One of the biggest additions the Los Angeles Rams made this offseason was their second-round draft pick Steve Avila. L.A. was desperately in need of new, young faces on their offensive line, and they used their first draft pick in April to add the TCU offensive guard.
Avila was a top candidate to start in Week 1 for a majority of training camp and was officially given the call to start in the days prior to the Rams’ victory against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. The Rams did not run the ball with huge efficiency in Week 1, but the offensive lines can hardly be judged on their first performance of the season.
The Rams offensive lineman had plenty of positive things to say about the his team and their faith in him following the 30-13 win to move to 1-0 on the season, according to Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“It’s been a blessing,” Avila said Monday. “I’ve been rolling with the ones throughout camp, but final decision actually comes down to the first game. These guys have a lot of trust in me, feel like I’ve been doing well enough in practice to showcase what I can do on the field. It was an amazing experience. It was stuff that people dream about every night, something that I dreamed about when I was a kid, and it was fun. I had a lot of fun out there.”
Avila kept a couple of things in mind as he went into his NFL debut, and spoke about how he handled his goals after the game.
“One, to not embarrass myself,” Avila said with a chuckle. “Two, don’t get beat quickly. That’s definitely something as an offensive lineman that you need to have at the front of your mind. My assignment as well. So those things kept my head on my shoulder.”
Judging by these reps that were put together in a video by NFL scout Brandon Thorn, Avila was far from embarrassing against the Seahawks:
Rookie LG Steve Avila (OG1) was a legit difference-maker in Week 1 with his ability to anchor, set a firm pocket, recover and generate movement in the run game. Really nice debut. pic.twitter.com/WMrjnoTnEM
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) September 11, 2023
After a solid debut for the Rams, Avila and the entire offensive line can now begin the process of growing as a unit. The running back duo of Kyren Williams and Cam Akers scored three touchdowns but averaged only 2.3 yards per carry. That is expected to improve as the season goes along.
Avila has one game under his belt and has nowhere to go but up as he looks ahead to Week 2.
Teams inquired about Matthew Stafford
The Rams have shown a little bit of faith in their 2023 roster — despite saying that it is closer to a rebuilding season than a contending one — by rejecting all offers for Matthew Stafford. Several teams, including the New York Jets, reached out to make a deal, but the Rams wanted to stick by their veteran and see what he could do.