Check out photos from day two of the Los Angeles Rams OTA.
Team insider Myles Simmons shares his top 10 observations from Los Angeles’ second OTA practice on Tuesday.
1) It’s just the second day of Phase III, but the offense began the day’s session with a ball security drill. It’s a small thing, but what a team practices during this early stage indicates what is a priority for the club.
2) Quarterback Jared Goff looked sharp early on once again, even during the early drills. On one throw he hit wideout Cooper Kupp with a really nice intermediate out route. In group drills, Goff also nailed a deep pass to Robert Woods off play action that ended with the wideout catching the ball as he crossed the goal line. Those are throws that should look that good against air, and they did.
3) During individual drills**, the Rams mixed in receivers to work with multiple quarterbacks. That way, some of the younger players had an opportunity to catch passes from the QBs at the top of the depth chart like Goff and Sean Mannion.
4) On the second play of 11-on-11 drills, Goff uncorked a deep ball down the right side to wide receiver Brandin Cooks. The Oregon State product had already blown past the two scout-team defenders, but at first glance Goff appeared to have overthrown his receiver. But with Cooks’ speed, the ball was in just the right spot — he caught it and took it to the end zone for a (theoretical) touchdown.
5) It’s sometimes difficult to evaluate the execution of run plays during OTAs because players aren’t tackling, nor are they wearing pads. But running back Todd Gurley appears to be running well in practice, finding holes along the line of scrimmage. He also consistently finishes his runs all the way to the end zone.
6) After the first-team offense finished a series of plays, Goff went over to receivers to ostensibly talk over what happened on the field and what the receivers saw. Goff made a few different hand motions to indicate routes. It was a prime example of the quarterback growing more into a leader and taking more ownership of the offense.
7) The connection between Goff and Kupp** appears to be picking up right where it left off in 2017. During 7-on-7 drills, Goff threaded the needle deep down the middle of the field to Kupp to fit a ball between a couple of defenders. And then Kupp made a leaping catch over the middle during team drills to show off that connection again.
8) Communication is always key on defense, and during the Rams 11-on-11 defensive drills, there was plenty of talking going on with players on the field. That’s important for the unit going against Los Angeles’ offense, which uses a ton of movement to try to throw things off for a defense.
9) There’s no real “down time” in practice for players, even during special teams drills. Players who aren’t participating in them — like quarterbacks, offensive linemen, top wide receivers — are off to the side doing drills with their position coaches. For instance, the four quarterbacks on the roster were working on different routes and ball placement with Gurley, Woods, Cooks, and Kupp.
10) Finally, safety Lamarcus Joyner made his mark in the second 11-on-11 period against the scout offense. Joyner broke up a deep pass on the defense’s right, leaping to knock a ball out of bounds out of the receiver’s reach. And a few plays later, Joyner jumped an out route, dove, and deflected the pass out of bounds on the right sideline. It’s a usual sight, but Joyner certainly had a good period.