Who Is The Los Angeles Rams Nickel Corner? 4 Rams Training Camp Questions

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The uniforms stay the same but this Los Angeles Rams team looks far different from its 2023 form. All these shifting variables mean plenty to learn as the team goes through the run-up to the season. From an aging quarterback to a completely rebuilt defense, the Rams offseason will be one looking for answers to all these questions.

Top 4 Questions for the Los Angeles Rams Heading into 2024 Training Camp

1. Plan at Quarterback

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This may be more of a 2025 or 2026 question. Still, Matthew Stafford‘s desire for a restructured contract became public, and the two sides of the negotiation have not publicly acknowledged any movement on a new deal. That doesn’t mean the wheels aren’t in motion, but head coach Sean McVay has towed the company line with military precision to keep everything ‘in-house.’

The commonly held belief is that Stafford wants more guaranteed money over the last two years of his contract. After this season he is indeed guaranteed nothing. Still, he will take home $24 million in signing bonuses as well as $23 million in roster and option bonuses if he meets the requirements for those, the biggest being making the Rams roster.

From the team’s perspective, their biggest concern is how Stafford’s contract affects the salary cap. He currently takes up 19.3 percent of the cap. A risk when negotiating with players who may retire or are medically compelled to retire is that the team will be saddled with a cap hit from a player no longer on the team. Aaron Donald is costing $25 million against the cap this season and $10 million next season.

But the succession plan at quarterback will descend quickly and perhaps suddenly upon a franchise that hasn’t had to think about it for the entirety of the McVay coaching era. Even though this question doesn’t need and answer today, they need to be planning on what they will do in the not so distant future.

Stafford’s contract demands today will have an effect on that plan.

2. Defense, Defense, Defense

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There are too many questions to answer on defense. What will the defenses identity be under first time defensive coordinator, Chris Shula. How will they cope with the loss of Aaron Donald? What about the lack of experience along the defensive line? Will Tre’Davious White recover from two devastating injuries?

These are all big questions that won’t actually have answers until the defense takes the field. But there are more specific ones that we will learn more about once training camp commences.

How will the defensive alignment change in the post Donald world?

Donald was called one of the Rams four weight bearing walls by general manager Les Snead. The defense was built to compliment him and he allowed the Rams to skimp in some areas. Without him in there, it changes everything.

First round draft pick, Jared Verse is the perfect example. Verse was at this best in college as a pure pass rusher. The Rams had favored versatile lengthy outside linebackers over the defensive end at edge rusher. Those days look to be over, unless they are attempting to round a square peg.

Who will fill the 5th position along the front five?

The front five will likely be Verse and Byron Young on the edge, Kobie Turner and Braden Fiske in the interior. But that fifth spot is a mystery. There are a few options; Bobby Brown, in the final year of his rookie contract, has yet to be used consistently. They also added Tyler Davis in the draft. They could move Michael Hoecht back inside. He slimmed down and was playing the edge last year. He would have to bulk back up, but has the most NFL experience of the rostered players. Larrell Murchison is a dark horse option to watch in Rams training camp.

Who will play Nickel Corner?

Last season, the Rams split the slot duties among Quentin Lake (378 snaps), Cobie Durant (349), and Russ Yeast (194). Jordan Fuller also played 131 snaps at the position. Tre’Davious White and Darious Williams will likely remain outside only players. This battle will play out during Rams training camp.

3. Will Kyren Williams Miss More Practice Due To Injury

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Kyren Williams much of the spring practices this year due to another foot injury. He first broke his right foot in spring practices of his rookie season. He then suffered a grade three high ankle sprain that forced him to miss the first eight games of that season. Last year, he suffered the same injury to the same right ankle, resulting in a five week stint on the injured reserve.

Williams has said that he will be ready for Rams training camp, which would be a good sign since he as already missed a lot of valuable practice time due to injury. But the risk of a premature return will likely result in more missed time. The Rams will have to balance which is most beneficial.

4. Will the Offensive Line Come Together As Planned

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The biggest moves were adding Jonah Jackson as left guard and subsequently moving Steve Avila to center. Most expect this to come together seamlessly, but questions remain. Jonah Jackson comes with injury concerns, as he had surgery to repair a damaged meniscus.

Avila has experience at the position at the collegiate level. Although he hasn’t played the position since 2021. He was a good center at TCU, but he was a great guard.

The position change isn’t entirely unheard of but there is a learning curve. In addition, there is a bigger workload, as the center is the crux of communication for the offensive line.

It will become apparent at Rams training camp if this comes together based on rep counts. But if it doesn’t the Rams big bet will cost them dearly.