Throughout training camp, Rams insider Myles Simmons will share his top 10 observations from each practice.
1) Before practice began, defensive lineman Michael Brockers was out on the field with a few of Los Angeles' younger players at his position like Tanzel Smart, Chunky Clements, Sebastian Joseph-Day, and Omarius Bryant. Brockers led the group in some technique work, helping each of the young linemen improve on their moves at the line of scrimmage.
2) During special teams drills, coordinator John Fassel had the players go through an annual tradition. There is a tackling dummy at the goal line, and players line up one-on-one 15 yards away. One player is trying to reach the dummy, the other is trying to stop his opponent. It's a drill that tests the ability to be effective both as a blocker and as a tackler in potential punt and kickoff situations.
Safety Nate Holley was one player who stood out, blocking running back Justin Davis into the ground on one play. He also got around a block pretty well on another rep, flashing throughout the drill.
3) They did it at separate times, but both linebackers and defensive backs worked with the single-man sled during individual drills. Each group used the sled to practice extending their arms to keep a blocking player away from the body, then had to shed the sled to either the right or left — depending on where their coach lined up to represent a ball carrier.
4) During Los Angeles' 7-on-7 drills…
- Wide receiver Cooper Kupp made a nice snag on the right side, doing well to make a move to get open against the first-team defense.
- Middle linebacker Cory Littleton broke up a pass to tight end Tyler Higbee over the middle.
- Quarterback Brandon Allen made a really nice throw down the right sideline to wideout Pharoh Cooper.
5) In the first 11-on-11 session, quarterback Jared Goff connected with running back Todd Gurley on a nice swing pass to the right that would have gone for a touchdown. Through the scheme, Gurley was wide open out of the backfield, once again showing that he'll likely be heavily involved in the passing game in 2018.
6) Head coach Sean McVay seemed to put a heavy emphasis on competition during Thursday's practice. He staged a drill where the offense faced 2nd-and-10, then 3rd-and-whatever was left. If the offense recorded a first down, that unit won. If the defense forced fourth down, it won.
- The defense ended up winning the competition 4-3, with the units playing ones vs ones and twos vs. twos.
- Though the defense took a 2-1 lead early on, Goff completed consecutive first-down passes to Kupp and Woods over the middle to put the offense on top, 3-2.
- After the twos on defense tied the competition at three, cornerback Troy Hill — playing with the ones — nearly picked off a pass to give the defense an outright victory.
7) A day after nailing a 63-yard field goal — which would have been a career high if it counted in a game — kicker Greg Zuerlein hit four of his attempted field goals on Thursday afternoon.
8) In a later 11-on-11 period, Goff completed a nearly 60-yard deep pass to wide receiver Mike Thomas on a post route for a touchdown. The ball was perfectly thrown, hitting Thomas in stride. The third-year wideout out of Southern Miss extended the ball out in front of him as he ran into the end zone in celebration.
Check out the best shots from Day 7 of 2018 Rams Training Camp at UC Irvine.
9) McVay ended practice with another competition — a two-point play with the first offense going against the first defense. Goff's pass went to Gurley in the middle of the field right at the goal line. Safety John Johnson hit Gurley just as the ball came in, but the running back still secured the football. The officials signaled "touchdown," but the defensive coaches weren't quite happy with that. Nevertheless, Gurley spiked the football in celebration as the offense celebrated its victory.
10) With a day off on Friday, many players got in some extra work at the end of practice. Gurley was one of them, going through some wind sprints across the field for some cardio.