'Remodel' mode: Can the Rams return to Super Bowl form in 2023?

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'Remodel' mode: Can the Rams return to Super Bowl form in 2023?​

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Rams' 5-12 finish was a surprise not just to the league, after their Super Bowl-winning season in 2021, but within the franchise as well.

Perhaps most surprising was how much the offense struggled to move the ball consistently, even when quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Cooper Kupp were on the field. The Rams finished the season ranked 23rd in Football Outsiders' offensive DVOA, compared with eighth in 2021.

A big reason for the regression, of course, was the offensive line. That unit dealt with so many injuries that the Rams started 12 different offensive line combinations in their first 12 games of the season. By the time L.A. finally gained stability there, Stafford (spinal cord contusion), Kupp (high ankle sprain) and wide receiver Allen Robinson II (stress fracture in foot) were on injured reserve.

Now, one of the biggest questions of the offseason for the Rams is whether their offensive struggles can be remedied by a healthy roster or whether they need a rehaul to get back to the powerhouse that won the Super Bowl less than a year ago.

Several times during Les Snead's end-of-season news conference Thursday, the general manager used "remodel" to talk about making changes to the roster. Remodel is a more accurate description than rebuild, Snead said, because "of the way our roster is built right now."

"We would almost have to somewhat tear it down to rebuild," Snead said. "Because we do have a lot of really good players in their prime on this roster."

So if the Rams aren't rebuilding their roster -- and specifically their offense -- what does that mean for the 2023 season?

Some changes have already begun, as coach Sean McVay has moved on from several members of his coaching staff, although most were on the defensive side of the ball. Offensive line coach Kevin Carberry will not return, according to ESPN's Field Yates.

Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris is interviewing for outside head-coaching jobs and offensive coordinator Liam Coen exited after the season.

When asked what moves, internal or external, needed to be made this offseason to get the offense playing at the level of the 2021 season, Snead pointed out that the Rams have "been very successful on offense since Sean has taken over," regardless of the personnel.

"We've been successful many different ways with more than one, let's call it, starting-caliber, franchise-caliber QB, with different wide receivers, different running backs, even different offensive line combinations," Snead said. "And during that time [we were] ... a top-five offense in a lot of different categories. So I think it's probably ... continue evolving, continue staying ahead of the curve."

Snead said that when evaluating the offense, he likes to first look at it "from a macro level."

"How is our offensive machine going to get yards, get first downs, score points, and then, at that point, it's how do we want to accomplish that?" Snead said. "What do we want to do to accomplish that? Who do we need on our team to accomplish that?"

One area the Rams might have found some help in -- and an area that could eventually be better than that 2021 team -- is the run game. Down the final stretch, Cam Akers emerged as a running back who can carry the load and create "when there isn't anything there," according to McVay.

Midway through the season, Snead and the Rams thought they might not have Akers as a long-term option. Akers was available for trades and even spent time away from the team in the middle of the season. But he eventually returned and played tremendously in December, amassing 512 yards and six touchdowns and rushing for at least 100 yards in three straight games to end the season.

He missed most of the 2021 season with an Achilles injury, and his replacements -- Sony Michel and Darrell Henderson Jr. -- behind a strong offensive line, ranked 12th in Football Outsiders' rush DVOA.

Although it wouldn't be unexpected for Snead and the Rams' front office to make a big move this offseason to add on either side of the ball, Los Angeles doesn't have any big holes it will need to fill in free agency. Instead, the Rams might try to add depth later in the draft. Snead said Thursday that, including compensatory picks, the Rams expect to have 10 selections in the 2023 NFL draft, although many of those will be on Day 3.

If the Rams' starting lineup can stay healthy next season, Snead said, the idea is that, just like in the past, Los Angeles can "use those Day 3 picks as relatively competent depth players that come in to partner with those starters when necessary."

Still, although Snead made it clear the Rams aren't in a rebuild, historically this hasn't been a franchise that will sit back hoping that a healthy roster will have it back in contention.

"We didn't meet our standards," Snead said. "We're definitely aware of that. It is our reality. And that's where we stand today."
 

So Ram

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SUCH A CROCK of CRAP!!

Rebuild vs remodel ? Great writers not knowing the difference. Rebuild you most likely need a permit?

Did any of those reporters watch Cam Akers run for over 100 yards the last 4 games or so? That was without an excellent blocking WR. Add A’ Robinson also was blocking well late.
The Rams IMO can remodel with a bigger RB(Malcom Brown type),extra TE(future) & RT(future). Both Higbee & Havienstien both are older(FA).
 

BonifayRam

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CGI_Ram

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"The Los Angeles Rams are in a peculiar position, just one year removed from a Super Bowl title but fresh off a 5-12 season and currently sit some $14 million over the salary cap."




"For Los Angeles, the reason is clear: The Rams are nearly $14 million over the salary cap and have six players with cap hits of $20-plus million. Two of those players, wide receiver Cooper Kupp ($27.8. million) and quarterback Matthew Stafford ($20 million), aren’t going anywhere. The other three — defensive tackle Aaron Donald ($26 million), cornerback Jalen Ramsey ($25.2 million) and pass-rusher Leonard Floyd ($22 million) — might be."

Isn't that 5 players?

But the point is valid; $14M over the cap and 5 cap hits of >$20M... Something has to give.
 

Ram Ts

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This team is way, way closer to 12-5 than 5-12. Last year as an aberration. Mark my words!
 

snackdaddy

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I've said they have enough core guys to be competitive and make the playoffs. But if I take the homer hat off, I have a hard time thinking they can be a Superbowl caliber team next season.

The defense is gonna lose guys to free agency. When I think of the core players I think Stafford, Kupp, Donald, Wagner, Floyd and Ramsey. That is not a bad core. But Ramsey is the only one who won't be in his 30's next season. The age where you start to see more injuries.

If they run with what they have they will need to rely on some luck. Hope these guys don't go down. Donald missed 6 games. Stafford and Kupp each missed 8 games. You're not gonna win many games if these guys miss that much again.

So it comes down to decisions. You run with a similar core group or you make trades while they still have value. I'm in the go for it one more time camp.
 

OntarioRam

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I've said they have enough core guys to be competitive and make the playoffs. But if I take the homer hat off, I have a hard time thinking they can be a Superbowl caliber team next season.

The defense is gonna lose guys to free agency. When I think of the core players I think Stafford, Kupp, Donald, Wagner, Floyd and Ramsey. That is not a bad core. But Ramsey is the only one who won't be in his 30's next season. The age where you start to see more injuries.

If they run with what they have they will need to rely on some luck. Hope these guys don't go down. Donald missed 6 games. Stafford and Kupp each missed 8 games. You're not gonna win many games if these guys miss that much again.

So it comes down to decisions. You run with a similar core group or you make trades while they still have value. I'm in the go for it one more time camp.
Nothing wrong with a vet core. In some ways it is advantageous to a young team that has not learned how to win. But you need to supplement your veteran players with young - or at least not ageing - talent. I don't see much of that on the Rams right now. We will see what the Rams can do in the off-season. That is what is great about the NFL. You get key contributors out of nowhere. Hit on a few draft picks and/or free agent signings and this team definitely has the core pieces needed to be very competitive for another year, quite possibly 2.
 

snackdaddy

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Nothing wrong with a vet core. In some ways it is advantageous to a young team that has not learned how to win. But you need to supplement your veteran players with young - or at least not ageing - talent. I don't see much of that on the Rams right now. We will see what the Rams can do in the off-season. That is what is great about the NFL. You get key contributors out of nowhere. Hit on a few draft picks and/or free agent signings and this team definitely has the core pieces needed to be very competitive for another year, quite possibly 2.
I think they have the pieces to get back to being competitive. They should try and reload in my opinion. But if they have a repeat of this past season then it would be time to unload some guys either through trades or release.

Then the full rebuild will start. If they look like a legit contender before the trade deadline I could see them trading picks for a guy who can help them. Otherwise, stand pat. Of course if things are going south early, then maybe its time to unload an expiring contract.
 

Merlin

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Getting back into the playoffs is doable if they have a good offseason. What is much harder is getting back to contention for the title.
 

PARAM

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"For Los Angeles, the reason is clear: The Rams are nearly $14 million over the salary cap and have six players with cap hits of $20-plus million. Two of those players, wide receiver Cooper Kupp ($27.8. million) and quarterback Matthew Stafford ($20 million), aren’t going anywhere. The other three — defensive tackle Aaron Donald ($26 million), cornerback Jalen Ramsey ($25.2 million) and pass-rusher Leonard Floyd ($22 million) — might be."

Isn't that 5 players?

But the point is valid; $14M over the cap and 5 cap hits of >$20M... Something has to give.
*Kupp $27.5
*AD $26.0
Ramsey $25.2
Floyd $22.0
*Stafford $20.0

*ARob $18.0
Noteboom $15.5
Wagner $12.5

*Havenstein $9.7
Higbee $9.1


That's their top 10. The middle 6 are prime canidates for resturcture and if they can come up with 2.5 a piece they're 6 mil under the cap. If they don't they'll have to release some players. *5 of those top 9 being released prior to 6/1 don't save them any money. Floyd saves them 3 mil with a dead money hit of 19 mil. Gotta restructure him. Ramsey only saves them $600,000 with a release, 5.6 mil in a pre June trade with a 19.6 mil cap hit. Not a good bargain. But all they have to do is get 1 cent under the cap by March 3rd. If they release Allen after June 1st and his never to be right knee, they'll add 4.4 mil to the cap but that's for after they get under.

They have the horses and with some shrewd contract restuctures, they could hold onto everybody. Then make a trade or two, sign a player or two and draft well. With McVay, Stafford, Kupp, AD, Ramsey and Wagner they have the bones of a good team. Just gotta keep as many helpful players as possible. There's plenty of room for restructuring/extending players and Demoff & Co. are pretty smart.
 

Merlin

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*Kupp $27.5
*AD $26.0
Ramsey $25.2
Floyd $22.0
*Stafford $20.0
*ARob $18.0
Noteboom $15.5
Wagner $12.5

*Havenstein $9.7
Higbee $9.1
What is good is the top two paid guys can be trusted to perform at the highest level when available. Lot of teams can't say that. Assuming AD is a done deal at this point based on his comments on twitter, where we can rest assured he's all in for the season.

Ramsey and Floyd definitely underperformed. Maybe there were injuries we aren't privy to. But I have to think at the very least those two are restructured. Though admittedly I haven't looked at their contracts so not sure how feasible it is to get both at a more accurate cap hit for their production level. It is unlikely that either improve though. So moving either I think is also possible.

ARob seems like the guy we're gonna have to figure out how to use. On the good side his game has never been about separation. That's important here. If his game was dependent on separation and we signed a guy who lost a ton of speed we fucked. Whereas a guy like him there is room to hope with proper utilization and him knowing the offense 100% production should be there. Will we get production on par with his cap hit? Maybe not. But eat up some of that difference at least while we get through time and can fix it down the road.

Boom's pay is bad due to his tendency to miss time. They're not paying him as a shutdown LT however, as the top guys come in the low 20s now. So he's probably an overpay for another year or so, maybe they got burned. Or maybe he puts together a real season for us.

Wagner I am very glad signed for a reasonable deal because maybe they can keep him around as he ages out of the league. I love the guy on this team. He's a great role model and is still playing at a high level so I don't think they need to do anything with him.

Lastly Hav and Higs are both appropriately paid for what they are. Close enough to where I'm not sweating either of them.
 

Ram65

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So there is some hope.

Tony Pastoors has to do a little restructuring magic.​


He already has put off cap hits to contracts after they have expired. It would be nice if players would take a little pay cut as part of a restructuring. I highly doubt they would but, the extremely high salaries make it much harder to go for another ring. That's one reason I don't like players getting many accolades and awards.

It doesn't make any sense (to me) to give up on the high price core players. They have good two years to keep it going. A healthy and slightly improved offensive line will get the offense back on track. A little more pressure and tighter coverage could make the solid Rams defense a top-level.

Special teams coverages could use a lot of improvement. Gay will need a salary increase and Dixon needs to be resigned.
 

PhillyRam

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A lot of room to work with....although I wouldn't want them to go nuts with the cap credit card of restructures.

Screenshot_20230122-152930_Chrome.jpg
 

Faceplant

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Look at the 4 remaining teams. They all have things in common. Especially when it comes to the OL.

The Rams seem light in the pants to me on both sides of the line. I just don't see how they can compete against the shit bag whiners unless they can find a way to score a LOT more points next season. Hope I'm wrong.
 

Malibu

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This is a tough one. I hate Boom in my mind we are stuck with him.

We have the pieces to get back into the playoffs if they can figure CB #2, OLB opposite Floyd, a upgrade at LT and LG and we are good this list a big ask. I am not sure we have the right FS and BU QB (excluding Mayfield and we are not keeping him) either. We could get a player on this list at #36, and maybe a FA or 2 but at a minimum we need to resign Gay and Gaines or AShawn and Powell but like I keep saying if they are too expensive we can find others.

The OL must be upgraded and Snead/McVay should not assume what we have will work. The success of all the teams left in the playoffs the QBs had a lot of time to throw and had wide pockets. We hardly ever did this year.

We must get more push from our OLBs to make the DBs not work as hard as they had to this year.

I really believe in the concept of good coaches and a much more aggressive Defense where we see 7 players on the DL and some back it confuses offense. We don't play that D and watching the current teams in the playoffs like Cincy etc it is very effective. Getting rid of Morris will solve half of our issues with a better DC.

This will be a huge off-season a lot of new coaches, cap issues and we must hit in FA/the draft.
 

Flint

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There’s work to be done but I don’t think it’s any impossible tasks. I think this coaching staff underachieved big time. McVay is running out of guys he knows so he decides to bring on some bright young minds to freshen things up. Well that didn’t go so well I guess, if both of the college guys bailed to go back to college, before the season was even over. And the run game improved noticeably after the departure of our new rb coach, not a good look.
It has to be said though, that the ram’s offense wasn’t anywhere near last year even before all the injuries. Maybe they just weren’t clicking early but it was concerning.
Looking at the current playoff teams, I don’t see why the rams can’t compete. Looking at the lower seeds, they’re not exactly formidable. Tampa was fortunate to play in the division they do or they might never have got in. Seattle sputtered after a surprising start, Detroit was better. And the Vikings turned into a pumpkin when the clock struck 12, just like always.
There were a few bright spots like Akers and Tutu, now they need to figure out how to get Arob going and we’ll have something.
Seems like Stafford is an afterthought with all the hype over the young guns but I think he’s got a couple high level seasons left in the tank. That being said, it was Baker who figured out how to get Tutu involved not Stafford. He can be stubborn when it comes to Kupp.
 

oldnotdead

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It's the core of this roster that makes it a SB contender. If the OL can stay healthy it's a good group. They simply need to jell quickly, but the base talent is there if used properly.

Their WR room is stacked with Kupp, Robinson, Jefferson, Tutu, Skowronek, and Powell. They are 2 deep at RB with Akers and Williams and I think they wlll add a #3 RB in the draft. Higbee and Hopkins who hopefully has a breakout year at TE.

On defense they have Floyd, Donald and they will extend Gaines. Hoecht showed promise at DE but I think they will either draft or trade for a dominant DLman. They could grab a DT who will be needed once AD retires in 2024, moving AD to play DE this year with Hoecht in rotation, giving him another year to develop. That scenario makes more sense IMO.

Trading Ramsey? WTF? Only a know nothing media dumbshit would think that. Replacing Hill with Rochell and Durant at SCB instead of Kendrick would give them speed and versatility. Dumbass Morris tried to play man coverage with Hill who is strictly a zone CB and Kendrick who is the slowest of the CBs and wondered why it didn't work. With Ramsey, Rochell and Durant they have 4.3 speed across the board.

If Howard can stay healthy he can be a decent OLB to go with Wagner and Jones. At safety, they will have Lake who has 4.59 speed, and Scott with 4.3 speed. Morris liked to play the slowest DBs on the roster and wondered why they gave up big plays. With Ramsey, Rochell, Durant, and Scott he had 4 of his 5 DBs who have outstanding speed then add in Lake who has preferred speed at SS and that is a very fast secondary. Yet Morris refused to play these guys and people wonder why I keep saying Morris plays his buddies and not to the talent he has.

This is all without signing anyone new. Morris has squandered the talent on this roster refusing to play to its strength which is speed. Yet people think they don't have the talent to be a top 5 unit? What I say to that is quit believing PFF.

This roster has more talent than most people including many on this board realize. They need depth and perhaps one DL starter. If they transition Powell to RB where he has played most of his life, then they don't even need a #3 RB.

LT Noteboom
LG Jackson
C Allen
RG Shelton
RT Havenstein

Gameday reserves: OT Nsekhe, OG Brewer, OG Bruss

OL depth: Thomas, Anchrum, Aboushi

This team simply needs to get healthy.
 

Steve808

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I've said they have enough core guys to be competitive and make the playoffs. But if I take the homer hat off, I have a hard time thinking they can be a Superbowl caliber team next season.

The defense is gonna lose guys to free agency. When I think of the core players I think Stafford, Kupp, Donald, Wagner, Floyd and Ramsey. That is not a bad core. But Ramsey is the only one who won't be in his 30's next season. The age where you start to see more injuries.

If they run with what they have they will need to rely on some luck. Hope these guys don't go down. Donald missed 6 games. Stafford and Kupp each missed 8 games. You're not gonna win many games if these guys miss that much again.

So it comes down to decisions. You run with a similar core group or you make trades while they still have value. I'm in the go for it one more time camp.

McSnead will have to draft some immediate contributors and possibly trade one of the highly paid stars. We could also use OBJ if he wants to be in LA. I trust that McVay and Snead can re-load. The Rams have become a place where good free agents want to come to try and get a title so you never know.
 

So Ram

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Yes - you never know.

Hold on to your seat belts IMO it will be exciting no matter what.
Like a Hollywood movie thriller.