The Rams now sit at 3-5 following their 16-13 loss to the Buccaneers. And, for the first time under the Super Bowl-winning head coach, the Rams now sit two games behind .500.
“This is not good enough,” McVay told reporters after the game. “Changes have to be made, adjustments have to be made. We can’t continue to go on like this.”
McVay also addressed the state of the offensive line — a unit that’s been bruised, battered and reshuffled throughout the season — and if he’s comfortable with the iteration of that group.
Meanwhile, Ramsey got asked his thoughts on the Rams’ offense and if it has the mindset that it can put teams away.
“We have so many games where the defense will get a stop and we’ll get to the sideline and they’ll be like, ‘Y’all stay locked in. Y’all stay locked in. Y’all gonna have to go back out there again.’ It shouldn’t be like that,” Ramsey told reporters. “We gotta have some dogs who are gonna be like, ‘We’re gonna close this mother****** out.’”
The latter statement from the loquacious Ramsey helps lead to this suggestion if the Rams dip into free agency: A still available former $9 million option who was once described as a “nasty dude.” Plus a guy who can help bolster a spot, and entire unit, that watched Vita Vea mow his way to his first two-sack performance of 2022 and witnessed the Bucs snatch four sacks.
Massive Pass Blocker & ‘Nasty Dude’ Still Available
Xavier Su’a-Filo, 31, is still on the free agent market. His availability is somewhat surprising considering he’s not only been productive when called upon, but has improved as a pass blocker throughout the course of his career.
The 6-foot-3, 304-pounder was praised by NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah back in 2014 by calling him a “nasty dude.” While he’s bounced around with four teams, he’s limited and lowered the sack count his side since 2017.
During his final season with the Houston Texans, Su’a-Filo surrendered eight sacks on 648 pass block attempts according to Pro Football Focus. But after lowering that total to six the following season with the Dallas Cowboys, Su’a-Filo allowed just two sacks through a combined 420 pass block attempts between the period of 2019 to 2021.
The Cincinnati Bengals once awarded him with a three-year deal worth $9 million in 2020. He was trusted to protect Joe Burrow last season on 68 passing plays…not allowing a single defender to get a sack his side. And that was a Cincy offensive line that surrendered 70 sacks including playoffs and Super Bowl 56.
The former UCLA Bruin already has ties to one current Ram offensive lineman. He was Texans teammates with guard Oday Aboushi. He also once took one A’Shawn Robinson during a time the Rams interior defender was with the Detroit Lions and proved to be effective as a red zone blocker:
Su’a-Filo added more tenacity near the goal line in this run block for Ezekiel Elliot back in 2019.
He once had to fill for veteran left guard Connor Williams during his Cowboy days and brought this level of nastiness.
Lastly, Su’a-Filo proves he can show no remorse for oncoming defensive tackles through this face plant on a designed screen.
Su’a-Filo, however, hasn’t been on an NFL roster since being a part of a round of cuts on July 22.
Guard Spot Must be Addressed Inside the ‘Rams House’
Some will say tackle must be addressed. The Rams, though, have already moved Alaric Jackson to the blindside and added Ty Nsekhe via free agency during the season. And the veteran Nsekhe went in briefly against the Bucs after Jackson briefly left with a knee injury. Captain Rob Havenstein has also managed to stay healthy.
Guard, though, presents a potential area of change with the Rams having gone through Jackson, Aboushi, David Edwards, Bobby Evans, Chandler Brewer and Tremayne Anchrum being shuffled at both spots.
But of the four sacks the Bucs snatched, three came from interior defenders — hence the need to add help inside in the “Rams House.” Su’a-Filo having a background at both guard spots presents an opportunity to bring change.