After each training camp practice, senior writer/team insider Myles Simmons will share his top observations from the session. Here are the notes from Tuesday, July 30.
1) The Rams were in full pads for the first time this training camp on Tuesday. With that, the club had a couple different special teams drills that can make individuals stand out from the pack. The first was a punt drill, where coordinator John “Bones” Fassel set up a one-on-one type of drill with analogous positions on the punt team and the return team. Essentially, it was a man-on-man situation to see who could win each challenge.
2) As that was happening, JoJo Natson, Austin Proehl, Nsimba Webster, and Alex Bachman served as the punt returners — catching the ball from the JUGS machine. Running back Matt Colburn demonstrated his potential value by bursting down the field as a gunner more than once.
3) The defense began the first period of practice with a pursuit drill. Notably on the first-team defense, Bryce Hager was on the field as the unit’s second inside linebacker next to Cory Littleton. Hager and second-year LB Micah Kiser have traded days at that spot through the first four days of camp.
4) The defensive line and outside linebackers went to a smaller auxiliary field to go through some individual drills. There, both position groups had tho extend their arms against a sled, then move their feet in order to see exactly what direction the “ball carrier” (which, in this case, was their position coach) was going. Even defensive tackle Aaron Donald didn’t quite do the drill right at first.
5) For another defensive line drill, position coach Eric Henderson had the players stay low out of the chute but then find a tackling donut. The drill forces the players to both keep their pad level in a good spot while keeping their eyes up.
6) And one last defensive line drill — which Donald dominated — the players each had to touch a towel on the ground before knocking a tackling dummy over in the backfield.
7) During 11-on-11 drills, Donald and outside linebacker Dante Fowler got off the ball so fast on one play that they nearly took a handoff from backup quarterback Blake Bortles in the backfield. The pair of defenders absolutely ruined the play for the offense, and embraced one another in celebration near the sideline. Everyone knows what to expect from Donald, but Fowler has put tighter a nice camp so far.
8) During a starters vs. starters 11-on-11 period in the red zone, quarterback Jared Goff connected with running back Darrell Henderson for a touchdown over the middle. Then a play later, Goff hit wideout Cooper Kupp with an out route to the right for another touchdown.
9) Tight end Tyler Higbee also had a few nice receptions during Tuesday’s practice. Earlier in the day, he caught a pass deep down the middle for what ostensibly could have been a touchdown. Then Goff finished a two-minute drill with a pass in the back of the end zone to the tight end for a clear score.
10) In another two-minute drill, wide receiver Josh Reynolds elevated and caught a pass from Bortles on the right side of the field. Reynolds continues to use his frame in order to make plays throughout training camp.