Despite all the turnover from the offseason, the Los Angeles Rams offense remains largely intact.
Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp are tracking to be 100 percent healthy before the start of the 2023 season, while ancillary pieces like Van Jefferson and Cam Akers will be coming back to larger roles within Sean McVay’s scheme.
Another piece of the team that’s been rounding into form is second-year running back Kyren Williams, whom the Rams moved up in the 2022 NFL Draft to get. Williams was largely limited in his rookie season due to injuries, but did manage to appear in 10 games where he carried the football 35 times.
So far, Williams has been an active participant during spring training and OTAs and is drawing rave reviews from McVay in an interview with Rams broadcaster JB Long:
“Offensively, Kyren Williams has been one of the bright spots,” Mcvay said. “He’s done an outstanding job. You forget that he had to overcome a couple injuries that are just, man. And he just stayed the course, did a good job of getting some good experience last year and he and Ron Gould, and I think Cam has been an outstanding leader for that room.”
Williams’ calling card is his pass-catching ability and pass blocking, two key areas that McVay needs out of his running backs in order to stress out opposing defenses. Although the Notre Dame product didn’t get much of a chance to show that last season, he should get more opportunities in 2023.
Akers is widely expected to handle the bulk of the touches out of the backfield, but Williams should have a firm hold on the No. 2 spot considering the rest of the running back room. Los Angeles did take Zach Evans in the sixth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, so there’s a possibility he splits the backup role with Williams.
Sean McVay says Cam Akers will be central figure in offense during 2023
For a while, it felt like the Rams and Akers were heading for a divorce as the running back reportedly took issue with how he was being used offensively. After spending time away from the team, though, Akers returned and started to show real signs of production toward the end of the 2022 season.
With all the drama behind closed doors, Akers has been hard at work during the offseason as he looks to prove he’s one of the better running backs in the league. McVay has high hopes for Akers as he called him one of the central figures in the offense for 2023.