Last year at this time, the talk around Los Angeles was how solid the Rams braintrust was on Case Keenum as their starting quarterback. GM Les Snead and then head coach Jeff Fisher were “all in” on the journeyman from Houston, via Houston. Fisher, ever the poker player, sold Keenum to Los Angeles with a straight face.
He even sold Keenum to Keenum.
We all know how that ended.
This season, with the palace intrigue long gone, the Los Angeles Rams are keenly aware of what they are on the offensive side of the football. The only “intrigue” remaining is the names of those they need to take a long look at, and convince that Los Angeles is a destination NFL franchise.
Hey Rams fans, consider yourself lucky it’s Sean McVay selling the vision and not the former in Jeff Fisher. Gone is three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust. Los Angeles put everything on a defense that wore down, and a second year running back who flashed a year earlier and flames out before Week 1.
Fair or not, it’s about production. And the Los Angeles Rams offense provided none. At the end of the 2016 NFL Draft, L.A. thought they’d solved the problem.
Enter Goff, Higbee, Cooper, Hemingway, Thomas.
NOW hit the do-over button.
Snead is telling us Higbee was laboring with an injury, Gurley had a “Sophomore Slump”, and Goff was, well, Goff.
Les Snead calls Todd Gurley's ugly second season 'definitely a sophomore slump.' Says Rams need to put more around him.
— Marc Sessler (@MarcSesslerNFL) March 2, 2017
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The Rams NEED a playmaker if for no other reason than they don’t have one. They need to address the gaping hole at WR so that they aren’t sucked into the hope that Todd Gurley can get a first down by avoiding running left to right.
A smart observation was made by Alden Gonzalez of ESPN when he identified Pierre Garcon.
We predicted the top free-agent targets for all 32 teams. For the Rams, I chose Pierre Garcon. … https://t.co/hrRKLWfHGu
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) March 5, 2017
He’d be the second Redskins name to be kicked around in Los Angeles as DeSean Jackson was another. Both are big time pass catchers, which is something the Rams, most especially Jared Goff, needs. I mean, who didn’t watch a Rams game and NOT note the cavalcade of dropped passes game in and game out?
If the hope that someone like Higbee can be at least productive, and that Gurley can deliver positive versus negative yards, then a big time receiver MIGHT be able to move the Rams back to .500.
That’s a big “might.”
Sean McVay’s biggest task in 2017 will be to rescue an offense from purgatory. He’s the promise of “fresh eyes” for a unit that was lost in the forest all of 2016. The offensive line isn’t a quick fix, but the options at WR can be. And while neither Redskins receiver may be on the Rams roster this fall, the type of player they are needs to be.
Jeff Fisher made the Rams into a one dimensional team who had to hope something might work on offense. He needed his defense to win games and pray neither Keenum or Goff would lose one.
Can you imagine the potential for success with that game plan hanging on the wall?
The irony is that game plan ended up around the neck of Fisher himself.
The Rams need to solve the riddle that is wide receiver this offseason. It won’t happen in the draft, and that player isn’t on the roster today.
Come September that player, whomever he is, better be.