<
>

Rams continue (offensive) line dancing in search of right mix

ST. LOUIS -- From the moment he arrived in St. Louis after the 2015 NFL draft, Rams offensive lineman Jamon Brown has made his home at right guard.

In the months since, Brown hadn't so much as taken a rep at any other position. Until Saturday night against the Indianapolis Colts.

In something of a surprise, Brown started the game at left guard, his first exposure to the position since he was a freshman in college. The Rams used Demetrius Rhaney, who started last week's game against Tennessee, at right guard. Barrett Jones got the start in the middle.

Brown said he got word from Fisher within the past couple of days but it must have come on Friday or Thursday night because as recently as Thursday's practice, Brown was still playing on the right side.

"Coach gave me the heads up that they were going to move me to the left side, try to work me around different spots on the line," Brown said. "It wasn't too bad. It's all the same, really. You have just got to flip everything in your head but really other than that, the techniques and stuff are all the same. It's just flipping stances."

Asked about the shuffling after the game, Fisher said he simply wanted to get some of his linemen opportunities to play other spots.

"Just getting them work," Fisher said. "He played quite a bit on the left side in college and we wanted to get him some work there."

To be clear, Brown said he hadn't played left guard since his freshman year of college, though he did play left tackle when he was at Louisville. Rhaney had played some at left guard during the week but worked at right guard during the game and drew praise from Fisher for his ability to get to the second level for blocks, especially in the screen game.

But while Fisher downplayed the moving pieces on his offensive line, it's reasonable to think that some of these moves might be in play long-term. Projected left guard Rodger Saffold is still recovering from a shoulder injury and sat out Saturday night, but he has a history of playing both guard spots. In a smaller sample size, Saffold was better at right guard in 2013 than left guard in 2014 and it would make sense to plug him in there next to rookie right tackle Rob Havenstein when he returned.

Likewise, moving Brown to the left side would allow the Rams the chance to spread the inexperience around the line rather than having both rookies start on the right side.

Only time will tell if the Rams decide to make the move more permanent, but it wouldn't be a surprise if the temporary moves made Saturday night become a bit more permanent in the future.