NEWPORT BEACH (News4usonline) – This could be a make-or-break season for Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers. For the Rams, it would be wonderful if the fourth-year running back out of Florida State produces the type of spectacular season they envisioned Akers having when they selected him with the No. 52 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Even though he has not been able to produce the numbers that would back him up, Akers no doubt believes he is a premier running back in the NFL.
“Considering how my career started out, I see, know what I can do,” Akers told a group of reporters on the eve of the team’s training camp.”I know I deserve to be a starter in this league, so this is the year. This is the year…keep my head down, go to work, prove myself.”
This is the season for Akers to prove he is that guy for the Rams. Akens is due for a breakout season. The Rams have patiently waited for the explosive potential of Akers to turn into fruition.
Being the team’s No. 1 running back over the past few seasons has been sort of an unbalanced and rocky journey for Akers. He showed promise in his rookie season, rushing for 786 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Along the way, Akers averaged an impressive 4.2 yards per carry on his 188 rushing attempts.
That promise was short-circuited in 2021 when Akens saw his season wiped out due to a torn Achilles. He ended up with just three yards on five carries for that abbreviated 2021 season. Looking to regain his previous form, Akers proved to be serviceable as a running back, gaining 625 yards on 145 rushing attempts. However, those numbers are pedestrian at best.
Akers knows he’s on the clock to do more this season. He seems up for the challenge, saying that in prepping for training camp was focusing on his weight. Durability is one of the key assets that a running back has in the NFL. Being mentally focused is another critical component. Akers said he concentrated on both before he got to training camp.
“Just making sure my weight was where it needed to be and obviously, mentally, making sure I was where I needed to be,” Akers said. “Those are probably the two biggest things; making sure I was staying on top of my weight and being where I need to be mentally.”
In terms of getting mentally ready for training camp and the season, Akers said he relied on a couple of useful tools.
“Study, watch film, go back and go over the OTA reps that I had a few weeks ago, watch the other guys in the room…their reps, just making sure I can learn from them and learn from myself; my mistakes, their mistakes,” Akers said. “Anything we do good, too. Just making sure I’m learning.”
Being a complete back in the NFL is not the only thing that Akers has learned since has come into the league. He also knows not to put too much pressure on himself. When asked if there was a particular number or yardage goal he expected to reach this season, Akers calmly flicked off the question like swatting away a fly.
“I can’t really pinpoint what I’m going for,” Akers said. “ I just know I’m going to shoot for the stars.”
Top Photo Caption: January 30, 2022. Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers (23) looks for running room against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. Photo credit: Mark Hammond/News4usonline
Dennis has covered and written about politics, crime, social justice, sports, and entertainment. Dennis currently covers the NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, and Olympic sports. Dennis is the editor of News4usonline.com and serves as the publisher of the Compton Bulletin newspaper. He earned a journalism degree from Howard University.