THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams offensive lineman Kevin Dotson has a hard containing his excitement as he talks about the way the unit was establishing the run game against the Colts last Sunday.
"As an offensive lineman, man, being able to run the ball and we knew that we would be able to run the ball the whole game, so you got to take advantage of that opportunity," Dotson said. "Because those are really the times that – as offensive linemen, you get little praise, if any, so in the run game, you get to show yourself. If you open a lane, that might be the time you get circled in the broadcast, 'look at what Kevin Dotson did,' so I'm going to take advantage of that every time I get a chance."
There were plenty of moments from Dotson for the FOX broadcast crew to highlight on the telestrator in his first career start, a performance which saw him grade out especially when as a run blocker.
Pro Football Focus' 89.3 run blocking grade for Dotson was the highest among all Rams offensive linemen in Week 4 and sixth-highest of all offensive linemen in Week 4. It helped pave the way for running back Kyren Williams' first career 100-yard rushing game, as well as his two touchdowns scored against the Colts.
When Dotson first arrived in L.A. after being traded from Pittsburgh and spoke to theRams.com in late August, he said he felt like his strength was run blocking. He backed up that statement with his play last week.
"I thought he did a really good job," Rams head coach Sean McVay said. "I thought he played with physicality. (I) thought he got good removal. I thought he did a really nice job in protection and just straining to finish. There were a couple times where, like anything there's some snaps that you can learn from, but he had a steady demeanor. I thought he did a great job, especially when we were operating on our silent cadence in the gun. I was really pleased with him. I like his edge. I like his experience. You could feel there was a calm, but there's a toughness to his game that I think is really good for our offense and I was really pleased with him."
For Dotson, the biggest challenge with learning Los Angeles' offense was turning his head around to look at what the quarterback is doing, or tipping the play. Live reps helped with that curve, though.
"That was the only thing that was kind of tough, o-line wise, just because I don't know what's in front of me when I'm turning my head back," Dotson said. "But once I got in there, I realized that they were communicating who was in front of me and stuff like that, so it really wasn't as hard as I expected it to be."
It helped, too, that preparing to start at right guard "wasn't too much of a change," thanks to welcoming teammates whose help set him up for success.
"Everybody's every accepting, informative when I ask questions," Dotson said. "I get a lot of information before this even happened, so when they put me in my spot, it really wasn't too much (an) up-rooting type thing, it was just (a) plug-and-play type thing."