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Noteboom, Allen poised to step up after departures of Saffold, Sullivan

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  • Noteboom, Allen poised to step up after departures of Saffold, Sullivan

    Noteboom, Allen poised to step up after departures of Saffold, Sullivan
    T
    hursday, Mar 14, 2019 03:40 PM
    Myles Simmons
    RAMS INSIDER

    With former Rams left guard Rodger Saffold signing with the Titans on Thursday, there are officially two positions to fill on Los Angeles’ starting offensive line.

    Saffold in particular is a significant void, as he’s been a part of the Rams’ five up front since he was the No. 33 overall pick in the 2010 draft. The other is center, as Los Angeles declined to pick up John Sullivan's option for 2019.

    But change is a constant in the NFL, and Los Angeles is prepared to go into the offseason program with what would be two first-year starters in Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen.

    Noteboom and Allen were the Rams’ first two draft picks last year, starting in the third round. And with a season of practices under their belts — both were able to get in reps with the first-team offense when left tackle Andrew Whitworth and Sullivan received their veteran rest days — Noteboom and Allen should be ready to step up and excel.

    “Here’s what we did last year in drafting Noteboom and Brian Allen — we did have a projection that at some point we’d have to groom them to become starters,” general manager Les Snead said this week. “The thing you hear about Joe is that he’s versatile, he could then fill in for Rodger. And then at the end of the day, you are still grooming him to maybe be a Whitworth replacement or heir apparent in time, but you still need to replenish that, right? So we will look around, let’s say, in the veteran market and scrutinize the draft like we did last year. Because then the goal would be to draft a younger player, let them develop, evolve for a year, and when their time comes [they can become starters].”

    The Rams drafted Noteboom with the intention of him becoming the Rams’ next left tackle. But he does have the versatility to play inside on the offensive line at guard. Last year, for instance, run game coordinator/offensive line coach Aaron Kromer had Noteboom cross-training at guard during the offseason program and training camp. Now he should have the experience necessary to potentially start at left guard in 2019, with Allen stepping in at center to replace John Sullivan.

    “I think when you do draft those two players, it is eventually with the anticipation that they can become and ascend into a starting role,” head coach Sean McVay said this week. “What you do feel good about is the way that we practice — specific to that left side of our line — Brian and Joe have gotten a lot of valuable reps, even though it might be in practice, that they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise because they are playing behind veteran players. I think seeing the way those guys practice, but then also them getting a lot more reps because of the way that we did it with John, with Rodger, and with Andrew, has enabled them to get a lot of work to where you feel like you’re at least projecting based on having a little bit more of a sample size [that they can start].

    “A lot of that is outside of the games, but they played in a handful of games where you could see it, they got some good work in the preseason, and you guys know the confidence we have in Aaron Kromer’s ability to develop guys.”

    McVay cited 2018 starting right guard Austin Blythe as an example of that. Blythe spent 2017 much like Noteboom and Allen did in 2018 — practicing during the vet days, and playing in spot duty whenever necessary. Then Blythe was able to step in at right guard to replace former RG Jamon Brown when he was suspended for the first two weeks of 2018 and never gave the job up through Super Bowl LIII.

    “I think that’s a great reference if you look at Austin Blythe, where he gets an opportunity, we end up getting him off waivers from the Colts and he ascends to a starting right guard spot and he did an outstanding job,” McVay said.

    If the Rams can get the same kind of production out of Noteboom and Allen in 2019, they’ll be in good shape to make a run at a third consecutive NFC West title.


  • #2
    Works for me. Plug in Noteboom this year, but draft Chris Lindstrom to plug in after Noteboom moves to LT. We cannot screw around with the O-Line. It will ruin our chances to keep atop the division.

    Go Rams!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by mde8352gorams View Post
      Works for me. Plug in Noteboom this year, but draft Chris Lindstrom to plug in after Noteboom moves to LT. We cannot screw around with the O-Line. It will ruin our chances to keep atop the division.

      Go Rams!
      Yeah it looks like that's how Snead is approaching it. The only concern I have with that, is that it appears the Rams are all-in on Blythe at guard. He's ok, but he's also the backup center. Picking up just one interior OL this offseason seems like putting a lot of eggs in one rookie basket. I'm hoping they either pick up a couple guys in the draft to duke it out, or better yet, an affordable journeyman that can handle spot duty as needed and stability should Allen, Blythe, or Noteboom show too much in the way of inexperience.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by KoaKoi View Post

        Yeah it looks like that's how Snead is approaching it. The only concern I have with that, is that it appears the Rams are all-in on Blythe at guard. He's ok, but he's also the backup center. Picking up just one interior OL this offseason seems like putting a lot of eggs in one rookie basket. I'm hoping they either pick up a couple guys in the draft to duke it out, or better yet, an affordable journeyman that can handle spot duty as needed and stability should Allen, Blythe, or Noteboom show too much in the way of inexperience.
        I would rather see the Rams draft a OL than sign a downgrade from Saffold. Based on what we've seen thus far from the Cards and the ***** the pass rushers they added or will add make the challenge of keeping Jared clean in the pocket or upright essential. If we stay younger and athletic on the O-Line I think we'll be in good shape.

        Go Rams!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mde8352gorams View Post

          I would rather see the Rams draft a OL than sign a downgrade from Saffold. Based on what we've seen thus far from the Cards and the ***** the pass rushers they added or will add make the challenge of keeping Jared clean in the pocket or upright essential. If we stay younger and athletic on the O-Line I think we'll be in good shape.

          Go Rams!
          I guess I wasn't clear. I meant do both. Rams should pick up OL in the draft, but better yet, should also try to get a cheap vet to go along with that. Looking back, I see it looked like I was just saying pick up a crap guy as the backup and do nothing else. Sorry about that. I definitely want and expect the Rams to draft OL this year.

          Here's way I see it, if Noteboom and Allen take up the starting spots, that leaves 0 backups anywhere on the line. Rams only carried 2 backups last year (ie. Allen & Noteboom). If the Rams are just replacing those two spots, any fix via draft alone would mean 2 rookies, 2 2nd year guys, and 2 vets (Whit & Havenstein) as the sole group. That's a lot of youth. So picking up an affordable vet would be a nice way to round it out.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't disagree except I don't see any vet FA OL's worth signing at this point. I think the Rams are tight on their salary cap spending so it may take a couple of draft picks to add depth. as much as I like Chris Lindstrom, I don't see the Rams drafting him at #31, which may be a reach value-wise. I wouldn't mind seeing the Rams drafting an in-line TE who is more of a blocker than receiver.

            Go Rams!

            Comment

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            • MauiRam
              Aaron Kromer on the Rams' rookie offensive line acquisitions
              by MauiRam



              By: Andrew Ortenberg | 2 hours ago

              When the dust settled after the NFL Draft and Les Snead was finally done wheeling and dealing, the Los Angeles Rams had made 11 picks. Three of them were offensive linemen, and while it’s tough to judge linemen without pads on during offseason work, offensive line coach Aaron Kromer is encouraged by their progress so far.

              First was tackle Joseph Noteboom at 89th overall in the third round. Then came center Brian Allen in the fourth, 111th overall. Next came small-school standout tackle Jamil Demby out of Maine in the sixth (192nd overall). Although the Rams return all five starters from last year’s line, the current group might not stick together much longer. All-Pro left tackle Andrew Whitworth is 36, while Rob Havenstein, Jamon Brown and Rodger Saffold are all heading into the last year of their contracts. It makes sense that the Rams wanted to address both tackle and interior line in the draft, and the trio could turn out to be the future protectors of Jared Goff.


              Now that the Rams have gotten their initial look at this freshman class through rookie minicamp, OTAs, and regular minicamp, Kromer had some initial thoughts on the three new players and their transition to the NFL during a recent interview with the Rams' website Kromer said the trio has done “a great job of learning, understanding why things are happening, and trying to master those techniques.”


              Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

              Kromer was signed away from the Bills by coach Sean McVay, who added him as part of his initial Rams staff. After offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur left for the Titans, Kromer was promoted to run game coordinator this past January. Kromer was widely credited with helping the Rams offensive line go from one of the worst in the league to one of the best in just one year. He certainly knows the position well, having coached lines in the NFL since 2001, and likely had some sway in the Rams’ war room on draft day.

              Kromer hammered home that the rookies are strictly focused on learning and not actually doing at this point, saying “everything we do is schematics, technique” before the pads come on later this summer. He added that it’s hard to accurately evaluate linemen “until after training camp, during training camp, and during the preseason games when everything really starts happening fast.”

              Until then, it’ll be hard to tell what the Rams have in their three new draft picks. But Kromer seemed genuinely excited and bullish about the group’s future during his recent media availability. In an ideal world, none of them will see much playing time this year, but all three could potentially be key contributors down the line.

              I'd imagine these three will see plenty of playing time during the preseason. Maybe we get lucky and find a legit starter or two out this group. Tis the season of hope.!...
              -06-23-2018, 04:28 PM
            • MoonJoe
              Rams’ offensive line begins to take shape
              by MoonJoe
              Brandon Fowler
              Yahoo Sports
              April 7th




              A casual viewer of the 2016 Los Angeles Rams’ football team knew that their offensive line needed to be revamped, in order for the offense to find success and maintain drives to support a defense that was on the field for the majority of games. Without question, the offensive line was not the sole issue in Los Angeles, but the Rams have addressed some needs up front this offseason that could prove beneficial.

              For most of last season, the Rams lined up with left tackle, Greg Robinson, left guard, Rodger Saffold, center, Tim Barnes, the rotation of Jamon Brown and Cody Wichmann at right guard and right tackle, Rob Havenstein, with an average age of 25-years-old and not much experience among them.

              Unfortunately, as a Rams’ fan must know, Robinson has been more of a liability, racking up numerous false start and holding penalties, than showing the potential that had him drafted in the first-round of 2014. For the first time, he was also designated as an inactive player for two games last season. In college, Robinson played in Auburn’s power run scheme and with the Rams there seemed to be an unwillingness to move him inside to guard, like Miami did with rookie Laremy Tunsil. With the signing of left tackle, Andrew Whitworth, there will be no question of a position change for Robinson in 2017.

              Havenstein was a productive rookie starter, who was drafted in the second-round of the 2015 draft out of Wisconsin. Towards the end of his inaugural season, injuries caught up with him and he was forced to miss a chunk of this past offseason and preseason. As a result, Havenstein’s 2016 campaign suffered and he did not exhibit the same dominance he did during his rookie year. A full offseason without injuries should be big for him going forward.

              Barnes was released this offseason and left the Rams with a hole to fill in the middle of their line. Barnes was a serviceable starter who played above his status as an undrafted free agent in 2011. He will fondly be remembered as the hustler who recovered two fumbles on the same drive during the late stages a rainy game in Seattle, two seasons ago to help put the Rams over the top. There were rumors that Barnes would be brought back to the team in free agency, but it was reported yesterday that the Rams had signed former Vikings and Redskins’ center, John Sullivan. Sullivan will fill the need at center and provide knowledge of Sean McVay’s system. He, along with Whitworth, should be an asset in the film room for the other young Rams.

              Saffold has been a Rams’ mainstay since 2010 and has always been one of their more dominant linemen. He has also been the swingman along the line, showing both value and competence to play the tackle and guard positions. The issue with Saffold has always been his health and inability to remain on the field for the duration of 16 games. Injuries...
              -04-07-2017, 09:28 AM
            • MauiRam
              Rookie Joseph Noteboom could be the backup plan Rams desperately need
              by MauiRam
              NewRookie Joseph Noteboom could be the backup plan Rams desperately need

              By Vincent Bonsignore

              LOS ANGELES — By the time the ice hockey career of Joseph Noteboom topped out in the 11th grade, he was pushing 6-foot-5 and well over 250 pounds. He was a big, fast, tough defenseman whose skating skills defied his imposing frame. The job description was pretty simple: Go find the guy with the puck and crush him.

              Noteboom had a particular knack for spotting unsuspecting puck carriers along the boards and then hurling himself at them with all his size, strength and might. Pity the poor opposing player and plexiglass when he timed everything up just right. Which was often.

              “Oh yeah, for sure. I was a big guy so that was my job,” said Noteboom, his devilish grin about as chilling as you’d imagine.

              About the only thing more absurd than imagining a kid that big flying around an ice hockey rink was the location. When you think hockey, Plano, Texas doesn’t exactly come to mind. But then, who would have thought a town in the middle of Texas would catch the hockey bug like Plano did in the 2000s? But that’s exactly what happened deep in the heart of football country.

              Before you knew it, nearly every kid in the region wanted to be Sidney Crosby.

              Or in Noteboom’s case, Drew Doughty.

              “In my area (hockey is) really big,” Noteboom said. “There were at least five ice rinks within 10 miles.”

              The pull of football and a prolonged growth spurt meant hanging up the hockey skates for good. That decision more than six years ago was as easy as it was wise, and it has led him to Los Angeles, where he’s a rookie offensive linemen with the Rams.

              Now 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, Noteboom delivered a crisp, efficient performance in a 19-15 preseason win over the Oakland Raiders on Saturday that, coupled with a strong training camp, gives the Rams hope they shrewdly uncovered a starting-caliber NFL lineman in the third round.

              Somehow a man as big as Noteboom went missing from the NFL’s draft radar last April over the first 88 picks, allowing the TCU standout to fall right to the very fortunate Rams at pick No. 89. They went into the draft needing to add youth and depth to a position that was top heavy and extraordinarily lucky last year. They left it with Noteboom, Maine tackle Jamil Demby and Michigan State centre Brian Allen.
              All three have played well enough to at least allow the Rams to ponder the possibility that they secured three potential future starters.

              That’s no small feat considering left tackle Andrew Whitworth is pushing 37, center John Sullivan is 33 and right tackle Rob Havenstein, left guard Rodger Saffold and right guard Jamon Brown are all free agents at the end of the season.

              The likelihood the Rams go through another season like 2016 essentially unscathed along the offensive line — they needed
              ...
              -08-21-2018, 10:59 AM
            • RockinRam
              Andrew Whitworth
              by RockinRam
              I've noticed something about Whitworth...


              This guy looks massive. The rest of our offensive linemen are not small, but when anyone stands next to Whitworth, Whitworth dwarfs them. Last week, Saffold looked like a child next to him. Whitworth is a man among boys and it's been showing on the field. The guy is strong and I don't think we will see a decline in performance from him anytime soon.
              -08-19-2017, 07:16 PM
            • Nick
              Who replaces Roger Saffold at left guard?
              by Nick
              According to Ian Rapoport...



              So who steps into the left guard spot? Noteboom? Someone else on the roster? Do you have your eye on a free agent? Or do the Rams draft someone to fill the role?...
              1 week ago
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