As the Los Angeles Rams continue to get ready for the 2020 NFL season, what’s in store for Sean McVay and company?
Whether you want to admit it or not, 2020 will be a year of transition for Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams offseason moves indicate one thing: It’s time to transition and begin a new era with Aaron Donald, Jared Goff, and Jalen Ramsey as the new faces of the franchise.
Two of the three names mentioned above were with the Rams when McVay and Goff led this franchise to the Super Bowl just two short years ago. However, 2019 marked a season of ups and downs, with the Rams limping to a 9-7 finish.
Fast forward into the offseason and Brandin Cooks and Todd Gurley, the two players involved in the teams run to the Super Bowl two years are now gone. After a monstrous 2018 season, Gurley would have just 1064 scrimmage yards in 2019 and average a paltry 3.8 rushing yards per attempt.
Cooks, on the other hand, was traded to the Houston Texans for a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Rams in turn, would use this same pick to select Florida wide receiver Van Jefferson.
Cooks and Gurley may not be on the team anymore and the Rams would see defensive starters Dante Fowler Jr. and Cory Littleton leave in free agency. Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips is gone as well, with Brandon Staley now taking the reigns.
However, as much as the Rams have lost this offseason, there’s also room for hope. Jefferson figures to step in and be a day one contributor in a wide receiver room that includes Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods. The offensive line improved throughout the second half of last season, allowing just six sacks over the final six weeks of the season.
On defense, younger guys like Samson Ebukam and Taylor Rapp, along with former first-round pick Leonard Floyd will play a much bigger role than most will expect. Staley has an extensive background with the linebacker position. Over the last few years, he’s had the opportunity to work with players like Khalil Mack, Von Miller, and Bradley Chubb, bringing some much-needed experience to a defense that will revolve around Donald again.
Most will look at the Rams and say that they’ve lost a lot of talent this offseason. And that’s true, they have. However, the team also has a number of solid players and coaches that will allow for McVay and Goff to once again compete in an NFC West that features the revamped Arizona Cardinals, the Russell Wilson-led Seattle Seahawks, and the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers.