Is The Outlook For The 2019 Season Brighter Than It Was in 2018?

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Wildflecken
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Sat May 11, 2019 12:16 pm

1.) The transition from a Greg Williams defense to a Wade Phillips defense will be in its third season. A defense that gelled in the playoffs last season has had yet another offseason of adding scheme fit talent.

The talent infusion for 2019 includes the players added in the lower rounds of the 2018 draft who now have a full season under their belt not only learning the nuances of Wade's system, but working with the Rams conditioning staff readying themselves athletically to compete at this level.

2.) While the offensive line has seen two veteran departures for 2019, the replacements along the offensive line will be talents hand picked for this roster by Aaron Kromer. Players who athletically fit the mold of the type of lineman Kromer prefers.

Despite Whitworth being a year older, the departures of Saffold and Sullivan, the Rams offensive line in 2019 may actually outperform the 2018 version. The pass protection may take a tad longer to gel in 2019, but the running attack may see an immediate improvement from the play in the trenches.

3.) Jared Goff has another season of experience, experience that now includes playing in the games largest of stages. Ironically it was in that contest we saw firsthand the importance experience plays at the quarterback position in games that have the best of the best going head to head.

4.) The Super Bowl loss was certainly tough to swallow, but the lessons learned in that contest will serve our still very young head coach well into the future.

Sean McVay was weaned inside an NFL locker room and is a true student of the game. His offensive design incorporates concepts and parts of the greatest offensive systems this game has ever seen. He is arguably the best in game today at designing explosive plays.

However despite his ability to create space in the passing attack, the importance of the ground game and the advantages a dominant ground attack provides to the defensive effort does not escape him. In fact I believe his tendencies to go away from the ground attack from time to time are well behind him for 2019. When one considers today's short passing game is merely an extension of yesteryear's ground game, I expect the Rams to lean run heavy in 2019 with the addition of Henderson. I also believe this season we will finally see an expanded role for Malcolm Brown, something I predicted but never materialized in 2018, keeping the games best rb, Todd Gurley fresh for the November/December portion of the schedule and into the playoffs.

Go Rams!!



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Dick84
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Sat May 11, 2019 4:41 pm

Just a tough one... lots and lots of variables.
If we're talking outlook, based on best case scenarios? I'd say yes.
If we're talking realistic scenario? I'd say no.

Reasons... Whitworth was better last year than in 17... I don't see that happening again and the possibility of a breakdown is relatively high, at his age. If he gets hurt... that changes everything.

No Suh. While the majority of his season was, "meh"... his playoffs were outstanding and they have no one to replace that. I also seriously doubt Donald gets close to the number of sacks he had last year. It was a season for the ages.

Gurley will be used less.

No idea who that other ILB is.


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3-24-16

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Wildflecken
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Sun May 12, 2019 4:44 am

Dick84 wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 4:41 pm
Just a tough one... lots and lots of variables.
If we're talking outlook, based on best case scenarios? I'd say yes.
If we're talking realistic scenario? I'd say no.

Reasons... Whitworth was better last year than in 17... I don't see that happening again and the possibility of a breakdown is relatively high, at his age. If he gets hurt... that changes everything.

No Suh. While the majority of his season was, "meh"... his playoffs were outstanding and they have no one to replace that. I also seriously doubt Donald gets close to the number of sacks he had last year. It was a season for the ages.

Gurley will be used less.

No idea who that other ILB is.
Key is returning to playoffs, either winning division outright or the path of a Wildcard. 1st half could see a slight setback as the younger talent infused gels. Key is Goff taking his game to another level, that doesn't occur and the outlook dims quickly.

I agree Donald repeating what he accomplished last season is unlikely. Has Suh signed yet anywhere?

As large of a supporter of Mark Barron I was and think he will boost the Steelers linebacking corp if he remains healthy, I fully believe Rams will see improved play from the linebacker unit in 2019. Key is in the sub packages with Kiser playing a large role on running downs. Think Kiser was a steal in lower half of draft.

While Donald's sack numbers may decrease, think Rams numbers as a team go up, if fact if it gels quickly top 3 unit in league is attainable. Fowler a full offseason learning Wade's system, addition of Mathews who proved last season he can still get after the qb, JFM, Samson etc.. The more pressure Rams can create outside and next thing you know Donald is approaching last season's numbers?

Throw out the W/L statistics regarding strength of schedule. Rams have a tougher road in 2019, not as travel friendly, AFC North, NFC South. There is a reason the AFC North is coined the black and blue division. Think McVay has already identified it will take a different recipe for success in 2019, run game, playoff level play from defense could be key as December football arrives much earlier for Rams in 2019.

Production from the TE position is my largest concern but really like the untapped potential of the UDFA's added. Question is can they contribute in 2019 or is 2020 more realistic? If fact I like the potential of quite a few of the UDFA's added this offseason. Think two from the defensive side of the football at a minimum have a future with Rams.

Some have a much different take on the impact of the SB loss on McVay and his career trajectory. My take is far much different here. My take the lessons learned from the loss will serve him well in what will be a very long and successful career. A long and successful career that my hope is entirely with the Rams organization.

Those who label McVay as merely an offensive mind holding the Head Coach's position with Rams are not only doing him a disservice, they are not familiar with the true Sean McVay (not talking you here Dick, but is has been suggested on this forum)

Make no mistake here, McVay may run the offense but he is the Head Coach and does not shed the responsibilities associated with the position. I am not suggesting he does this alone, Wade and Bones have been invaluable here. But McVay is learning rapidly the nuances of being a HC and inside the coaching circle, associates himself with right group of HC's inside that circle.

From the owner down they are building this the right way, a dynasty in the making. We wont play in the SB every season, but we should have a decade of some of the best football in this organizations history

Dick question for you, what is your take on Brocker's moving back inside? Is Wade moving him next to Donald in base or leaving him at DE? Thought I had heard he was headed back inside when they made decision on Suh? Not the prototype Wade seeks at 0/1 tech but Brockers has always dominated against run and ate up two lineman when inside. Will his ability to get to qb from the inside improve from his work a DE and skills he polished outside? Does he still do the martial arts hand work in offseason?



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69RamFan
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Sun May 12, 2019 1:24 pm

^^^^^^^
Wild,

From the local area,,, as you stated, the staff wanted Brockers to move inside,

But Brockers likes playing on the outside.... but will do what ever it takes...

I see more of what down and yardage it turns out to be.... and what type of pressure they want to present...

I can see rotating with JFM being in the lineup,,, Brockers could slide inside at NT... and when SJD or Gaines and Smart rotate inside, Brockers slides back outside,,,

Or just rotating with JFM and Brockers on the outside and SJD, Gaines and Smart rotating inside...

When AD needs a breather,,,, you could see JFM and Brockers on the outside.. with the other three playing inside...

It looks like the RAMs will have plenty of options.



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Jack85Youngblood
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Mon May 13, 2019 5:39 am

Great post, as always, Wildflecken. My takes:

1) Agree defense should be better. Rams need to do better against the run. Gaines and Kiser should improve that. Having Fowler for camp and a full season should augment the pass rush. I think Rapp plays a lot. Interesting to see if the vet FAs added have anything left in the tank.

2) My major area of concern. Losing Saffold was bad; but I understand why. The center is the QB of the line. Will Rams have a good replacement? Whitworth is in uncharted territory when it comes to age of an LT. The offense goes nowhere if this group collapses.

3) See #2 to insure Goff's development. You saw what pressure did to him down the stretch. He was not the same QB that I saw in the Min. and KC games. Keep him protected and I think he takes the next step.

4) McVay really disappointed me in the Super Bowl. I still love the guy; but yes, let's hope he's learned.

I will add that Gurley is a huge concern. Hoping he can return to form; because he is the focal point of the offense. I also hope Kupp comes back 100%. The kid was really coming on when he got hurt.


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Dick84
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Thu May 16, 2019 3:36 pm

Wildflecken wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 4:44 am
Dick84 wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 4:41 pm
Just a tough one... lots and lots of variables.
If we're talking outlook, based on best case scenarios? I'd say yes.
If we're talking realistic scenario? I'd say no.

Reasons... Whitworth was better last year than in 17... I don't see that happening again and the possibility of a breakdown is relatively high, at his age. If he gets hurt... that changes everything.

No Suh. While the majority of his season was, "meh"... his playoffs were outstanding and they have no one to replace that. I also seriously doubt Donald gets close to the number of sacks he had last year. It was a season for the ages.

Gurley will be used less.

No idea who that other ILB is.
Key is returning to playoffs, either winning division outright or the path of a Wildcard. 1st half could see a slight setback as the younger talent infused gels. Key is Goff taking his game to another level, that doesn't occur and the outlook dims quickly.

I agree Donald repeating what he accomplished last season is unlikely. Has Suh signed yet anywhere?

As large of a supporter of Mark Barron I was and think he will boost the Steelers linebacking corp if he remains healthy, I fully believe Rams will see improved play from the linebacker unit in 2019. Key is in the sub packages with Kiser playing a large role on running downs. Think Kiser was a steal in lower half of draft.

While Donald's sack numbers may decrease, think Rams numbers as a team go up, if fact if it gels quickly top 3 unit in league is attainable. Fowler a full offseason learning Wade's system, addition of Mathews who proved last season he can still get after the qb, JFM, Samson etc.. The more pressure Rams can create outside and next thing you know Donald is approaching last season's numbers?

Throw out the W/L statistics regarding strength of schedule. Rams have a tougher road in 2019, not as travel friendly, AFC North, NFC South. There is a reason the AFC North is coined the black and blue division. Think McVay has already identified it will take a different recipe for success in 2019, run game, playoff level play from defense could be key as December football arrives much earlier for Rams in 2019.

Production from the TE position is my largest concern but really like the untapped potential of the UDFA's added. Question is can they contribute in 2019 or is 2020 more realistic? If fact I like the potential of quite a few of the UDFA's added this offseason. Think two from the defensive side of the football at a minimum have a future with Rams.

Some have a much different take on the impact of the SB loss on McVay and his career trajectory. My take is far much different here. My take the lessons learned from the loss will serve him well in what will be a very long and successful career. A long and successful career that my hope is entirely with the Rams organization.

Those who label McVay as merely an offensive mind holding the Head Coach's position with Rams are not only doing him a disservice, they are not familiar with the true Sean McVay (not talking you here Dick, but is has been suggested on this forum)

Make no mistake here, McVay may run the offense but he is the Head Coach and does not shed the responsibilities associated with the position. I am not suggesting he does this alone, Wade and Bones have been invaluable here. But McVay is learning rapidly the nuances of being a HC and inside the coaching circle, associates himself with right group of HC's inside that circle.

From the owner down they are building this the right way, a dynasty in the making. We wont play in the SB every season, but we should have a decade of some of the best football in this organizations history

Dick question for you, what is your take on Brocker's moving back inside? Is Wade moving him next to Donald in base or leaving him at DE? Thought I had heard he was headed back inside when they made decision on Suh? Not the prototype Wade seeks at 0/1 tech but Brockers has always dominated against run and ate up two lineman when inside. Will his ability to get to qb from the inside improve from his work a DE and skills he polished outside? Does he still do the martial arts hand work in offseason?
I think Brockers is a 3-4 DE in the first and 2nd down sets and can see him move inside with JFM, Matthews or Obo outside of him on passing downs.


Okay, okay, okay.... I'll stop being a dick.
3-24-16

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Wildflecken
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Sun May 19, 2019 9:22 am

Dick84 wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 3:36 pm

I think Brockers is a 3-4 DE in the first and 2nd down sets and can see him move inside with JFM, Matthews or Obo outside of him on passing downs.
Interesting take, but I do see the value of the third down philosophy with Mathews/Fowler at OLB, JFM at DE and Brockers aligning inside with either a one gap responsibility using his improved pass rush skills honed at DE to come on rush or on occasions eating up two interior lineman to free Donald.

Who stuffs the run? Obviously it is the role they drafted Gaines to fill but is he ready Day one? Or is after the bye a more realistic?

Another talent here to keep an eye on is UDFA Marquis Copeland. Copeland is a tackling machine, a talent whose tackling technique more closely resembles the technique taught in the 1970's era of the game



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