After each training camp practice, senior writer/team insider Myles Simmons will share his top observations from the session. Here are the notes from Saturday, July 27.
1) As the Rams were working on special teams on one field, some of the Rams’ key defensive players were getting in a little extra work to start the day. As he did throughout OTAs, outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. was working on some moves with outside linebackers coach Chris Shula. And defensive lineman Michael Brockers was working on his first steps after the snap with fellow lineman Morgan Fox.
2) Offensive linemen and tight ends got practice started by pushing the sled. Again, much like OTAs, run game coordinator Aaron Kromer had one player push the sled for a few steps and rotated through the group. With Los Angeles’ system, the fundamentals of run blocking techniques are certainly important.
3) During one-on-ones, wide receiver Michael Thomas had a diving catch along the right sideline on one field with the wideouts going against the corners. On the other field, safety Steven Parker had an interception while covering a running back on the defense’s right sideline.
4) Running back Darrell Henderson continues to impress over the first couple days. Again during on-on-ones, he tracked a deep ball down the right side from quarterback Brandon Allen, reeling it in over his shoulder. There are wide receivers who don’t have that kind of ability. It’s early and the Rams aren’t in pads, but he looks like a weapon.
5) During the first 11-on-11 drills — with the first-team offense taking on the second-team defense — quarterback Jared Goff connected with wideout Brandin Cooks on a deep, out-cutting route. Cooks used his speed to get separation and Goff’s ball placement was perfect.
6) On the next play, Goff threw another dime — this time down the left sideline to wide receiver Coper Kupp for what would’ve clearly been a touchdown.
7) Goff continued what was his best period of the day a bit later, when he threaded the needle on an intermediate route to wide receiver Josh Reynolds on the right side. Then he followed that up with a seed over the middle to Kupp after pump faking to throw off the defense. Kupp went up and got it, but the ball was where only he could make a play.
8) During seven-on-seven drills, the offensive line was working on how to handle combination blocks with stunting defensive linemen. That chemistry is important to establish along the offensive line, especially for a unit that’s integrating a new center and left guard.
9) Goff added to his strong passing day in later 11-on-11 drills, connecting with wide receiver Robert Woods on a deep crossing route, with Woods moving from right to left. Again, Goff’s ball placement was right where it needed to be.
10) The veterans finished up practice around 5:15, but the younger players stayed on the field to get in some work in 11-on-11 drills. The Rams did this on the first day of camp, too, mainly because it’s the first- and second-team units that get snaps for the vast majority of practice. This way, the younger players do get a little experience with the playbook before the bright lights of preseason games.