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5 ways the surprising LA Rams can improve in 2018

By in Press Enterprise on January 8, 2018

By Rich Hammond

Now, the narrative shifts. No longer are they the out-of-nowhere Rams. The 2018 season will begin with expectations, and merely maintaining this season’s level won’t take the Rams to the Super Bowl.

Coach Sean McVay pressed the accelerator in 2017, when he helped lift a stagnant franchise to an 11-5 record, an NFC West title and the Rams’ first playoff appearance in 2003. Now, given the landscape, there’s no reason the Rams can’t have similar success next season, but it will take some work.

“Do I think there’s a lot brewing here, and a young football team that’s going to be really good? I do,” left tackle Andrew Whitworth said. “I think this team can be really special.”

The young core of the Rams’ roster should remain intact in 2018, but the schedule is tougher and opponents will have a full season of Rams game film to study this summer.

The Rams will convene again as a team in mid-April, when their offseason program begins. Here’s a checklist of things the Rams can do to improve before the start of the 2018 season:

A GURLEY GAMEPLAN

In the Rams’ playoff loss, the Atlanta Falcons likely provided the template every opponent will use next season in an attempt to slow down running back Todd Gurley. The Falcons loaded up the line of scrimmage and also kept a close eye on Gurley coming out of the backfield on pass plays.

Of course, not every team has the defensive speed and acumen of the Falcons, but McVay is going to have to tweak his plan and come up with a Gurley-centered attack that is less obvious.

It was complicated between McVay and Gurley in 2017. In the rare instances when McVay came under criticism, it was because he didn’t give the ball to Gurley enough. Then, against the Falcons, it seemed […]    

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