Boras not yet thinking about his future as Rams' play-caller
NAPA, Calif. (AP) Rob Boras isn't looking at St. Louis' final regular-season game as an audition - even though that's exactly what it is in many ways.
The Rams have been playing their best offense of the year over the past month since Boras assumed the play-calling duties. That has led to speculation that the veteran tight ends coach could be handed the job on a full-time basis.
Boras insists what happens beyond the finale Sunday in San Francisco is the farthest thing from his mind.
Of more concern to Boras is sustaining the momentum that the Rams have built during their three-game winning streak. Any talk of a permanent position as offensive coordinator will be tabled until the offseason.
''I'm a tight end coach that's getting to call some plays right now,'' Boras said. ''We're just going about it as if that's what it is. We can only control what we can control and right now, this is what Coach (Jeff Fisher) has asked us to do and we're doing it and having fun doing it. Whatever happens, happens.''
A lot has happened since Boras replaced offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti, who was fired this month with the team mired in a five-game losing streak.
The Rams have cut down both on penalties and turnovers and have improved their third-down efficiency. St. Louis has also significantly improved its running game.
During their winning streak the Rams are averaging 134.3 yards on the ground - 35 yards more than they did during the five-game skid. The pass protection for quarterback Case Keenum has also been better over the past few weeks.
Boras said it would be a mistake to give him all the credit for the turnaround. Keenum, though, acknowledged that the Rams are getting more comfortable with the new system.
''I think it's coming together,'' Keenum said. ''We're getting kind of used to the plays Rob likes to call, kind of getting where everybody is on the same page with that. It's just executing. That's what we come out here to practice to do, is get better.''
Boras has never been an offensive coordinator in the NFL so maybe that's why he is reticent to take credit for St. Louis' recent success. He's coached tight ends in St. Louis, Jacksonville and Chicago. His only experience calling plays was during a five-year stint at UNLV from 1999-2003.
Not that it shows.
The Rams scored just 54 points total during their five-game losing streak and were twice held to seven or fewer. In the three games under Boras, St. Louis is averaging 25 points.
And as Fisher points out, the Rams have yet to lose since the switch in play-calling was made.
''Right now he's running the offense and he's 3-0 since he took over,'' Fisher said. ''So it's a good thing.''
Part of St. Louis recent success is due to the change made at quarterback. Nick Foles was benched in favor of Keenum one week before Boras replaced Cignetti, and Keenum has played much more efficiently than his predecessor.
Still, all eyes in St. Louis remain mostly on Boras who could be handling the offensive coordinator job full-time in 2016 depending on how things play out.
''I haven't really thought about it that way,'' Boras said. ''It's just the accountability of it all. You just feel like there are a lot of people in the entire organization kind of depending on you. You probably shouldn't look at it that way, but you don't want to disappoint anybody and you want to have success.''
Notes: RB Todd Gurley missed a second straight practice due to a foot injury he suffered late in last week's win over Seattle. Gurley remained at the team hotel receiving treatment on his foot and Fisher said it's possible the rookie could play against the 49ers without practicing. ... DE Ethan Westbrooks passed the NFL concussion protocol and was back at practice. ... Fisher said he expects LB Mark Barron to also pass the concussion protocol and be cleared to play.
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