Thursday, June 06, 2019

Austin Blythe aiming to become 'more physical, dominant player'

By: Cameron DaSilva | 21 hours ago

The Los Angeles Rams made a change to their offensive line last season, but not necessarily by choice. Right guard Jamon Brown was facing a two-game suspension to start the year, and so they had to find a short-term replacement.
Well, their interim right guard became the permanent one with Austin Blythe starting every game for the Rams last season. The center-turned-guard had a strong first season as a starter in 2018, but it was by no means perfect.
Blythe knows there are areas in which he has to improve in order to take the next step in 2019.
“Just being a more consistent football player,” Blythe said, via Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic. “I think I started the season out strong last year but you know, down the stretch, like I said that I took for granted how my body was feeling, didn’t get the treatment and recovery stuff I needed. But number two, just being a more physical, dominant player both in the run and the pass. And having fun with it, too. Towards the end of the season, I probably put a little too much pressure on myself and I’ve just to remember I’m a good football player and I’m in the position I am because I’m a good football player. So just remembering that and having fun with it.”
Blythe mentioned that he thought his body was feeling good during the season, but he may not have been as healthy as he could’ve been.
“I thought I was feeling healthy, but looking back I think there are some things I can do to get in the training room — just small things — just recovery stuff and making sure I’m feeling great come day time,” he said.
The Rams did draft two offensive linemen in Bobby Evans and David Edwards, but that doesn’t put Blythe in danger of losing his job. He’s almost certain to be the starting right guard again and Sean McVay is looking forward to him becoming an even better player in Year 2.
“I think just continue to take steps,” McVay said of what he wants to see from Blythe. “He played really good football. I think when you look at just production in the run game, production in pass pro, having an understanding and a mastery of some of the things we’re trying to do specific to our identity offensively. He’s got great athleticism – when you want to measure some of the lengths and things like that, he plays long, he plays fast, he plays physical, and he was productive. And I think that’s a real credit to him.”
Blythe is entering a pivotal season, not only because the Rams are welcoming two new starters on the offensive line with Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen, but because it’s the final year of his contract.
The Rams rewarded Rob Havenstein last offseason before he played the last year of his rookie deal, and a similar approach could be taken with Blythe. However, it’s likely they’ll want to see a larger sample size from the one-year starter.
If he gets off to a good start, though, don’t be surprised to see the Rams extend a contract his way.

Popular Posts