Los Angeles Rams June Scouting Report
Los Angeles had a successful off-season that concluded with a shortened mini-camp and now the players are on a break until training camp opens in July. The Rams lost several starters on both sides of the ball and were not as busy with trades and free-agent signings as they were last year but they have a solid roster and are confident in their replacements. There will be a few questions to answer during training camp but the biggest unknown is the health of star RB Todd Gurley. Todd was at the OTA’s and Mini-Camp but did not take part in any of the on-field activities. The selection of RB Darrell Henderson in the third round of the draft only added to the speculation that Gurley had health concerns. One of the bright spots of the off-season has been the presence of reigning two-time defensive player of the year DT Aaron Donald. Donald has been a great influence on his fellow teammates and it would not surprise me if he won the DPOY award for a third consecutive year. Another encouraging report is the continued progress of WR Cooper Kupp, who is coming back from a torn ACL. Kupp has a solid chance to be on the field for the first regular season game, which would give the offense a big boost. The following is my projected starting lineup heading into Training Camp with a few players still needing to prove themselves.
QB Jared Goff DL Aaron Donald
RB Todd Gurley DL Michael Brockers
WR Robert Woods DL Sebastian Joseph-Day
WR Brandin Cooks LB Dante Fowler
WR Cooper Kupp LB Cory Littleton
TE Tyler Higbee LB Micah Kiser
LT Andrew Whitworth LB Clay Mathews
LG Joseph Noteboom CB Marcus Peters
OC Brian Allen CB Aqib Talib
RG Austin Blythe FS Eric Weddle
RT John Havenstein SS John Johnson
The offense will replace Roger Saffold and John Sullivan with two second year players. OL Joseph Noteboom was drafted as the future replacement for LT Andrew Whitworth; however, O-line coach Aaron Kromer teaches versatility and Noteboom can kick into the left guard spot for the time being. Allen has the physical skills to match Sullivan but is light years behind in experience so he will have to learn on the fly as a first time starter. The rest of the starting offense should return from last season and will hopefully stay healthy and improve from a successful 2018 season.
The defense should have five new starters from last season’s opening day roster. They lost starters Ndamukong Suh, Mark Barron, and Lamarcus Joyner. Free-agent pickup Clay Mathews will replace Samson Ebukam in the starting lineup. Finally, Dante Fowler is a starter that was not on the team to begin the 2018 season. Replacing Suh, Barron, and Joyner should be Joseph-Day (or rookie DL Greg Gaines), second year linebacker Micah Kiser, and free-agent signee Eric Weddle. The defense has the potential to be even better than last year if Kiser and one of the new linemen develop quickly.
The Rams return most of their Super Bowl roster and with good health and continued improvement, they could be even better in 2019. Love and blessings to my family. Miss you Pops! Aloha!
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Sunday, September 13th, 2020
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