Sean McVay captured NFL Coach of the Year honors while leading one of the most dramatic franchise renaissances in NFL history, wrestling control of the NFC West away from Seattle in his debut season with the Rams.
What does the league’s latest offensive mastermind have in store for an encore?
Left unsatisfied with his team’s playoff loss to the Falcons, McVay is determined to push a star-studded roster to new heights in 2018.
The Rams took that concept to new heights last season, rushing Goff to the line of scrimmage with enough time for McVay to survey the defensive alignment and provide his quarterback with an audible before the headset shuts off with 15 seconds remaining on the play clock.
To be clear, it’s not the methodology that is revolutionary. Play-callers have been whispering in their quarterback’s ears ever since the prototype radio receiver installed in former Browns quarterback George Ratterman’s helmet went haywire in 1956, picking up outside interference from a local taxi company fielding cab calls.
Of the 28 running backs who recorded more than 125 carries for gains last year, Alex Collins ranked second in yards per carry for positive rush attempts (6.2), trailing only Los Angeles’ Todd Gurley. When the Ravens blocked well for him, Collins was clearly one of the NFL’s most explosive ball-carriers.
Unfortunately, his contributions as a pass-catcher didn’t match up.
Javorius Buck Allen had twice the number of catches as Collins last year, even though the latter racked up 59 more carries. Danny Woodhead, who carried the ball only 14 times and missed half of the season, caught 10 more balls than Collins, who carried the ball 212 times.
At the moment, Baltimore strongly declares run or pass depending on which running back is in the game. If Collins can improve as a pass-catcher, that will go a long way toward improving the Ravens’ unpredictability.