The Los Angeles Rams Are Ready for Their Close-Up

The Rams’ big off-season just got a little but bigger.

After January’s announcement that the team would re-locate from St. Louis to Los Angeles, things haven’t slowed down very much for Stan Kroenke’s much-scrutinized franchise. After a free agency period that saw long-time contributors like James Laurinaitis, Chris Long, and Janoris Jenkins leave the team, recent announcements indicate that the tumult has just begun.

Yes, news has broken that the Rams will be the featured franchise in this year’s installment of HBO’s Hard Knocks series. The move makes a lot of sense for many different reasons, both football and business-elated. For one, the franchise’s transition to LA has been one of the biggest off-season stories and will be a central focus of the program.

The Los Angeles Rams Are Ready for Their Close-Up

Additionally, the Rams are a franchise that features some of the game’s most exciting young stars such as 2014 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Aaron Donald and 2015 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Todd Gurley, and it’s a shrewd marketing move to document the journeys of these two as they blossom into household names.

Furthermore, the Rams figure to be one of the few teams in the league that will feature a quarterback training camp battle. Case Keenum has been named the starter for off-season activities, but Nick Foles remains in the mix, and the franchise could very possibly add another signal caller to the depth chart via the 2016 NFL Draft.

Finally, the Rams make a solid fit for the program because they truly feel like a team on the cusp of breaking through. Over the last four seasons, the Rams have posted records of 7-8-1, 7-9, 6-10, and 7-9, respectively. Clearly, the teams has some talent, but hasn’t quite been able to take the next step and break the .500 barrier while entering the playoff mix. Other teams have experienced a bit of a “Hard Knocks Push” and made playoff runs after appearing on the show. Will the 2016 Rams be the next team to accomplish this feat?

All in all, when you consider these factors, the 2016 edition of Hard Knocks is shaping up to be interesting television. The series is set to premiere on Tuesday, August 10th, at 10 p.m. Eastern, and will be another step towards the kickoff of the NFL season.

As if all of that news wasn’t big enough, the Rams are expected to be a big part of the NFL’s further goal of global expansion. The team is set for a London game in 2016, but the breaking news is that the franchise is expected to play a home game in China in 2018. This is a big step for the growth of the game in international markets, something that has been a clear goal of NFL decision-makers in recent history, and something that is poised to become a very meaningful moment for the sport.

Clearly, the Los Angeles Rams are a team the forefront of the NFL landscape. While we haven’t seen them play a single snap in their new location, the league is clearly already banking on them to be a major player, at least from a business perspective. It remains to be seen what the on-field product will be in 2016, or how successful Stan Kroenke’s gambit will prove to be, but what can known for certain is that we’re going to be seeing a whole lot of this franchise in the very near future.