It’s an old cliché that’s being bandied about during the start of the Los Angeles Rams camp, but it could mean a big shakeup in the next few months.
Current Rams right guard Rob Havenstein, who was the team’s starting right tackle in 2016, said that the starting job on the offensive line are up for grabs under new position coach Aaron Kromer, according to ESPN.com. So the focus of the mini-camp up front is for the players to get cross-trained so that the five best players will start.
That could be problematic for Greg Robinson, who started at left tackle last season, was a former second-overall draft pick (in 2014) and has led the league in penalties over the past two seasons.
“I think a lot of guys are cross-training, because we don’t know where we’re going to be,” Havenstein told reporters from the team facility on Tuesday, the start of the Rams’ veteran minicamp, as ESPN.com reported. “Coach Kromer said it — the best five are going to play, whoever that is. Guys are going to have to compete, work for the job; obviously myself included. We’re going to be fighting to get better together.”
The Rams were last in total offense and points scored in 2016. They finished 31st among the 32 teams in both passing offense and rushing offense. Quarterback Jared Goff suffered 25 sacks in L.A.’s final six games and running back Todd Gurley had the second-fewest rushing yards per attempt, ESPN.com added.
Los Angeles signed left tackle Andrew Whitworth and center John Sullivan in the offseason, leaving the other Rams fighting for three spots.
Robinson twice was benched last season, graded 71st among 78 eligible tackles by Pro Football Focus and has committed 31 penalties combined in 2015 and 2016, according to another ESPN.com report.
Though he is penciled in at right tackle during the Rams camp, Havenstein also has experience there, and if the Rams find better options at guard, Robinson could easily find himself as the odd man out.
And that’s not exactly where he wants to be as he enters the final year of his four-year, $21 million contract with Los Angeles.