After several months of anticipation, the football is finally here as the reigning Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots will kickoff the 2017 NFL season against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. With so much player movement in the offseason, it will be interesting to see who makes the most noise in Week 1 of live action.
The Los Angeles Rams are heading into the new season with renewed optimism after adding players like Andrew Whitworth, Robert Woods, and Sammy Watkins. With a revamped offense under Sean McVay, the Rams should finally boast a competent passing and running attack that will give fans something to cheer about.
While the offense is sure to improve, the defense remains relatively steady despite Aaron Donald continuing to hold out in hopes of a contract situation. For inside linebacker Mark Barron, he is solely focused on their opener against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1 after sitting out the preseason. According to Gary Klein of Los Angeles Times, Barron is preparing the best he can despite the lack of reps:
I’ve got to make it work,” Barron said this week. “Of course you want to be able to get a whole off-season in and get all those reps, but I had to make sure I felt good for Week 1, so I’m going to make it work.”
New defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is bringing his 3-4 defensive scheme to Los Angeles and it remains to be seen how Barron will look after missing the preseason to nurse his shoulder. Regardless, the 27-year-old seems ready to go and should have no trouble disrupting the Colts’ offense with Andrew Luck sitting out.
The Rams have plenty to prove after a lackluster return to Los Angeles, but all signs point to a more competitive squad on the field. With all the new additions to the team, the Rams may finally be on the way to football relevancy.