With the Rams starting the season with a 5-2 record heading into the bye week, I wanted to get the reaction of an all-time great Ram, Jim Everett. The fact is, the last time the Los Angeles Rams made the playoffs in 1989, Jim Everett was behind center, and I can see a lot of similarities between this year’s team and the 1989 team that made it to the NFC Championship Game. Everett was nice enough to grant me this interview that follows:
What makes this team different from last season?
“They (Rams) play with a purpose. They know what they want to be and know what they want to get done. When they are out there on the field they are responsible to each other. Guys aren’t playing with free range on defense. Everyone knows their assignments on both offense and defense and there is a brotherhood. Something that was missing from teams in the recent past under Jeff Fisher.”
What is the biggest change you have seen in Jared Goff?
“I see a tremendous difference. Last season Goff was the equivalent to a college Senior. The new system that Coach McVay has installed has all the answers. It’s kind of like if the defense does this, we do that. You can compare this new offense to cars. McVay’s system is like driving a Formula One car compared to driving a Toyota Supra. The Toyota is fine and will get you around, but that Formula One car is awesome.”
Why is this season’s offensive line so much better than last year?
“First off let’s not place all the blame on Greg Robinson, but the keys are that they brought in a left tackle in Andrew Whitworth that knows how to play extremely well. They also brought in a center in John Sullivan that understands the system very well. Not to mention, when Sullivan went down his backup Austin Blythe played very well. A lot of people were skeptical when McVay brought in Aaron Kromer to be his offensive line coach, because of some of the techniques he has the players use, but he has these guys playing really well. Whether its jet sweeps or other concepts they are keeping the defense honest and not allowing them to stack eight in the box like last season.”
What’s the biggest change you have seen from the coaching staff compared to last season?
“McVay brings in a state of the art offensive system. He also brought a guy in with Wade Phillips to run the defense and allows to him run it his way. With teams in the past under Fisher, he was just a defensive coach and you don’t find a lot of coaches with defensive backgrounds that like to throw the ball. There are a few exceptions such as Dan Quinn with the Falcons or Bill Belichick, but even Belichick worked on the offensive side of the ball at one point.”
What similarities do you see to this team compared to the Rams teams you were on in 1989?
“I can see some parallels. I was also in my second year in the system. I came into an older and talented team. Meanwhile this seasons Rams team is still very young. You can compare Andrew Whitworth to Jackie Slater. Both teams had great veteran tackles, Slater the best right tackle in the NFL at that time. Also the team, I was on brought in Ernie Zampese to run the offense and at the time he brought in a state of the art offense just like McVay has with the Rams this season.”
We discussed plenty of other aspects about the Rams as well. According to Everett this team really is just getting started. The tight end position is still a work in progress. The Rams are dealing with some young tight ends, but once they get up to speed the offense will soar to greater heights. It was great to get perspective from the Rams all-time leading passer. Hopefully this seasons version of the Rams enjoys success like the 1989 Rams, makes the playoffs and has success there as well. Time will tell, but you should like what you see so far, and from talking to Everett, he definitely likes the direction this season’s Rams are heading.