As has been well documented since the end of the season, the Rams were the only team in the NFL to have all five starters on the offensive line play each of the first 15 games of the season. And the only reason the group didn't start in Week 17 was head coach Sean McVay's decision to rest key players to prepare for the postseason.
Now that Los Angeles has re-signed center John Sullivan, the club will at least begin the offseason program on April 16 returning all five of its starters — left tackle Andrew Whitworth, left guard Rodger Saffold, Sullivan, right guard Jamon Brown, and right tackle Rob Havenstein.
"We want to be able to keep the same starting five," McVay said. "I think being able to continue to have that continuity is going to be an important piece for our offense to try to be able to sustain some success."
And that's an offense that finished No. 10 in total yards, No. 10 in yards passing, No. 8 in yards rushing, and No. 1 in points. So being able to build upon the performance the offense displayed in 2017 will certainly be a significant factor in whether or not the Rams are able to repeat as NFC West champions.
But even though the Rams are returning their five up front, they would still like to improve the unit's depth. Last week, McVay acknowledged just how rare it is to get through a season so healthy on the offensive line.
"A lot of times, luck comes into it. I think it is a large credit to those players, and then you look at what Reggie and Ted do in terms of the program that they implement," McVay said, referring to head trainer Reggie Scott and head strength and conditioning coach Ted Rath.
But with the left side of the line getting older, McVay essentially added that the Rams have to be conscious of father time.
"Not only because of the possibility of injuries, but we do have some veterans up front — particularly on the left side of the line — that they don't look like they're slowing down by any stretch, and we hope that's not the case," McVay said. "But, eventually, you're going to have to figure out what you're going to do down the road."
Specifically, Whitworth turned 36 in December, Sullivan will turn 33 during training camp, and Saffold will turn 30 in June.
So while the Rams do have some depth pieces up front, they appear likely to add talent to the unit either through free agency or the draft.