The Rams appears so as to add a famous person to the harm checklist every week, this week it’s Aaron Donald, and have misplaced a document 5 in a row with Sean McVay as head coach. As they attempt to discover wholesome our bodies to placed on the enjoying area, the Chargers have gotten some again and are effectively inside attain of a playoff spot. With six weeks to go, Los Angeles Occasions NFL author Sam Farmer, Rams beat author Gary Klein and Chargers beat author Jeff Miller handle followers’ issues and questions:
When will the Rams try and signal a legitimate backup QB ?
Jon Van Ness, Los Angeles
Klein: They re-signed John Wolford earlier than this season as a result of Sean McVay was assured he might run the offense if wanted. Wolford will likely be a restricted free agent and Bryce Perkins will likely be an unique rights free agent. The Rams underneath coach Sean McVay have by no means budgeted to spend some huge cash on a backup. Even when Blake Bortles was with the crew, that was solely as a result of he was owed a lot cash by Jacksonville and he and the Rams might afford to chop a deal. With Matthew Stafford at age 34, it is going to be attention-grabbing to see if McVay and Les Snead make discovering a extra skilled — and costly — backup a precedence.
I wrote after the Chargers vs. Browns sport that Staley going for the primary down on the Browns’ 46 with time operating out was a head scratcher. You replied that statistics show him to be proper. I used to be on the Chargers vs. Chiefs sport when Staley selected to punt in a 4th-and-inches scenario. Everyone knows who the quarterback is for the Chiefs. What provides? His motion and your reply fairly frankly appear disingenuous.
David Sanchez, Canoga Park
Miller: Up within the pressbox, a few us had been shocked by Brandon Staley’s resolution versus Okay.C. That went in opposition to his standard sample. Final season, I’m sure he would have gone for it. The analytics nearly all the time level to going for it on fourth-and-one — or fourth-and-less-than-one — as a result of the success fee traditionally is so good. I feel he has been extra conservative in these conditions this season partially as a result of he has been burned perhaps as soon as too usually. The efficiency of punter JK Scott additionally has little question entered the equation. Scott has had a serious influence on this 2022 crew. Largely, although, I feel it’s a mirrored image of how a lot the Chargers have struggled operating the ball. Laborious to belief this present model of offensive line, actually. However, sure, you’re proper, that was a departure from final 12 months and earlier this 12 months.
I’ve been a Rams fan since 1965 (5 years outdated) and I can’t recall so a lot of our offensive linemen taking place with so many leg accidents in lower than half a season. Is their blocking method/scheme the trigger for this reoccurring horror story? Again within the day, you needed to drag guys like Charlie Cowan, Tom Mack and Joe Schibeli off the sector in the event that they received dinged up.
Lorenzo Fuentes, Santa Maria
Klein: The Rams’ blocking scheme/method isn’t any completely different than it was final season once they gained the Tremendous Bowl. They only hit some dangerous luck. And gamers who are suffering season-ending knee and ankle accidents or concussion aren’t simply “dinged up.” Most gamers, no matter period, need to be on the sector for his or her teammates and for his or her livelihoods. With few exceptions, there aren’t any assured contracts within the NFL.
It looks as if in kicking conditions the receiving crew is simply too usually known as for penalties like holding, blocking within the again, and so on. Why is that? What do coaches educate and what do gamers do to attempt to keep away from these penalties?
Invoice Francis, Pasadena
Farmer: Let’s speak about what makes blocks on particular groups significantly troublesome. It comes all the way down to time and distance. It’s type of like catching a dashing bullet when a blocker has to drop about 30 yards after which transition to blocking a participant operating proper at them with a full head of steam. So it’s not unusual for guys to overlook these blocks, then to commit a clip whereas attempting to get a man whereas he whizzes previous. It’s additionally straightforward for these blockers to get their palms outdoors the body and onto the highest of shoulder pads, which attracts holding calls.
Now let’s have a look at it from a extra world sense. These gamers on particular groups produce other duties throughout observe, so that they’re solely engaged on blocking throughout a really restricted special-teams section of observe. After they’re enjoying protection, they’re allowed to do extra grabbing and holding. It’s exhausting for them to flip that mindset to play as clear as attainable on particular groups.
The ultimate ingredient is the trail of a returner. It’s not like a prescribed move route. A returner could possibly be going wherever — type of like a scrambling quarterback — so his blockers aren’t all the time within the preferrred place to clear a path. That may result in holding penalties, clips and the like. If an NFL crew had been to dedicate extra time to teaching particular groups, then it must spend much less time on one other ingredient of the sport. So it’s a troublesome balancing act.
When is Brandon Staley going to be held accountable concerning the porous protection? I’ve by no means seen a crew miss so many tackles. Alohi Gilman had a blatant missed deal with leading to a landing. Poor tackling has been a mantra of the Bolts for 10 years or so. It’s the most elementary process, however but this crew sucks at tackling, and in addition aggressiveness. The Raiders all the time play the Chargers bodily, and subsequent week I anticipate them to push the Chargers everywhere in the area.
Harvey Smith, Dayton, Nev.
Miller: Belief me, Staley is requested about his protection each week. About its incapability to cease the run, maintain opponents on third down, forestall explosive performs. I’m fairly sure poor tackling isn’t a “mantra” round this crew. However I do know what you imply. Poor tackling was a serious subject Sunday in opposition to Arizona and Staley acknowledged it on Monday. I don’t suppose the Chargers are doing something or not doing something that’s resulting in poor tackling. I feel it’s simply gamers failing to execute at a excessive sufficient degree.