When you think about the Rams' 2018 season, there are probably a few moments that immediately come to mind.
And it's likely safe to assume that tight end Gerald Everett's 40-yard touchdown down the right sideline of the Coliseum to beat the Chiefs on Monday Night Football is among them.
In Everett's second year as a pro, he caught 33 passes for 320 yards with three touchdowns — none bigger than that long catch that helped seal the highest-scoring game in Monday Night Football history. He also took a pair of carries for 16 yards, displaying head coach Sean McVay's play creativity with tight end jet sweeps.
Then in the postseason, Everett had a key reception in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game. On 3rd-and-3 from the L.A. 16, quarterback Jared Goff was able to find Everett for an off-schedule play. Everett caught the pass on the right side then rumbled up the field for a 39-yard gain to put L.A. in New Orleans territory.
But generally, the Rams' tight end production could certainly stand to improve in 2019. While Los Angeles' offensive production hasn't left much to be desired in the first two years under McVay, tight ends have accounted for only 107 receptions for 1,227 yards with eight touchdowns. Breaking that down further, that's an average of 53.5 receptions for 613.5 yards with four touchdowns per season from all tight ends.
Speaking at the league meetings in Phoenix this week, McVay told assembled reporters it's fair to expect more from the tight ends in 2019 — especially Everett.
"Really, we talked about it a little bit last year — Gerald was doing an outstanding job in the offseason program and in training camp. And then he had a shoulder injury that set him back and he missed some time," McVay said "But he was doing a lot of those things that I think we saw as the season progressed. But his opportunities when he's making plays like that — he provides a skillset that's hard because he can do some different things specific to lining up all over the formation."
"But then I thought you saw him really compete well in the run game — whether it be at the point of attack or when he's cutting somebody off on the backside," McVay continued. :He just matured as a player. But his skill set, you see why we drafted him as high as we did because of some of the things he can do when you see the plays he's making against Kansas City, or even his rookie year he did some stuff when you cut up some of his best plays, you say, 'This guy's got some special ability.'"
As the Rams get into their offseason program in a few weeks, it seems fair to expect L.A. to work toward making the tight end a more featured aspect of the offense in 2019.