Rams admit how they dropped the ball on Allen Robinson catching passes
Allen Robinson was supposed to be an upgraded complement to star receiver Cooper Kupp in the passing attack.
Cam Akers was once again supposed to become an important part of the rushing attack.
Perhaps both situations will play out that way Sunday when the Rams play the Atlanta Falcons at SoFi Stadium.
That definitely was not the case in the Rams’ 31-10 defeat to the Buffalo Bills last Thursday.
Robinson got exactly two targets. He caught one pass for 12 yards.
Robinson, 29, did not sound frustrated when he spoke with reporters Wednesday.
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“Everybody wants to get opportunities,” Robinson said, adding, “In some games that’s how it goes sometimes.
“So … go back to the drawing board and try to figure out how we can get better.”
Robinson is a ninth-year pro. He has eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving three times. The Rams believed they were upgrading when they signed him to a three-year, $46.5 million contract that includes slightly more than $30 million in guarantees, and then promptly traded Robert Woods to the Tennessee Titans.
McVay and quarterback Matthew Stafford took responsibility for Robinson’s quiet debut.
“You’ve got to get him more involved,” McVay said in an understatement.
Robinson handled the situation with aplomb, according to McVay.
“He’s the epitome of a pro’s pro,” he said.
The Rams are at their best when they force defenses to defend “every blade of grass on the field,” Stafford said, adding that could do a better job of getting receivers touches early so they can get into the rhythm.
“I’ve never played receiver but I imagine the more you catch the ball, the sooner you catch it in the game, the better you feel about it,” he said.
Akers, a second-round draft pick in 2020, was sidelined nearly all of last season while recovering from an Achilles injury. During training camp, he said he looked forward to amplifying the skills he showed during his rookie season, when he rushed for 625 yards and performed well in the playoffs.
But with Darrell Henderson playing the majority of snaps against the Bills, Akers was on the field for only 12 plays. He did not gain a yard in three carries.
On Friday, McVay said Akers needed to maximize opportunities and show “an increased level of urgency and accountability snap in and snap out.”
The Rams couldn’t run and allowed seven sacks in the season-opening loss to Buffalo, and now injuries mean the offensive line will have new starters.
Akers said that McVay had discussed the issue with him during training camp. He said if McVay did not think he was being urgent enough, then he would be more urgent.
“Whatever coach says, man, I’m going to take it and learn from it … and go from there whether I think it’s right or not,” Akers said. “Maybe I’m not always right.”
Akers was asked if fans would see a different Akers and different Rams team Sunday.
“I wouldn’t say a different Cam Akers but different Rams team for sure,” he said. “Hopefully, they get to see me in general on the field in a win. Whether I’m on the field or not, we just want to win.”
McVay said he does not believe in “messaging the team through the media,” and that he was surprised that his comments regarding Akers “got a little bit more play than maybe what I had anticipated.”
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Akers will “respond the right way,” he said.
“We’ve absolutely had conversations where it’s because of the belief that I have, why I’m pushing him,” McVay said. “Where guys should be worried is if I’m not believing, if I stop coaching, or don’t think you’re capable of it, that’s when I would be concerned about it.”
Receiver Van Jefferson (knee), offensive linemen Joe Noteboom (knee) and center Brian Allen (knee) and long-snapper Matthew Orzech (calf) did not practice, according to the Rams injury report. Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd (knee) was limited.
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