Rams QB2? Bryce Perkins Evaluates His Future After Highlight-Filled Preseason

Perkins was one of the no-doubt stars for the Rams this preseason.

Whenever 34-year-old quarterback and 14-year NFL vet Matthew Stafford decides to call it quits, the Los Angeles Rams may already have their quarterback of the future on deck. 

Third-year signal-caller Bryce Perkins was one of the no-doubt stars for LA this preseason, as the team finished up their game of exhibition action in a 16-7 loss at the Cincinnati Bengals Saturday.

The 25-year-old went 35 of 49 passing for 399 yards and two touchdowns in three preseason games while adding 18 carries for 73 yards and two more scores. He consistently flashed unique dual-threat ability while also being a calm and collected presence in the pocket as a passer, evident by his turnover-free preseason.

As with any competitor, he felt he left a lot out on the field, but is still pleased with what he showed the league he’s capable of doing.

“I put out some good tape,” Perkins said Saturday. “There’s some things that you could do more, but as far as playing wise, if it’s not here I know it’s somewhere and I feel like I can play in this league.” 

The Rams will likely elect to keep three quarterbacks on the roster. Perkins could be the third option on the bench behind backup John Wolford, but he proved in preseason action that he can do things that Wolford simply can’t. 

Was this enough in the eyes of the young quarterback? The answer might be obvious.

“I just gotta continue to grow, continue to sharpen my skills, improve on the things I do well, improve on the things I don’t, and just continue to be a student of the game,” Perkins said. “Just keep going forward from here.”

In the first game against the Chargers, Perkins led the team in rushing with eight carries for 39 yards and a touchdown. When he found the end zone to give the Rams the lead in the third quarter, he did so by faking out the Chargers’ defense on a read-option keep at the goal line before walking in effortlessly. 

In Saturday’s loss to the Bengals, the Rams elected for some more read-option runs, this time in the open field. This gave Perkins the chance to show off for the Cincinnati crowd, as he kept the ball on the option and quickly spun away from the approaching defender who was left frozen as a result. 

But these were hardly his best runs of the preseason. 

In the first half of that game, Perkins had one of the highlights of the preseason as he scurried away from numerous would-be tacklers before breaking free for a first down with his legs. 

And against the Bengals, he was responsible for LA’s only score. Faced with a 2nd and goal from inside the five-yard line, Perkins dropped back to pass in the shotgun. He ran a bit to his right looking for a receiver but was faced with pressure before reversing fields and out-running the defense all the way to the pylon for the touchdown. 

This unteachable ability to avoid defenders and pick up the necessary yardage certainly turned some heads on the Rams’ coaching staff over the three-game stretch. 

But he also showed a nice release combined with arm strength as well, connecting with breakout rookie receiver Lance McCutcheon on a handful of accurate deep throws in the preseason. 

Plays like this are hard to ignore when considering the backup quarterback role and if the team feels Perkins or Wolford is worth investing more time into. 

After Saturday’s loss, LA coach Sean McVay gave no indication as to what exactly Perkins’ future role would be with the team, but he beamed with confidence and enjoyment at what he had seen through three games. 

“It was another opportunity for Bryce to come out here and shine … do a great job for our team,” McVay said. “He is a fun guy to watch. Both (Perkins and McCutcheon) have done a great job. You’d be hard-pressed to think that they haven’t done what they could to earn that. Love both those guys.”

For Perkins, this is only the start of his development. And even if he doesn’t remain with the Rams, he gave other teams that could use quarterback depth a solid look at what he can do and, hopefully, secured an NFL role in the process.

“The work is done now, but like you said, the chips fall where they’re gonna fall and we’ll see what happens,” Perkins said.

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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