Rams Starter Sends Suggestions on How to Fix Protection Issues


Getty The Rams celebrate Tutu Atwell's touchdown on January 8, 2023 in Seattle.

No question about it for those who watched the 2022 Los Angeles Rams: The offense took a major step backward from their 2022 Super Bowl run. And the offensive line getting ravaged with injuries helped lead to the immense struggles and falling to 32nd in yards.

Now, along with dealing with uncertainty in the coaching staff including head coach Sean McVay and his future, questions surround the franchise on how they’ll fix the protection moving forward. But one man fired away some strong ideas directed toward the Rams on Tuesday, January 10, who happens to be on a $2.4 million contract with the team: Alaric Jackson.

Jackson, who played multiple spots in seven games but had his season cut short due to blood clots, already sent out this stirring suggestion — avoid adding to the line.

“Obviously this year didn’t go the way we wanted it to go but in reality, we have enough in our room to get the job done and don’t need to add any more pieces,” Jackson began to share.

But, “I do think that O-line needs some reshuffling so here are my thoughts.”

Alaric Jackson Reveals Potential 2023 Two-Deep for the Rams

Jackson, who will soon enter the final year of his three-year, $2.4 million deal that makes him a restricted free agent for 2024 per Spotrac, shared what he believes should be the Rams’ two-deep up front when everyone is healthy again.

His “first scenario” for starters from left to right are: Joe Noteboom at left tackle, Jackson back at left guard (moved to left tackle briefly due to injuries), Brian Allen manning center, a healthier Tremayne Anchrum (fractured fibula) at right guard and captain Rob Havenstein at right tackle. His next suggestion?

“Back Ups: Coleman Shelton, Ty Nsekhe, Chandler Brewer and Matt Skura with Oday Aboushi, A.J. Arcuri and Max Pircher (who signed a reserves/futures deal on Monday) in the hunt,” Jackson revealed. “This gives us flexibility at tackle and guard but a liability at center somewhat.”

Not included was 2022 third-round selection and the Rams’ top draft choice Logan Bruss plus veteran guard David Edwards. Bruss, Jackson says, is on his way back from his torn ACL. Edwards, meanwhile, is an unrestricted free agent.

In diving closely at Jackson’s proposal, he says regular season additions Aboushi and Nsekhe should still stick around to give the Rams their depth and flexibility up front. He additionally includes Shelton, who delivered the highest pass blocking grade at 71.3 per Pro Football Focus, is better suited in a backup role — which can help give the Rams a center option as Shelton has played a swingman role on the line.

How Can Alaric Jackson’s Ideas Come Into Fruition?

The 6-foot-7, 285-pound Jackson earned the second-best pass block grade by PFF at 69.0. Plus was lauded for his performance versus cat-quick two-time Pro Bowler Brian Burns this past season.

Again, Jackson was involved in an offensive line that saw a new lineup change more than 10 times during the regular season due to the pile of injuries. He answered a fan question about the biggest takeaway from a season that saw so much injury and rotation.

“Your back ups gotta be prepared like your starters and chemistry and communication among everyone is huge,” he answered.

But how can Jackson’s ideas come to be inside the “Rams House?”

“Overall we have the pieces we need but we need to make the room compete and there also needs to restructuring of deals,” Jackson said. “This isn’t a shot at anyone as I love each individual in that room like a brother but I strive for greatness.”

He added that his tweets “were not aimed at any teammate’s personal character” but stated “this is a business” in a subsequent tweet and concluded that the only way this team gets better is if they breed competition.

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