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Pat Shurmur Brings New Look to St. Louis Rams' Offense

PHILADELPHIA - 2005:  Pat Shurmur of the Philadelphia Eagles poses for his 2005 NFL headshot at photo day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Getty Images)
john dmytrukCorrespondent IMarch 21, 2009

The Rams' official Web site has reported that their offense will look different this coming season.  The Rams will be playing a version of the Philadelphia Eagles' "West Coast" offense. 

The scheme will put more emphasis on running the ball. The passes will be short, and will require the receivers to run after making a catch.

The shorter passes should help the offensive line.  They will not have to protect Bulger for as long. While the shorter pass protection time might help the line, the line will now be required to make a lot more calls.

As for the receivers, speed will be required, as well as a good set of hands.

While writing this article, I mulled over how defenses would react.  One defensive reaction would be to contract by bringing the defensive back up to the line.  This would give opportunities of longer passes.

But to be honest, I am more interested in the offensive possibilities.  The passing play now becomes hybrid running play.  When the offense targets a particular area of the defense, they will flood that area with players.

Remember that receivers now have to not only catch the ball, but run with it.  So now, that receiver will have blockers ready for him.  It also opens up the possibility of a misdirection pass. They could flood a defensive area while going to another.

Another thing to remember is that you need 10 yards for a first down, and it doesn't say how you get it. Any combination of three or four yards per play from scrimmage will get you that first down.

I like the possibilities in the offensive scheme.  You have more control. You can eat more time off the clock with the running and short passes while wearing the defense down.   

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