The Los Angeles Rams are fresh off winning the franchise’s second Super Bowl and first in “Tinseltown.” Now they are back at work hoping to become the first repeat SB champions since the 2003-04 New England Patriots.
The Rams did everything they needed to in the offseason to ensure they give themselves the best shot at repeating. They gave three-time DPOY Aaron Donald a new deal, making him the highest-paid defensive player in the league. The Rams also paid reigning Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp, who’s become a top-five player in the league at wide receiver and, to some analysts, is already a Hall of Famer.
GM Les Snead, who famously wore a shirt that said “F–k them picks,” to the championship parade wasn’t done, as he signed former Seahawks stalwart middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. While all of this is great, the one piece that made them SB contenders was adding former Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford during the 2021 offseason. It was a deal that had to be made as the team felt it had peaked with former No.1 overall pick Jared Goff under center.
Local reporter Seth Wickersham details how the Stafford came about:
“They met for drinks poolside, talking football. A bond forged over sun and booze. McVay returned to his hotel and, a few tequilas in, he says ‘now,’ hopped on a FaceTime with Rams brass, unleashing a plea that’s now legendary around the team’s office.
‘Here’s the f***ing deal, OK? We can sit here and exist and be OK winning 9 to 11 games a year, and losing in the divisional round and feel like, ‘Oh, everything’s OK.’ Or we could let our motherf***ing nuts hang, and go trade for this f***cking quarterback, and give ourselves a chance to win a f***ing world championship. You ready to f***ing do this or what?”
“Laughs followed, not pushback. Stafford was an obvious upgrade, and within days he was a Ram.”
— NFL (@NFL) January 31, 2021
This excerpt displays just how much McVay and Rams brass had grown tired of Goff’s inability to step up in big games. It didn’t take a lot to convince them to mortgage the farm to land Stafford in a trade from the Lions.
“F–k them picks” is a real thing, and when you win it all after trading away a ton of picks, you can walk around with a shirt like that.
McVay And Stafford Had Instant Chemistry
The chemistry between the quarterback and the offensive playcaller is of the utmost importance. With Stafford, McVay didn’t have to dummy down his play calls, and Stafford’s strong arm ensures that all throws are available. Goff’s limited arm strength and lack of pocket toughness hurt the offense often and especially in the bigger games. Stafford and McVay had a few tense moments, but it was always sorted out with respect and decency. That chemistry allowed them to remain in unison and it showed throughout the Super Bowl-winning 2021 season.
Matthew Stafford and Sean McVay kicked off their partnership in style on Saturday night with a dinner in Los Cabos, Mexico https://t.co/Bayg3epKbP
— The MMQB (@theMMQB) February 1, 2021
Stafford Having Elbow Issues In Camp? Cause For Concern
When you hear elbow problems that’s usually associated with pitchers and baseball. But Stafford has been bothered by an elbow issue all camp, and it’s a becoming a bit worrisome. Stafford spoke to ESPN about his elbow recently, and in typical Stafford fashion he downplayed it.
“I just have a little soreness. We’re working through it. I feel pretty good today. I thought it looked pretty good. But just trying to be smart with it and making feel as good as I can feel going into Week 1 while still getting as many reps I can, too.”
For the Rams’ sake they’d better hope so. No Stafford, no shot at repeating.