Rams GM Les Snead Makes Telling Admission About RBs From MNF Loss

Kyren Williams

Getty Kyren Williams on September 25, 2023 in Cincinnati.

The Los Angeles Rams have used Kyren Williams on 184 total plays per Pro Football Focus, the most number of snaps for a running back this season.

Understandable, considering how the team parted ways with Cam Akers and in the process, saw enough from Williams to elevate him as the RB1 moving forward. But with that high of a snap count through three games, does general manager Les Snead believe Williams is being overused?

Snead Shares Admission From Monday Night Football Loss

Speaking on “The Coach McVay Show” as a fill in for Sean McVay on Tuesday, September 26, Snead revealed that the original plan was to limit Williams’ snaps and get Ronnie Rivers plus others more involved

“I think going into the game, I know Sean and his staff wanted to get some of the other runners involved,” Snead said to J.B. Long and D’Marco Farr.

However, “I’m pretty sure the way the game went, we didn’t play as many snaps on offense. Had a few drives in there where you’re three-and-out or you’re four and a turnover. Point being, the rhythm of the game kept us from rotating the backs, but I know that Sean and his staff – the objective is not to have Kyren play every Rams offensive snap and we definitely know he can’t make it.”

Will Ronnie Rivers Get Expanded Action?

Now, the Rams find themselves pivoting back to addressing Williams and how they want to keep him fresh. Snead himself has acknowledged that.

“There’s a tendency not to want him off the field, but you’re well aware he’s going to have to come off,” Snead continued.

That’s going to mean Rivers, the 2022 undrafted rookie who’s worked his way up the Rams’ roster, is one Snead is looking forward to seeing more of.

“And we also like what some of the other backs are doing and looking forward to seeing Ronnie Rivers carry the ball some, as well, because he’s done some nice things from OTAs to now,” Snead said.

Rivers only got 20 snaps against the Bengals in the 19-16 loss in Cincy. And all 20 were on special teams: Six on punt coverage teams, five on kick returns, five on punt returns and four on kickoff coverage.

What Else Could This Mean for Rams Backfield?

Given the fact the Rams aren’t a downhill running team in the era of McVay/Snead, the team rarely carries four to five running back options per game.

Cincinnati, however, held the Rams to just 71 rushing yards and additionally exposed the Rams in this area — blitz pickup.

Matthew Stafford, once sacked just once through the first eight quarters of play in the 2023 season, got pummeled to the ground for six sacks. Stafford has now been sacked more than twice in six of his last 12 starts. And most of his sacks came from blitzes off the edge and a lack of picking up the rushes.

Along with limiting Williams and aiming to play Rivers more, whoever is in the backfield will also need to help stay and block for Stafford. That could mean rookie Zach Evans and veteran Royce Freeman being tasked with that role along with spelling both backs.

Read More