Throughout training camp, team insider Myles Simmons will share his top observations from each practice.
1) The offense began Wednesday's session running through a few screen plays as a group. Los Angeles performed them against air, and head coach Sean McVay wanted the pace to be quick as the offense got through each play. McVay seems pretty demanding when it comes to how quickly he wants to get each snap off in practice.
2) Back before practice started, Los Angeles' quarterbacks were working on throws into the end zone. Once the offensive unit went into individual drills, the QBs threw those same routes to wide receivers in preparation for the one-on-one matchups with the cornerbacks.
3) Meanwhile, run game coordinator Aaron Kromer had the offensive line and tight ends practicing half-line drills. From the center over, Los Angeles' line would have to run block different defensive fronts for particular plays — many of which they'd use during 11-on-11 drills later in practice.
4) One way Los Angeles maximizes the time available in practice is to have three quarterbacks throw to three receivers who are in on the same play. This only works during offense-only periods, as the offense is performing against air. But it allows each receiver to experience the rhythm and timing of the play and where they would catch a pass.
5) Notably during one-on-one passing drills with quarterbacks, wideouts, and cornerbacks…
- Wide receiver Josh Reynolds made a nice snag over cornerback Troy Hill in the back left corner of the end zone.
- Wide receiver Cooper Kupp used a move off the line to beat cornerback Nickell Robby-Coleman on the right side, then stretched to catch a pass before going out of bounds in the back of the end zone.
6) Kicker Greg Zuerlein had a banner day, nailing all of his attempted field goals during practice. During a special teams period, he sent 6-of-6 attempts through the uprights — including a long of 52 yards. That bested his previous long of 50 yards during open practice at training camp.
7) Zuerlein, however, wasn't done. McVay set up a scenario where the offense needed to drive down the field at the end of the game for three points with just 57 seconds left and only one timeout. The first-team offense executed to get Zuerlein in position for a 52-yard field goal, which he hit perfectly. The second-team offense didn't fare quite as well, ending up on the opponent's 45-yard line. But Zuerlein came on and nevertheless nailed a 63-yard field goal.
It was a great moment for the kicker, in many ways signaling that he's truly recovered from the back injury that sidelined him at the end of 2017.
8) Cornerback Marcus Peters has made his share of impressive plays throughout training camp, but sometimes even the plays he doesn't make still turn heads. In 11-on-11 drills with the offense backed up, the cornerback was very close to making an interception and taking it back for six. But likely because it was practice, Peters pulled up just a bit so as to not make contact with the intended receiver. As McVay often says, the offense definitely feels Peters' presence.
Check out the best shots from Day 6 of Rams Training Camp at UC Irvine.
9) Following practice, quarterback Jared Goff joked that running back Todd Gurley has been happier since signing his contract extension and that the Georgia product has maybe looked a little faster, too. Gurley downplayed the notion he's faster, but he's still clearly putting a lot of effort into practice. During an 11-on-11 period on Wednesday, Gurley ripped off a run to the left side and kept running all the way to the end zone — despite the whistle blowing to signal the end of the play. Throughout his career, Gurley has stressed the importance of finishing runs in practice. As what was probably a 90-yard run illustrated, he feels no different now.
10) Finally, once again, McVay had an extra period at the end of practice for some of the younger players to get more reps. Many of those third- and fourth-string players will be featured in preseason games. This was an opportunity for all of them to get more comfortable with the playbook, since many do not get to take snaps with the first and second string.