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Mannion Taking Advantage of OTAs Opportunities

Posted Jun 3, 2016

QB Case Keenum had a day off for Friday's OTA No. 3, which meant fellow QB Sean Mannion fielded snaps for the first-team offense.

There’s been plenty said about Rams quarterbacks throughout the offseason. But one name that may not get brought up as often as it should is Sean Mannion.

A third-round pick out of Oregon State in 2015, Mannion now has a full season and offseason under his belt as a pro. While he spent nearly all of last year as a healthy inactive on the 46-man gameday roster, Mannion did complete six of his seven passes for 31 yards in the Rams’ Nov. 29 contest in Cincinnati.

Friday, however, was Mannion’s day to get first-team reps, as fellow quarterback Case Keenum had a day off for Los Angeles’ on-field drills. It was an opportunity for the Oregon State product to show off the progress he’s made since last year, and he took advantage it by making some nice throws throughout the day — particularly in a two-minute drill.

“I felt good out there,” Mannion said after practice. “It felt good to get a lot of work, and get to go with the first group. And I try to prepare every day as though I’m the starter, and I got a lot of chances today, and I feel like I did a good job. I felt prepared. I felt comfortable out there. And I thought I made the most of it.”

Part of the reason Mannion’s able to do so is because he has that year of professional experience. It’s a lot different knowing the expectations going into OTAs than trying to pick up everything on the fly as a draftee.

“When you come in as a rookie, you’re expected to learn everything so fast. And I think, for the most part, I did a good job studying and knowing the offense,” Mannion said. “It’s one thing to know it in the meeting room, but then to execute it and to not think twice about anything, just reacting out on the field — I think that takes a little bit more time and a little bit more reps.

“I think throughout the skill development phase and the first two OTAs, I’ve gotten a lot of reps,” Mannion continued. “And I feel more and more comfortable just going out there and playing. I think that’s what I did today.”

While Mannion does have a season with the Rams, there have been changes to the offense. With the unit now under coordinator Rob Boras and passing game coordinator Mike Groh, Mannion’s noticed subtle, positive differences within the scheme.

“I think when you look at it kind of from the outside looking in, it’s somewhat similar concept wise, but there’s obviously [an additional] set of details that coach Boras and coach Groh have changed,” Mannion said. “And, honestly, you’re always in the process of learning. Even at Oregon State — I was there for five years, even by my fifth year, you’re always learning something new.

“So it’s not as though you’re going to go through an offseason where there’s nothing to be learned. There’s always something to learn,” Mannion added. “But certainly with coach Boras having the offseason to look at it, coach Groh coming in — there are differences. And I think it’s been good for us. It’s been really good.”

With three quarterbacks in for OTAs, Mannion should continue to have plenty of opportunities to display how he’s adapting to those offensive tweaks. And if he continues to perform like he did on Friday, he’ll easily accomplish his stated goal of continuing to improve over the next two weeks of OTAs.

“Keep playing well, keep making good decisions with the football, be accurate,” Mannion said. “Just, really, always try to focus on the fundamentals — footwork, accuracy. Make sure I’m going through all the reads the right way. I feel like I’ve done a good job of that so far for three OTA practices. We’ve got six more left and I just want to keep building off that day by day.”