OBJ, Rams hook up could be something special

THOUSAND OAKS (News4usonline) – By the efforts that the Los Angeles Rams are putting into upgrading their roster with superstar talent, there is only one result that will be satisfactory for the organization: A trip to their own stadium for Super Bowl LVI. 

It’s not win or go home for the Rams. The objective is simple: win the Super Bowl or stay down. How else do you explain the Rams’ excavation of future draft picks for proven talent or going wide receiver shopping on the waiver wire?   

Three big moves by the Rams have solidified their quest to make this season a Super Bowl or bust one. Think I’m joking? By adding mercurial wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to their roster, the Rams went from moderate Super Bowl favorites to iron-fisted frontrunners to claim the NFC crown.  

Let’s pump the brakes a little. The addition of Beckham came with a price. Before he had a chance to play with Beckham in a Matthew Stafford-led offense, wide receiver Robert Woods went down for the season with an ACL injury. Picking up Beckham off of waivers after he was released by the Cleveland Browns, now looks like one heck of a move by the Rams.

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
November 13, 2021. Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. at his first press conference with the team. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

“We’re excited about being able to add (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.),” Rams head coach Sean McVay said. “I know there’s going to be a lot of questions about it. I’ve always had a lot of appreciation for his game from afar. And I’ve gotten to know him a little bit over these last couple of years. (I’m) excited to be able to have him come in and watch our guys put their arms around him and help him kind of help our team improve.

“As far as any sort of expectations, we’re going to get him in the building,” McVay added. “We’re going to see how quickly we can get him up to speed with some stuff. We felt like he makes us a better football team. It was a really unique situation being able to acquire a player of his caliber under these types of circumstances.” 

Beckham made his first appearance as a Ram on Saturday, a couple of days before his new team was set to play NFC West Divison rival San Francisco 49ers in a Monday Night Football game. As far as to why he chose the Rams over contenders for his services, Beckham said he let his spiritual consciousness guide him.

“I took a lot of time in the decision-making, and it wasn’t to build anticipation or nothing,” Beckham said. “This is my life. I feel like I’ve been through a lot and I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to play football and I’ve dedicated, sacrificed a lot to be here.

“It just happened that this felt right in my heart, in my soul. I prayed on it, sat back by the fires, just sat in silence, and just tried to listen to what God was telling me, and it just happened to be here,” Beckham added. “This is a tremendous team, 7-2. (I) have a great opportunity to do some great things and I just wanted to be a part of it.”

Beckham gives the Rams the explosive deep-threat that will make their already No. 3 passing offense into a unit that is sure to put defenses on their heels. In five of the eight seasons he has played in the NFL, Beckham has gone over 1,000 yards in receiving. 

Beckham is a three-time Pro Bowl player and has made the NFL Top 100 team in six of his eight seasons. The one dimension Beckham brings to the table is being a game-breaker. After cutting ties with DeSean Jackson, the Rams have given Stafford one of the premier wideouts in the NFL in Beckham. And you better believe that with the potential potency of the Rams’ offense, it’s all good with Beckham.

“Feeling good, man,” Beckham remarked when asked how he was feeling. “Sunshine. Smiles, so I feel blessed to be here”

After the team’s practice on Thursday, Stafford hit the pause button on immediate expectations of Beckham.   

November 13, 2021. The addition of edge rusher Von Miller (40) and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. positions the Los Angeles Rams as a team for NFC opponents to be worried about. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

“I think it’s going to take time to get it,” Stafford said.“It’s going to take work for everybody to be on the same page, him to learn what we’re doing, and how we go about our business, and us two working together and all that kind of stuff. But, what he’s able to do when the ball’s in the air, he’s proven it year after year. 

“He’s outstanding when the ball is in the air, going up and making catches. He’s really good after the catch as well when he can stay grounded and catch and run. He’s obviously a very, very talented player. (I’m) excited about getting the opportunity to work with him and what he can bring to our team.”  

With Beckham joining the team, the Rams are continuing to put the “wow” into their season. Getting Beckham off waivers is just the latest episode.  

Wow. Maybe I should say that again. Wow. The Rams are stacking up perennial Pro Bowlers like putting Christmas presents under the Christmas tree. It already looked like the Rams had the best of both worlds when they traded away Jared Goff for Stafford.

The move to bring Stafford to Los Angeles meant the Rams said good-bye from mediocre to fabulous. 

Just when it looked like the Rams has settled in with their roster in their push to reach the postseason, team general manager Les Snead pulled off a doozy when it was announced that Los Angeles had made a deal to bring quarterback terrorizer Von Miller here. 

So now, a team loaded with stars adds another one in Beckham. The Rams were able to add Beckham after the Cleveland Browns waived him. After he cleared waivers, Beckham had his options of teams to choose from that he could latch onto. The Rams were one of those teams. 

So what does this mean for Stafford and the Rams moving forward? Well, for one, the Rams are clearly in the mindset of looking to get more explosive plays mixed in their offensive strategy. 

Making explosive plays was a hallmark of Jackson, and something that the Rams counted on the veteran receiver to provide with regularity. 

That arrangement did not work out as planned. So the Rams went to Plan B and got rewarded with a player who altered the NFL landscape just by agreeing to bring his talents to Los Angeles. 

With Cooper Kupp and second-year player Van Jefferson operating as mostly possession-type receivers, having someone with the skillset of Beckham will open up the Rams’ offense for a lot of potential big plays. Before he suffered a season-ending injury in practice the day before Beckham’s first presser as a Ram, Woods said he has gotten to know Beckham pretty good and was looking forward to working alongside him.  

“We chatted with him I think ever since he’s been in the league,” Woods said. “Always talked to him on the field, and sometimes training with him at UCLA and U[SC]. Really just a hard worker from what I’ve seen; goes out and tries to be the best, whether it’s in the weight room, on the field, or rehabbing. He’s a really good receiver.”   

Though his numbers this season have not been too hot (17 receptions, 232 yards), Beckham has been more than pretty good in his career. In his rookie season with the New York Giants, Beckham caught 91 balls for 1,305 yards and 12 touchdowns. 

His most productive season as a pro took place in his second year as a pro when he turned 96 catches into 1,450 receiving yards and 13 TDs. Last season, Beckham caught 23 passes for 319 yards in seven games. Kupp is also part of the Beckham admiration society.   

“He’s an incredible football player,” Kupp said. “So just to have the opportunity to take the field someone like that and to have someone like that around here, would be incredible.” 

Featured Image Caption: Odell Beckham Jr. is now a member of the Los Angeles Rams. Photo credit: Dennis J Freeman/News4usonline