NFL Analyst Believes Replacing OL Coach Won’t be Easy for the Rams

Rams Offensive Line

Getty Members of the Los Angeles Ram offensive line take a glance at the New York Jets defense during their December 2020 contest. One NFL Network analyst asked on Sunday how the unit would gel without veteran OL coach Aaron Kromer.

The Los Angeles Rams perplexed a lot of fans by opting not to draft an offensive lineman or dip into free agency to add more depth during the 2021 offseason. But that’s not the only question mark they face from one expert of offensive line play.

Can the Rams’ front line play at a high level without their previous OL coach Aaron Kromer? NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger asks.

Baldinger, who played guard and center for four different NFL franchises between 1982 to 1993 before advancing on to a lengthy career in broadcasting, proposed this question on Sunday during his “Baldy’s Breakdowns” released on his personal Twitter account. Baldinger called the coaching veteran of 30 years a “masterful teacher.” Kromer roamed the Rams’ sidelines and coached up the front five for four seasons before being let go on February 18. He was also the team’s run game coordinator.

But now, the Rams will be adjusting without a clear favorite of Baldinger due to his line teachings.

Kromer Taught Fundamentals to OL Unit

Baldinger, who is known for his breakdowns and honesty on the NFL Network, called Kromer a “great coach and a great teacher,” then broke down a reason behind that statement by using the NFC playoff win at Seattle.

Baldinger first zeroed in on left guard David Edwards and left tackle Andrew Whitworth on a “crossover” move. Stepping first with their right foots, Whitworth locks in on Jarrad Reed and turns his hips to seal him off. Edwards then works his way to the second level to counter safety Jamal Adams. The rest of the Ram linemen from the center Austin Corbett to the right side pull the same crossover technique to open a running lane for Cam Akers. Baldinger claimed “that’s unusual, teams don’t teach that.”

The reason? Defensive linemen in the NFL are naturally more explosive in their first step after the ball is snapped, hence why a lot of NFL lines resort to zone blocking to seal off quicker defenders.

The 12-year NFL veteran who played for the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts and ended his career with the Philadelphia Eagles pointed out the same block on another play that saw Akers cut to the left side. Again, Edwards and Whitworth uses the crossover move to latch onto their blocking assignments. From there, the duo gets enough of a push to control defensive tackle Bryan Mone (lined up on Edwards) and defensive end Rasheem Green on the running play. Even tight end Gerald Everett, aligned alongside Edwards and Whitworth before the snap, makes the play happen by coming down and sealing off inside linebacker Bobby Wagner. The play ends in positive yardage.

The crossover isn’t the only thing that “Baldy” pinpoints that came from Kromer’s line teachings.

‘The Chop’

Baldinger reminds the audience that the chop move isn’t just for defensive linemen trying to get to the quarterback. It comes in handy for the opposite trench men too.

CHOP CLUB – Pass Rush Moves – Defensive Line Drills – American Football TutorialLearn pass rush moves along with specific coaching points that are sure the get your athlete rushing the passer like the pros. The chop club pass rush move is a pass rush that has been used by among the best pass rushers to ever rush a QB. This hand striking and hip flipping action attacks…2015-10-12T09:17:49Z

“Baldy” discovers the third-year pro from Wisconsin Edwards using the chop move when engaged with his defender, winning that confrontation.

“It’s the little things that win,” Baldinger explains.

Edwards chops with his left arm against Reed and stays in front of his face, with Baldinger proclaiming “that’s coaching. That’s technique.” The rest of the play includes crossovers and seal blocks on the nearest interior defensive lineman. The chop move prevents Reed from overpowering Edwards.

Baldinger wrapped up his breakdown by locking in on another former Wisconsin Badger on the Rams’ line: Right tackle Rob Havenstein. Baldinger dialed in on Havenstein’s feet on a goal line play, saying there’s a lack of width between the tackle and defender. However, the play works by getting the foot down right away as “Baldy” points out then Havenstein using his second step for the power advantage. Havenstein does enough to allow Akers to trek into the end zone.

Rolling with ‘Coach Carbs’

The Rams now have Kevin Carberry coaching up the trench unit this fall. The 38-year-old is making the jump from Stanford to the NFL, but held a similar run game coordinator and OL position coach positions in Palo Alto while helping coach 2021 NFL Draft picks Walker Little and Drew Dalman.

However, “Coach Carbs” has previous ties with Rams head coach Sean McVay: Having coached together in Washington where Carberry coached Pro Bowler OL’s Brandon Scherff and Trent Williams in 2016 and 2017.

But again, “Baldy’s Breakdowns” proposes this question: “Can they replace Aaron Kromer?”

Baldinger’s OL breakdown can be seen in its entirety below.

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