There’s no denying the Los Angeles Rams’ 2018 season didn’t end the way they hoped it would. However, as disappointing as their embarrassing loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII was, it did serve a purpose.
It gave the team big-game experience, which is especially beneficial for young players. It also proved the Rams are good enough to compete for a championship with the core of Sean McVay, Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald.
For John Franklin-Myers, it caused him to grow up. In a recent interview on the Rams’ official site, the second-year player explained the moment he realized he had become an adult.
“Probably after my rookie year. After the season, going into the playoffs. You don’t realize how hard the NFL is until you make it to the playoffs,” he said. “After we made it to the Super Bowl I became an adult. Experiencing the Super Bowl… that made me grow up whether I wanted to or not. It’s just a different level of focus and attention to detail.”
Franklin-Myers wasn’t a huge contributor during the season. He only played 29.8 percent of the defensive snaps, had just 10 tackles and recorded two sacks. As a fourth-round pick on a team loaded with talent in the front seven, Franklin-Myers was never expected to have a massive impact as a rookie.
In the Super Bowl, though, he recorded a strip-sack on Tom Brady, which could’ve been a key play in the game had the Rams recovered the fumble. The moment wasn’t too big for Franklin-Myers, which was great to see.
Playing so deep into the season – especially coming from the college ranks where the season ends much sooner – made the Super Bowl more difficult for Franklin-Myers, too.
“That and being a rookie and having some type of role. I played on our dime package and a little bit on our base and just having that role in those game,” he said. “The pace picks up so much more. Our coach told us all the time, ‘You think this is fast, just wait for the playoffs’. Well, we get to the playoffs and it’s nothing you can prepare for. Experience is the best teacher. (At the Super Bowl) I don’t think we were outplayed, but sometimes it’s hard to beat experience.”
Now with a year of experience and a Super Bowl experience on his resume, Franklin-Myers should be poised for an improved season in 2019.
Author: Cameron DaSilva