2023 Los Angeles Rams

Freethinker

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2023 LA Rams Preview

The Rams have consistently been one of the most "White friendly" teams since Sean McVay has been the head coach. Despite star receiver Cooper Kupp starting the season on IR, they remain a good team for our athletes. Let's see exactly how good:

Total White Athletes on Roster (Starters in bold)
20 Whites total, with 8 starters. Grade: C

QB - Matthew Stafford, Brett Rypien
WR - Copper Kupp, Ben Skowronek, Austin Trammell
TE - Tyler Higbee, Davis Allen
T - Rob Havenstein, Zach Thomas
G - Brian Allen
C - Coleman Shelton

DL - Jonah Williams,
OLB - Michael Hoecht, Zach VanValkenburg
ILB - Christian Rozeboom, Jake Hummel, Troy Reeder

K - Brett Maher
P - Ethan Evans
LS - Alex Ward

IR - Stetson Bennett (QB), Hunter Long (TE)
PS - AJ Arcuri (OL), Logan Bruss (OL), Mike McAllister (OL), Miller Forristall (TE), Nikola Kalinic (TE)

So this team remains amongst the cream of the crop. 19 or 20 Whites with good depth on the PS to ensure that number stays the same, or even improves if some of the sumos could be displaced. I was going to initially give a C- as I feel a C should be reserved for teams getting closer to the 50% number. However, Kupp is among the best receiver in football and they have so many other fun guys to follow at a wide variety of positions that it feels like a Caste-busting squad.

Matt Stafford is returning from a lost season of injury and after 2 games appears to be just fine. Even without Kupp, he's thrown for over 600 yards already. He's been honing in on rookie Puka Nucua, who could be seen as a Caste Buster by some, at a ridiculous rate that should be critiqued. However, Stafford should have a strong starting 3 with Kupp, Nucua and Atwell in the slot to assist his success this year. Speaking of WR Cooper Kupp, when healthy he is in a league of his own. He's only 1 year removed from leading the NFL in catches, yards and TDs (coming up just shy of Calvin Johnson's single season yardage record). Hopefully in week 5 Kupp comes back healthy and strong and starts putting up the dominate performances we know and love. 4th string receiver Ben Skowronek started a number of games last year. He played just fine and is a tall receiving target, who blocks really well. Still only 26, it seems he has been displaced by Nucua but I wonder why he can't take reps from Van Jefferson who looks so mediocre. The other WR is Austin Trammell, who mostly worked on the PS last year. Not sure if he'd be 5th or 6th on the depth but he was returning kickoffs so hopefully that gives him a leg up to keep his spot when Kupp returns. Starting TE Higbee is going into his 8th season. He's a reliable target who's good for 500-700 yards a year. I thought he'd get increased targets with Kupp out, but it doesn't appear so. Looking at the line, it dropped from 4/5 White to only 2/5 due to that lack of depth I mentioned last year. So far Stafford has avoided being sacked alot, but I overall see a few liabilities on the line. Perhaps the 3 lineman on the PS can be called upon at some point.

On defense, they have a fair amount of our guys for this day and age. 3 starters, which also seems to be a high water mark that a number of teams have hit this year. The Rams should also be given extra credit for giving UDFAs opportunities as all 3 starters have come into the league that way. OLB Michael Hoecht has shown a good ability to rush the QB in limited doses. In year 3, look for him to build off of his 4.5 sacks last year and put up sneaky good numbers. Christian Rozeboom was allowed to elevate into the ILB spot left void by Bobby Wagner. The former SDST Jackrabbit has been perfectly solid so far. Surprise starter Jonah Williams enters his 3rd year and serves as a 3-4 DE or 4-3 DT. He reminds me of a poor man's Zach Allen and seems to be a very active tackler for the position. Jake Hummel and veteran Troy Reeder are capable backups in the middle. Reeder, who I always felt was underrated and should be starting, returns to the team where he had success. VanValkenburg elevates to a backup roll and is yet another Iowa alumni from their excellent defenses.

The expectations for the Rams are very low this year, but based on a road win against a solid Seattle team and a somewhat close loss to a very good San Fran team I'd say they could compete for a playoff spot. We'll certainly be rooting for many of their players along the way.

Edit: Cooper Kupp's return
 
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icsept

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Go Rams. Stafford looks great and needs a couple more big seasons to get into the hall of fame. I consider Puka Nacua a caste buster and have no problem with his success. Waiting on a healthy Kupp return. Not sure what’s going on with Stetson Bennett, but I believe he can sit for a couple years and become the next Brock Purdy.
 

Warhawk_46

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Have you men read that Stetson Bennet is drinking away his chances at NFL success? Not sure if true or not, but report is out he was released from team due to drinking issues.

Could be just bad press for a white man/hit job on him… or maybe echoes of Manziel?
 

Don Wassall

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Have you men read that Stetson Bennet is drinking away his chances at NFL success? Not sure if true or not, but report is out he was released from team due to drinking issues.

Could be just bad press for a white man/hit job on him… or maybe echoes of Manziel?
News to me. Any links?
 

Leonardfan

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Have you men read that Stetson Bennet is drinking away his chances at NFL success? Not sure if true or not, but report is out he was released from team due to drinking issues.

Could be just bad press for a white man/hit job on him… or maybe echoes of Manziel?
I saw he is on the NFI list. Sounds like he has shades Manziel around him but unconfirmed. If he turns out being a bozo I’m sorry that I vouched for him.
 

Snow Plow

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Last game, Kupp, Nacua, Atwell, and Higbee had the vast majority of snaps. Maybe Skowronek will get more than the six snaps he had last game, but hard to see much changing if the top guys stay healthy.
 

white lightning

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Last game, Kupp, Nacua, Atwell, and Higbee had the vast majority of snaps. Maybe Skowronek will get more than the six snaps he had last game, but hard to see much changing if the top guys stay healthy.
Nothing against Atwell but I think Skowronek has more potential to shine if he is given the chance. Atwell is dependable & reliable but not
really the type of player to to do much more than he is doing. I think Skowronek could shine if he played more but at least he is not stuck
on the practice squad.
 

Warhawk_46

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I still believe Skrowenek can be a very solid #3 for any team. I would be ecstatic if Kupp, Nacua, Higbee and Skrowenek become the fearsome foursome on the Rams offense. Shades of Patriots dynasty.

Imagine had the kept Funk instead off these scrubs they have tried instead to get the running game going?
 

Bucky

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Good move that could save The Rams season. Rypien had a chance to prove himself and couldn’t get it done. I think Stetson Bennett would have fared better but not sure what’s going on with that guy. Is he really that much of a boozer?

Anyways Stafford has been great for LA, but it might be time for an upgrade at that backup QB spot.
 
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Rooting for Wentz here. Maybe the most perennially shafted QB in the league. Brought the Eagles a super bowl and carried a trash roster to a playoff birth the next year, only to be thrown under the bus by 3 bad teams in a row. With some of the absolute garbage QB play around the league, there's no way he shouldn't have been rostered day 1 if he is even 75% of what he was during his run in Philly.
 

jphoss

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What’s been up with the rams offense this year? Is it just an play or has the league figured out mcvay’s offense and he hasn’t adjusted
 

Don Wassall

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The Rams went all in to win the Super Bowl after the 2021 season, and to their credit were successful. It cost them a lot in terms of draft picks and the salary cap. Add in the injury woes of Cooper Kupp and Matt Stafford the past two seasons, the absolute two keys to the offense, and it's not hard to see why they've declined. I'm just hoping Stafford comes back after this week's bye healthy, same with Kupp as he may still be trying to shake off the lingering effects of his severe hamstring injury, as his weak performance the last few games might indicate.
 

Don Wassall

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It happened on a dirty hit, really bad news for Higbee.

Rams TE Tyler Higbee suffered a torn MCL and ACL in the team’s loss to the Lions in the Wild Card Round.
Higbee was injured on a blindside low hit. The same type of hit that led to knee injuries for both T.J. Hockenson and Sam LaPorta earlier in the season. It seems like a fairly simple tackle to get out of the game, and one that might prevent a lot of knee injuries. In Higbee’s case, he will undergo surgery and almost certainly will miss the start of the season, most likely at least the first half of the season. That could lead to a bigger workload in 2024 for rookie TE Davis Allen.
 

Leonardfan

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It happened on a dirty hit, really bad news for Higbee.

Rams TE Tyler Higbee suffered a torn MCL and ACL in the team’s loss to the Lions in the Wild Card Round.
Higbee was injured on a blindside low hit. The same type of hit that led to knee injuries for both T.J. Hockenson and Sam LaPorta earlier in the season. It seems like a fairly simple tackle to get out of the game, and one that might prevent a lot of knee injuries. In Higbee’s case, he will undergo surgery and almost certainly will miss the start of the season, most likely at least the first half of the season. That could lead to a bigger workload in 2024 for rookie TE Davis Allen.

The safety Kerby Johnson was the same one responsible for the low hit on Hockenson.
 
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