The Los Angeles Rams report to instruction camp at the conclude of July. In the months top up to the return of soccer, we’re taking a place-by-situation appear at the group, so we can tide you more than with soccer tidbits until eventually we get there. Today, we’re conversing about managing backs.
It would be understandable if Rams 3rd-yr working back again Cam Akers preferred to give himself a mulligan for his production in the 2021 playoffs. Akers, who astoundingly returned from a total Achilles tear in just 5 1/2 months to re-be a part of the energetic roster as the crew commenced its Tremendous Bowl operate, averaged just 2.6 yards for every have in four game titles.
I really do not feel all those figures really should be held in opposition to him, thinking about what he went through to even get back on the area — permit on your own in that time span. But Akers is not reducing himself any slack. He is truly fuming about how he played, for the reason that of the requirements he holds himself to. And he’s coming for 2022 with every thing he’s acquired.
RAMS Situation PREVIEWS: QB | OL
“(I’m) concentrating on developing my armor up as sturdy as it can be, but seriously locking in on the psychological aspect, as well,” Akers instructed me as spring procedures wrapped, introducing that he is “100 percent” wholesome.
Akers, 22, is moving into a pivotal season. Regardless of a number of injuries (and a key learning curve) for the duration of his rookie season, he confirmed the probable the Rams hoped to see early on. Akers rushed for 625 yards in 13 frequent-period video games in 2020 though splitting reps with his additional veteran teammate, Darrell Henderson, and 221 yards in two postseason online games. Prior to his off-web site Achilles tear just right before 2021 education camp commenced, Akers was poised to split out as the team’s direct working back.
The Rams also altered up their coaching at the situation, using the services of 27-12 months-old Ra’Shaad Samples (a previous university assistant who drew a good deal of buzz prior to his elevation to the NFL) this spring. Samples took in excess of the purpose from Thomas Brown, who has moved to restricted ends coach/will impact the passing game. So much, Samples appears to be like a brilliant and dynamic coach who, similar to Brown, is equipped to immediately acquire solid associations with his players. His influences as a coach and participant in the Air Raid at a higher education stage could lend to an intriguing relationship to the Sean McVay/Kyle Shanahan system — but right until we see stay periods in camp, we never nonetheless know what the possibilities are for Samples and his young team of running backs.
Here’s new RBs coach Ra’Shaad Samples performing with second-year back Jake Funk (offensive assistant Jake Peetz functioning on hand-eye drills w/ Cam Akers out of body to their appropriate). Skinny team this 7 days with quite a few players doing work via injuries. pic.twitter.com/CpGIsrLhT9
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) June 1, 2022
Additions: Kyren Williams, AJ Rose, Raymond Calais (previously hurt reserve), Xavier Jones (beforehand wounded reserve)
Subtractions: Sony Michel
I preferred what Michel, a regular and physical veteran participant, introduced to the lineup very last year and in several ways his availability and downhill design served hold the Rams afloat in the a lot more adverse portions of their 2021 time. Michel, whom the Rams traded for final summer, signed with Miami in totally free company this spring.
Depth chart: Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, Jake Funk, Williams, Calais, Jones
Williams, the Rams’ fifth-spherical decide this spring, is recovering from a foot harm that he endured all through OTAs. Williams experienced surgical procedures and need to be back again by the middle section of coaching camp, or into the preseason. My sense is that the Rams’ hope for Williams is that he eventually normally takes about the Henderson role in the offense (Henderson is in a agreement time, but is also recovering from injuries and has dealt with a selection of injuries over the past few seasons).
Funk’s enhancement will also be attention-grabbing to enjoy, as he appears additional solidly developed than in 2021 (his rookie year, through which he was sidelined by a hamstring injuries). He’ll definitely engage in a massive position on distinctive groups with room to lead in the backfield. Calais will also contend on special groups, but it is nevertheless not known how he and Jones will answer to lacking the total 2021 year to harm. They are technically nevertheless detailed in the “injured reserve” segment on the official roster.
2022 outlook: There is massive likely in a backfield that includes Akers, Henderson, Williams and Funk (fantastic ensemble band title, too). But every single of these players will have suffered and recovered from a rather recent significant personal injury, so their means to make an effect will have a ton to do with their overall health.
Long-phrase outlook: Health and fitness and availability ended up massive factors the run sport in no way very took off completely in 2021. In 2022, as the Rams offense carries on to evolve, their operate sport will, as well. A person clue as to their attainable route? All of their at present-rostered backs can be powerful threats in the move recreation, when none of them have that prototypical “downhill” name that Michel brought with him.
McVay reported 1 of his principal priorities this offseason would be to overhaul their operate sport so much, signs place towards a heavier utilization of multiple backs in the passing game. McVay has also earlier opined about the possible of employing several backs in the development at at the time (but in the final two a long time, there hasn’t been substantially possibility because of to wellness challenges). Further than that, we’ll simply just have to wait and see what McVay and Samples roll out by way of training camp.
(Leading photograph of Cam Akers: Gary A. Vasquez / Usa Now)