavon Austin and Kenny Britt had good seasons last year, they’ll need to be more consistent. In the end it will be up to Goff to build cohesion with his pass catchers so it looks more like football and not target practice at the gun range. Boras will continue to overlook the tight ends so Lance Kendricks should be a big part of the offense this season.
Lastly, Tre Mason has to be a good change of pace back when he subs in for Gurley. Gurley is like a Tesla, which is big and fast. Mason has to be his complimentary Porsche. He is smaller, but he has the horsepower to take it all the way.
Make no mistake, Fisher and Boras will be under the microscope of the fans. When things are not clicking on the offense, they will be blamed. If Boras sticks to his bread and butter, which is running the ball first, and if Goff can hold his own, the Rams might have an opportunity to make it to the postseason.
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