The Los Angeles Rams 2019 regular-season opener is creeping closer and closer as they get set to take on the Carolina Panthers this Sunday. Although many players have been through several season openers, certainly nerves and jitters are prevalent.
For second-year center Brian Allen and left guard Joseph Noteboom, this season opener will mark a chapter in their careers. Each player will be starting on the Rams’ offensive line for the first time.
Although the Panthers had a mediocre defense last year, they did excel at stopping the opposing team’s run game due to their strong defensive line so the Rams offensive line will have their work cut out for them.
According to Stu Jackson of TheRams.com, Noteboom is excited for a chance to stop that tough defensive line:
“You wouldn’t really want anybody else,” Noteboom said. “They’ve got (DT) Gerald McCoy, (DT) Kawann Short, so it’s no easy task, but you wouldn’t want an easy game the first game. It’s a good one to come out to.”
McCoy, a former All-Pro defensive tackle, is entering his tenth year in the league. Thus far he has put up a career total of 54.5 sacks and 140 quarterback hits. He is one of Carolina’s new additions this year and will certainly improve their defensive line.
Short has also had a solid six-year career with the Panthers, totaling 32.5 sacks and 84 quarterback hits. He was selected for the Pro Bowl last year and in 2015.
Allen will be a key member of the offensive line as he is taking over at center for 10-year veteran John Sullivan. Allen is planning on becoming the leader that the center position demands:
“I’ve got to be loud, I’ve got to be making sure everyone’s on the same page,” Allen said. “Even if we’re wrong, being wrong together. I think that’s one thing that young guys will do, is get in there and if there’s something they don’t know, they’re going to be quiet or hesitant. With me, I’m making the call and we’re going whether it’s right or wrong.”
Allen will be making adjustments to ensure that he can fill that role to the best of his abilities. Being only a second-year player, he will have lots to learn in order to lead the offensive line.
For Noteboom, he feels that he will not need much adjustment from the preseason to the regular season:
“Not much,” Noteboom said, when asked what changes shifting from that approach into the regular season. “Just know, when you’re preparing, you don’t have another day of practice to get back. In training camp, you have a bad day, you can come in and fix it, but now, you’ve got to prepare like it’s a game every day. Just being prepared, studying more than ever, working hard.”
Hopefully, the Rams young players have made the adjustments they need to be under the bright lights each and every game as the team looks to return to the Super Bowl and win it all this year.
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