Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said he would be utilizing both Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson in the backfield during the 2022 season, but that wasn’t the case in Week 1.
Akers played a meager 12 snaps, carrying the ball three times for zero yards. Meanwhile, Henderson received 13 carries that he turned into 47 yards.
McVay explained Akers’ limited usage was due to a lack of urgency from the young running back, and Akers took those comments in stride, via Sarah Barshop of ESPN:
“If Coach don’t think I’m being urgent, then [I need to] be more urgent,” Akers said. “That’s what it comes down to.”
When asked what he thought McVay was referencing when he cited a need for increased urgency, Akers said, “Probably more so in practice, I would think. Not in a game, obviously, because that was the first game. Probably practice.
“Whatever Coach says, I’m going to take it and I’m going to learn from it. Whatever you want to say. I’m going to take it and learn from it and go from there. Whether I think it’s right or not, maybe I’m not always right.”
Akers said he thought he “did decent” in the game on Thursday, but said there’s “always room to improve, though.” ”
And I want to improve,” Akers said. “I don’t think I’m perfect.”
It’s encouraging to hear Akers say he’s heeding what McVay said about urgency, and the Rams will need his explosiveness in order to establish their complementary style of football. Akers did deal with a soft tissue injury that forced him to miss time in training camp, but he looked fine in his limited opportunities against the Buffalo Bills.
Week 2 will say a lot about McVay’s confidence in Akers as they take on a young Atlanta Falcons team. It’s a good chance for the Rams and Akers to build some momentum going forward.