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Cam Akers tears Achilles, out for year

This is awful news...was looking forward to him being workhorse this year
 

LA Rams: Austin Corbett owns offensive center position hands down

LA Rams: Austin Corbett owns offensive center position hands down

by Bret Stuter1 day ago

The LA Rams were willing to allow veteran Austin Blythe to test the NFL Free Agency market because the front office had a plan in place. While that plan was not laid out for all to assess at the arrival of the new NFL season, we can see the details with the steps that the team has undertaken already. Of course, the critical cog to make the entire machinery work was the versatility of interior offensive lineman Austin Corbett.

When the Rams traded a 2021 fifth-round pick to the Cleveland Browns for the former second-round pick Corbett, it was a rare win-win scenario. The Browns had no opening in their starting offensive line and were contemplating cutting Corbett outright. The Rams, conversely, were at their wit’s end trying to plug the starting lineup after waves of injuries forced starters’ seasons to end prematurely. Corbett played offensive left guard for the Rams in 2019, and then pivoted and started at right offensive guard in 2020.

On neither occasion did he benefit from OTAs or training camp. He arrived mid-season in 2019, negating any chance to ramp up with his teammates. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic had forced the NFL into stringent rules on training camp, forcing teams to limit direct contact to the barest minimum possible.

Corbett just shows up and delivers. Simple as that.

Trades come in all sizes

The LA Rams are mostly known for headlining the sports section with some blockbuster trade that changes the landscape of the entire NFL. But the Rams are just as effective with the subtle moves that improve the middle and bottom segments of the roster as well. After all, the Rams used a moment of great need to parlay a 2021 fifth-round draft pick into a starting offensive lineman for 2019, 2020, and 2021 NFL seasons. Even if the Rams cannot afford to resign Corbett, his value in the NFL Free Agency market could net the Rams a fifth-round or better awarded compensatory pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

With the arrival of veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford, the Rams sure want to put the best foot forward. Or, in this case, their best offensive lineman at the center position. Reports already indicate that Corbett and Stafford have established a good rapport. For a 17 game season with such high expectations already set, that center-quarterback exchange is critical to set correctly right out of the gates.

Of course, there are other variables that helped to form this decision. The Rams coaching staff believes that Bobby Evans will work out at the right offensive guard starting role. That remains to be seen. But if Evans can hold up his end of the offensive line, this could be as good if not better than 2020’s version.

For now, forget the belief that the Rams failed to address the offensive center position in the 2021 NFL...

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  • r8rh8rmike
    Stafford: 'We're going to have a successful running game' despite Cam Akers' injury
    by r8rh8rmike
    Rams QB Matthew Stafford: 'We're going to have a successful running game' despite Cam Akers' injury

    Published: Jul 26, 2021 at 09:22 AM
    Adam Maya

    NFL.com Digital Content Producer

    The reverberations from Cam Akers' torn Achilles are still being felt. On the eve of training camp, the Rams' running back room is without an established starter and the roster as a whole is a bit weaker amid Super Bowl expectations.

    Matthew Stafford, whose offseason arrival has changed the franchise's complexion most and who'll now likely carry a larger load, is most concerned with how Akers' season-ending injury affects the second-year back himself.

    "I think I have a lot of belief and a lot of trust in the guys that we have in that locker room and on the coaching staff to no matter who's back there, we're going to have a successful running game," Stafford told reporters Sunday. "Really the biggest gut punch was for the kid. I think it's so difficult. I dealt with injuries my first couple of years. Really throughout your career, you end up doing it here in the NFL. So, that one's obviously a tough one and one that's going to take some time. So I really feel for him, more so than I do us as a team.

    "I know we'll miss him out there. He's a great player, but just feel bad for him to not get the opportunity to go out there and play the game that I know he loves to play. We'll do everything we can to make him proud."

    Stafford knows how Akers feels. Injuries claimed several games early in his career, including 13 from his second season following a promising rookie campaign. The veteran quarterback has also dealt with key contributors being sidelined just as his teams were in position to contend.

    The silver lining for Los Angeles is that Akers went down before the preseason. The free-agent bucket isn't completely bare and trades can be explored. Coach Sean McVay has maintained that the Rams are in no rush to add a veteran back, though it's hard to see them relying on just Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones, Raymond Calais, Jake Funk and Otis Anderson for the entire season.

    L.A.'s run game is too critical to its offensive success, so an RB upgrade seems inevitable.

    Akers had not only assumed a starting role last December but really separated himself on the depth chart. After rushing for 221 yards in the postseason, the 2020 second-round pick looked primed for a star turn in Year 2. His 2022 return will be eagerly awaited, but his QB reminded that the team has to move on for 2021.

    "Really tough to see that happen to a young guy that's a really promising, talented player," Stafford said. "Unfortunately, that's kind of the name of the game in the NFL. You hate to see it happen in the offseason when we're playing a game or something, but it's next man up. Those guys are going to battle it out and...
    9 hours ago
  • cowboyhater
    Rams offensive line coach Kevin Carberry absent with COVID, despite being vaccinated
    by cowboyhater
    https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.co...ng-vaccinated/

    Rams offensive line coach Kevin Carberry absent with COVID, despite being vaccinated

    Posted by Mike Florio on July 29, 2021, 1:12 AM EDT

    Plenty of vaccinated players and staff will still test positive for COVID in 2021, even if vaccinated. In L.A., Rams offensive line coach Kevin Carberry currently falls in that category.

    Rams coach Sean McVay told reporters on Wednesday that Carberry was absent from practice due to the positive result.

    “He has got COVID right now and we’re going to try to see how quickly we can get him back,” McVay said. “But he’s fully vaccinated, and we’re hopeful to get him back sooner than later.”

    For vaccinated players and staff, return to action occurs after a pair of negative tests at least 24 hours apart, with no minimum absence. For unvaccinated players and staff, a mandatory 10-day break remains in place.

    “I think we’re continuing to learn about this because he’s fully vaccinated,” McVay said of Carberry. “He has done everything the right way. The good thing is with the parameters around the protocols, if he’s got two negative tests within 24 hours separated, then you can end up returning. And we’re hopeful that that’ll be sooner than later. But you got guys like [offensive assistant] Nick Jones, [offensive assistant] Zak Kromer, have done a great job. We always collaborate as a coaching staff, so we’ve got a lot of great coaches that will pick up the slack. The good thing is what we learned from last year, he can still run a lot of the meetings from a virtual setting. There’s nothing like being physically present with guys, but he’s done an excellent job being able to adjust accordingly.”

    Adjust accordingly. That mindset will continue to apply in 2021, even though many believe that the pandemic has begun to fade into the rearview mirror. It definitely hasn’t, and it looms as a potential threat to what widely is assumed to be a normal NFL season.
    6 hours ago
  • kman1521
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    by kman1521
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    1 day ago
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    Site tweaking
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  • MauiRam
    Why Jake Funk can prove people who doubt he’s a running back wrong once again.
    by MauiRam
    FILED UNDER:
    Why Jake Funk can prove people who doubt he’s a running back wrong once again


    Funk’s story is worth another chapter or two

    By Dylan Deines Jul 21, 2021, 11:06am CDT


    Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images
    With Cam Akers out for the rest of the season with a torn Achilles suffered during training, Darrell Henderson has been vaulted to the top of the depth chart for the Los Angeles Rams and behind him is an inexperienced backfield that features Xavier Jones and Raymond Calais, but to me the most intriguing of them all is the 2021 seventh round draft pick out of Maryland, Jake Funk.

    What makes Funk such an intriguing option can be seen in what little film and experience that he brings to the Rams. But what he lacks in game experience he makes up for in determination, resilience, and effort. Funk is an underdog story that is worth sharing, even in a league of many underdogs.

    As a senior at Demascus High School in Maryland, Funk rushed for 2,866 yards and 57 touchdowns behind an offensive line that featured his brother Jordan at left tackle. In the state championship game, the same Funk who was teased for being “too small” and “too slow” rushed for 270 yards and seven touchdowns to cap off his final high school season with a perfect 14-0 record.

    Despite rushing for roughly 4,700 yards during his final two seasons, Funk had a difficult time finding Power 5 programs that would make him an offer without asking him to switch positions away from running back. Funk recently said in an interview with the Rams website that colleges told him that they’d have be taking “a chance on me to play me at running back.”

    Teams that were scouting Funk didn’t know if they were recruiting as a safety (where he also played, and you can can see a little bit of him doing it in that highlight video where he scores seven offensive touchdowns), a special teamer (which he volunteered to play in high school because he wanted to play as much as possible), as the dreaded “athlete” label, or as a running back.

    Funk wound up as a two or three-star prospect and his only Power 5 offer came from nearby Maryland, and even that was a difficult process for Funk.
    “He had some people along the way who talked to him — extra coaches and things that he was doing with and working out with — and tell him, ‘You are a running back,’” Jim Funk said in a phone interview this month. “And he always seemed to be natural at that position. I mean, even from a young age, he seemed to have the vision, seemed to be able to see the field really well, had the speed.”

    The recruiting process took a sour turn in the spring of his junior year, when a former Maryland coaching staff member and area recruiter told Funk he wasn’t a Big Ten running back, nor was there enough tape of him playing safety to extend a scholarship offer.

    Though offensive...
    1 week ago
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