THOUSAND OAKS — Wide receiver Allen Robinson and running back Cam Akers, two of the Rams’ best offensive weapons, combined for only 12 yards in the season-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills last week.
Rams coach Sean McVay had a simple solution to get Robinson more involved moving forward after an underwhelming Rams debut in which the 6-foot-3 wideout only saw two targets.
“We just got to get more opportunities for Allen,” McVay said.
But it’s far from simple for the murky situation that transpired with Akers, who spent most of his time on the sideline against the Bills and finished with no yards on three carries.
McVay said last week Akers needed to maximize his opportunities and that he wanted to see an increased level of urgency from his third-year running back. On Wednesday, McVay expanded further by saying his challenge toward Akers was his way of helping him reach his potential.
“It can be taken in a direction where I’m challenging somebody,” McVay said. “It’s a result of my confidence in him and the expectations we have and what we need him to be, which isn’t anything more than what he’s capable of. … I love Cam. I want him to be able to be a guy that we’re heavily able to lean on, both he and (running back) Darrell (Henderson).
“I’ve never been somebody that believes in messaging the team through the media. I was just answering a question honestly and it got a little bit more play than maybe what I anticipated, but bottom line is this is a guy that I have a lot of confidence in. I know he’s going to respond the right way.”
Akers said he was caught off guard by his lack of playing time against the Bills, but he was aware of McVay wanting him to have more urgency because they have had conversations about it in the past.
“Whatever Coach says I’m going to take it and learn from it,” Akers said. “Whatever you want to say, I’m going to take it and learn from it and go from there. Whether I think it’s right or not. Maybe I’m not always right.”
Akers guessed that McVay wants more urgency from him in practices, but McVay said it had nothing to do with practice.
“If Coach don’t think I’m being urgent, then be more urgent,” Akers said. “That’s what it comes down to.”
McVay said he also had a conversation with Robinson and asked him for patience. Robinson joined the Rams in free agency after signing a three-year, $46.5 million contract.
“I have all the confidence in the world in this coaching staff and my teammates,” Robinson said. “We have all the confidence in the world in Coach McVay.”
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford said one solution to get Robinson more involved is by giving him a few targets early in games. As for Akers, McVay said he plans to utilize him against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.
“When we’re at our best on offense, we’re getting everybody involved,” Stafford said. “We’re making the defense defend every player on our team, every blade of grass on the field. We can do a better job of that. I can do a better job of distributing the football to those guys, getting those guys touches early on in games and helping them feel in the rhythm of the game.”
WAGNER HONORS KOBE
Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner honored the late Kobe Bryant in his first Rams game by sporting images of the Lakers’ legend on his thigh pads last week against the Bills.
“He’s somebody that has inspired me,” said Wagner, who grew up in Ontario. “I think he was one of the first players that I’ve watched from start to finish. He was somebody that I looked up to growing up. Obviously, his untimely death hit the world and I felt like with me coming back to L.A., I think it was a way to honor somebody that’s done a lot in my life that he probably didn’t even know.”
Mamba Mentality, always. 🤞 pic.twitter.com/2XgCo7Hxso
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) September 13, 2022
RAMS ADD FORMER CHARGERS GUARD
The Rams added veteran offensive guard Oday Aboushi to their practice squad.
Aboushi had a productive one-year stint as the Chargers’ starting right guard before tearing his ACL in Week 5 of last season. He has an opportunity to quickly join the Rams’ 53-man roster with the team dealing with injuries on the offensive line. The Rams also activated offensive guard Jeremiah Kolone from the practice squad.
Tremayne Anchrum is scheduled to receive his first career start at right guard Sunday against the Falcons with Coleman Shelton leaving the position to fill Brian Allen’s void at center. Allen is expected to be sidelined two to four weeks after undergoing a knee procedure.
“He’s earned the right,” McVay said about Anchrum starting. “I have true confidence in him, but you never really know until they get out there. But based on this guy’s body of work, his demeanor, his disposition, the way he handles himself, by no means do I think it’s going to be anything but a great opportunity that he’s gonna maximize and capitalize on.”
Left tackle Joe Noteboom (knee) and wide receiver Van Jefferson (knee) were listed as “did not participate” on the first injury report of Week 2.
Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, who’s also dealing with a knee injury, was a limited participant.
McVay has expressed confidence that Noteboom will be ready to play against the Falcons. He had a different turn for Jefferson, who missed last week’s season opener.
“Taking it a week at a time,” McVay said.
— Gilbert Manzano (@GManzano24) September 14, 2022