Rams News: Sean McVay Explains Rationale Behind Signing Jonah Jackson & Moving Steve Avila To Center

Originally published by RamsNewswire.com

The Los Angeles Rams used the 2023 season to reinvent head coach Sean McVay’s offense as they moved away from the pass-heavy scheme in favor of a more physical, run-first identity.

McVay and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur revamped the run game to include more plays up the middle rather than their preferred wide-zone runs. The shift in running philosophy worked as Los Angeles was able to move the chains more effectively.

After seeing the run game succeeed, the Rams doubled down on their offensive line investment by re-signing Kevin Dotson and bringing in Jonah Jackson on a three-year deal in free agency. Jackson will slide in at left guard, pushing Steve Avila to center.

McVay discussed how the decision to slide Avila to center came about, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:

“Moving Avila to center “was never really part of the plan, until you realize, ‘wow, Coleman Shelton voided his contract,’” McVay said, referring to Shelton voiding the final year of his deal and becoming a free agent. They wanted to bring Shelton back, but by nature of evaluating the guard market, getting Kevin Dotson’s deal done ahead of the negotiating period, and realizing there was a possibility they could get Jackson, those plans began to fall into place.

“Hey, Kevin’s at right guard, Jonah played left guard, and oh by the way, this stud rookie left guard that you had, he was an excellent center at TCU,” McVay said. “And when you want to try to be able to improve and push the envelope with the interior parts of the offensive line, it really wasn’t part of the plan until you realize, wow, we might be able to get Jonah Jackson, and if we did that, even went back and started watching – and this all came together last minute – TCU, and you say, you know what, he did a great job at center, there’s a lot of work.”

As McVay noted, Avila played center at a high level in college so the move shouldn’t affect him too much. If the offensive line can build on 2023, then the Rams should be in store for another successful year running the football.

Jonah Jackson says it means a lot to be part of Rams organization

Los Angeles capitalized on the opportunity to sign a quality guard in Jackson who was a fixture for the Detroit Lions. Jackson was excited to come to the Rams and said it means a lot to him to be part of the organization.

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