Rams’ Sean McVay Reveals New, Emerging Leader on Offense

Sean McVay

Getty Sean McVay (middle) on December 8, 2022 in Inglewood.

With Bobby Wagner, Jalen Ramsey and Matt Gay all gone, the Los Angeles Rams are now in a situation where they have three leadership voids to fill.

It’s early to say who could move into a captain role. However, head coach Sean McVay revealed someone who has emerged as a leader for his group — and it’s someone who’s come a long way from last season: Cam Akers.

“He’s a guy that we’re definitely counting on. I’ve loved the way that he’s exuded leadership in that room, but also for our team in general,” McVay told the L.A. media following their Tuesday, June 6 practice during the Rams’ organized team activities (OTAs) period.

McVay Dives Into What’s Also Helping Akers

With Akers turning a new leaf on the field, it’s a continuous reversal of Akers’ mid-2022 season.

For a brief moment, Akers was absent from both practices and two games from the Rams — which were the home contests against the Carolina Panthers and San Francisco 49ers in October. An apparent conflict between he and the team led to his absence from the team — which was categorized as “personal reasons.”

Akers, though, eventually returned to the Rams for the November 6 road contest against Tampa Bay. But, he ended 2022 winning over McVay and the Rams again with his high production — ending the year with three consecutive 100-yard games including a three-touchdown outing on Christmas Day versus the Denver Broncos.

What has additionally helped his trek to handling a leadership role is his building rapport with his newest running backs coach Ron Gould.

“I think he was able to really leave off the season on a bright spot and then Ron Gould coming in, what a great job he’s done: detailed, so thorough, a great track record and history of being around a lot of great backs (Gould once coached a young Marshawn Lynch at Cal), but he’s such a great person and I think he and Cam have really established a really good rapport,” McVay said.

McVay, though, insists that Akers hasn’t changed personality wise. But he’s taken on a workman, lead-by-example approach with what the head coach also adds comes with a positive aura during practices.

“But Cam’s got a natural charisma and a presence about him that people are drawn to and when he’s got the right vibe and the right energy, that’s a real positive thing for our team,” McVay said.

McVay Adds Another Back has Stood Out, Plus Roster Spot Opens

McVay isn’t just speaking highly of Akers in the Rams’ running back room.

There’s another young talent on the roster who’s caught McVay and the Rams’ attention.

“And I also think (RB) Kyren Williams is another guy that’s really stood out,” McVay said of his now second-year RB out of Norte Dame. “He’s done a great job, but Ron Gould, Cam, Kyren, they’ve done a great job setting the tone in the right way for that running back room.”

Williams is anticipated to become involved in a underrated RB battle for RB2 duties behind Akers. He’s returning alongside fellow second-year pro Ronnie Rivers (who made one start last season) and highly anticipated newcomer Zach Evans.

Meanwhile, a roster spot opened up via the backfield. The Rams announced Monday that undrafted rookie Tiyon Evans, who came to L.A. out of Louisville, was waived.

Evans ran for 525 yards and scored six times in 2022. He also played at Tennessee where he was brief teammates with 2023 third round selection Byron Young.

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