THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – After not seeing any action during the 2021 season and mainly playing on special teams as a rookie in 2020, Rams offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum Jr. is slated to get a long-awaited opportunity this week.
With Coleman Shelton getting moved to center in place of Brian Allen (out 2-4 weeks due to knee procedure), Anchrum is slated to start at right guard for Los Angeles this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
"I'm really excited," Anchrum said during a video conference Monday morning. "I've work really hard, been doing everything I can to prepare just to play anywhere, honestly, to get a chance to be on this line."
Anchrum was primarily a tackle by trade coming out of Clemson when the Rams drafted him in the seventh round in 2020, but the position isn't entirely new to him. He repped at guard in training camp and the preseason, and also played it in high school.
Still, even with that familiarity, there was a little bit of an adjustment as the Rams began developing him into a guard.
Transitioning from tackle to guard, Anchrum said a lot of the nuances speed up when it comes to a player's steps and hand placement. While there was a lot of carryover, the way certain blocks are hit, a player's intentions – much of. the emphasis done with combination blocks start with the guard, which inherently requires them to come off faster, initiate contact and make decisions quicker.
"It's not a lot of thinking, it's a lot of a lot of doing. And it's kind of built off of instincts," Anchrum said. "A lot of the really good guards in this league, it seems like they're just playing reckless, fast, like barbarians. But really, they just have done it so much that it's instinct for them to hit blocks, get off, shift to the next level, do all these things. And really just repping that and hammering in these instincts – not breaking so much that habits that I learned at tackle, but just rewiring my mind to use the techniques faster, in different ways when I got inside."
Along the way, he's picked up bits and pieces from teammates on how to excel in his role.
From left guard David Edwards, what diligently studying opponents looks like, as well as hand plans and body positioning.
"How am I going to hit these blocks? How am I going to have my pass pro ready? What can I take from the last game, what can I bring into this game?" Anchrum said.
From former Rams right guard Austin Corbett, how to play fast and physical and trust his technique.
"Whenever I watch Austin Corbett, I see a really high motor, I see a brawler, I see a guy that's in the fray a lot," Anchrum said. "When you ever watch him, you just see him really commit. He plays fast, he plays strong, right or wrong, he's gonna go and I think that served him better than it served him worse."
Anchrum will be playing alongside a center he hasn't repped with as much in the past, which means he has to get a feel for how Shelton hits blocks and Shelton's comfort with certain things. For example, one center might like his guard using a lot of hands and "getting long," another may like his guard "throwing his body in there and being reckless." All of which takes time, reps, communication and "above all, a lot of grit that you have to work through."
Shelton is confident he'll be prepared.
"Tremayne's been here a good amount and he works hard and he's ready to roll," Shelton said. "We're excited to be able to let him go play and have fun playing next to him."