Since Sean McVay’s arrival to the Los Angeles Rams, the franchise has taken significant steps forward. The Rams did experience a notable step back in the 2019 campaign, but this upcoming campaign brings forth the chance to bounce back significantly. With that comes adjustments and changes to get back on top as one of the league’s best teams. McVay recently indicated that the Rams will replicate the San Francisco 49ers in one way in 2020.
Sean McVay’s tenure with the Rams
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The first three years under Sean McVay have seen the Rams bounce back into relevancy in the NFL.
McVay has brought the franchise the stability that the team has lacked for quite some time. That has led to Los Angeles securing a pair of NFC West division titles and playoff appearances highlighted by a Super Bowl 53 berth. It raises the expectations and buzz around the organization to remain a factor in the NFC for years to come.
However, the Rams took a step back in 2019, where they fell just shy of reaching the playoffs that featured some notable struggles. With that territory has come some significant adjustments that McVay plans to take in the 2020 season.
Sean McVay wants to replicate 49ers’ running game plan
The Rams have undergone some significant changes to their roster this offseason highlighted by the departure of star running back Todd Gurley.
That changes the entire outlook with the team’s running back situation for the 2020 season and possibly beyond that. With that in mind, Sean McVay laid during an appearance on The HelliePod that he wants to put forth a similar approach to what the 49ers have with their running game under Kyle Shanahan. (H/T ClutchPoints)
“I think it’ll naturally just work itself out,” McVay said. “You look at that success San Fran had last year with that running back-by-committee approach, what I thought Kyle and their players did a great job of is, ‘Hey, we’re going to have an open-mind approach, we’re going to be committed to trying to have some balance and then we’ll go with the hot hand or whoever really expresses himself as deserving of the carries.’”
The 49ers have used a collective approach to their running game the last couple of years under Shanahan. Last year, that took off with their group of talented running backs in Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, and Matt Brieda gave their offense tremendous balance. What that speaks to more than anything else is a running-back-by-committee approach with a few players sharing the workload.
There may be a starter of the bunch between rookie Cam Akers, Darryl Henderson, and Malcolm Brown, but it will be a balanced workload. Given what the team experienced with Gurley’s becoming worn down from his high usage volume, it has shifted the game plan that McVay wants to take with his running game.
What to expect in the 2020 season
The Rams are coming off a disappointing 2019 campaign that saw them miss the playoffs for the first time under Sean McVay.
That alone has created significant change with the franchise with a renewed movement toward the youth on their roster. It rings quite loudly that the running game approach will have a split-carry game plan in 2020. The initial thought was that Henderson could become the primary back with Gurley gone, but the drafting of Akers has changed things up to that new approach.
It also opens the door to any of the roster’s running backs getting the chance to prove that they deserve the bulk of the workload in the backfield. Each of them has a unique skill set that can separate themselves from the bunch, and the Rams will operate with what works best to move then back into the playoffs and much further than that.