In his third year with the Rams, running back Malcolm Brown has emerged this season as a solid rotational player on the Los Angeles offense. Not only has he had an important impact on special teams, but he is also hitting his stride on the ground.
Last season, Brown put up fewer than 100 yards from scrimmage without a single trip to the end zone. But through seven games this year, the former Texas standout has more than doubled his yardage on the ground and in the air, scoring two touchdowns and recording 127 total yards.
Last week against the Cardinals, Brown was particularly effective on third downs, converting a couple of important plays to extend the Rams drive in the fourth quarter. After a lengthy 10-minute, 16-play drive downfield, the series culminated in a touchdown pass to wide receiver Cooper Kupp to seal a Los Angeles win.
"The offensive line, they made it easy for me," Brown said of his production in Week 7. "The third-down conversions I got with the couple of runs that I had, they made it real easy. The holes were opening up like the Red Sea and I am just out there running."
As he did on Sunday, Brown said he has gone into every game this season with one thing on his mind — to make the most of every opportunity he's given.
"I go into every single game, every time I step on the field [as if] it's the most important play for me," he said. "I'm just going in trying to do what I can to contribute to this team and I am thankful that these coaches have given me the opportunity to do that."
But it's not just the ground attack where Brown has found success. He is also a primary member of the Rams special teams unit.
Under coordinator John Fassel, Los Angeles has been one of the league's most aggressive clubs on special teams. In Week 6 against Jacksonville, the Rams scored two special teams touchdowns, including a blocked punt Brown returned.
"From the first day I stepped in in St. Louis actually my rookie year, I was on the practice squad, but Bones has created just the mindset that special teams is the most important thing," Brown said. "Practicing like we do just pays off every single week."
Heading into the bye, it seems Brown's work ethic is also paying off. Head coach Sean McVay has reiterated many times just how impressed he has been with Brown's mentality and production from the offseason until now.
"You know, Malcolm has a handful of third-down conversation that keeps our defense off the field and keeps the
clock moving in that game the other day," McVay said. "He's just been so steady and done a great job delivering when his opportunities come up."
"I think we've got a lot of good contributors that understand their importance and their role and you try to just make a habit of pointing them out and letting them know by that communication," he continued. "That lets them feel appreciated, because it is recognized and that credit is well deserved."
But Brown isn't neccessarily seeking credit or recognition for big plays. Instead, the running back says he's just hoping "to keep doing what I'm doing," and remain steady through the latter half of the season.
"[When I] go into any game, I say to myself, 'This is the most important play right here,'" Brown said. "I just want to continue to do that and continue to make plays and be consistent. I think that's probably the thing that is most important to me is being consistent with my game."