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When Did the Rams Know 2017 Would Be Special?

Posted Jan 31, 2018

Los Angeles' 2017 season was one for the record books. Check out when the Rams could sense that something special would take place this season.

The Rams’ 2017 season was one for the record books. Not only did head coach Sean McVay lead one of the most historic turnarounds in the modern era — taking the Rams from a 4-12 record in 2016 to an 11-5 record this year — but he also helped the club go from last to first in scoring.

But heading into this season, many outside of the building were skeptical of just how well the Rams would perform this year. For those in and around the locker room, however, the feeling that this season could be something special came early on.

Here’s when many could sense the tide beginning to turn:

“That goes back to the first day of the offseason program — April 10 — implementing kind of our core beliefs, our philosophy, how we want to handle things day in and day out. And then when you get out on the field to OTAs, you’ve seen guys be intentional about getting better every single day. I think you could just feel guys improving. But until you really get a chance to go out there and compete, you’re always going to be optimistic. And then I think the Colts game really demonstrated the first time that I think everybody saw that we had a good feeling, we had a lot of confidence going into that game.”

— Head coach, Sean McVay

“Just in OTAs. But as far as season-wise, I would probably say when we went to San Fran and we had that dog fight up there in that Thursday night game. And then to be able to go back and play Dallas and win in Dallas. Just started realizing that we have a special team. We can actually be special. We can do this.”

— Running back, Todd Gurley

“OTAs, I would say. I think that our expectations raised tremendously. And because we expected to see success, we saw a lot of it.”

— Left guard, Rodger Saffold

“I think in training camp and through the preseason, we could kind of feel we’ve got the pieces to do some stuff. And I remember I said it back in like April, that we’re a lot closer than a lot of people may think. And people mocked me for that. And now it kind of came to fruition a little bit, so that’s good. We knew we had a good chance with the pieces we had.”

— Quarterback, Jared Goff

“When we first got here you know with head strength coach, Ted Rath, the strength and conditioning staff. When we first got here and our first time doing something was a conditioning test, I knew it was going to be different. Because what they were doing was holding us accountable as far as our offseason workouts — were we doing what we were supposed to or were we taking off. So it showed what coach McVay was trying to do with this team is trying to change the character.”

— Defensive tackle, Michael Brockers

“I felt good about the opener obviously and even in the Washington week. It felt good that this team got down like that in a game and then bounced right back in it and made it a game all the way down to the wire. To be able to make huge plays and get ourselves back in the game, that was one of the first steps I took and I said, ‘You know what this team’s got a lot of ability and talent. And really is performing well, we just have to clean up things.’ That kind of grew as the year went on.”

— Left tackle, Andrew Whitworth

“Just coming after practice and seeing all the guys that stay after, all the extra work on the field. That’s something I didn’t see in prior years. Little things like that go a long way. When you’ve got a bunch of people doing that on the football field, a lot of good things can come out of that and that’s what’s been happening.”

— Defensive tackle, Aaron Donald