After each OTA practice, team insider Myles Simmons will share his top 10 observations from the day’s session. Here are 10 notes from Day 3 on Thursday, May 23.
1) As expected from head coach Sean McVay’s comments on Monday, outside linebacker Dante Fowler was in attendance for Thursday’s final OTA of the week. During the special teams period to open practice, Fowler was working with outside linebackers coach Chris Shula on concepts and techniques for a little one-on-one instruction.
2) Following the special teams period, the quarterbacks and offensive skill players worked on a ball security drill. In three separate lines, quarterbacks had to evade a rush in a pocket from a coach, before throwing a check-down pass to the wideout, running back, or tight end. The receiver then had to run through two large tackling dummies.
3) In a later period, quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers were working on misdirection plays — jet sweeps, counters, etc. — all against air. Quarterback Jared Goff noted on Monday that sometimes it’s remarkable just how much L.A. has in its full playbook, since things become so game-plan specific during the season. This seemed to be an example of just how expansive things can be.
4) On the other field, the inside linebackers were working on their coverage and interception skills. Assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Barry was using his body — particularly his shoulder movement — to indicate how the LBs should read a potential quarterback. Sometimes he’d then throw it, sometimes he wouldn’t. But Troy Reeder, an undrafted rookie out of Delaware, made a nice one-handed grab at one point.
Check out photos of the Los Angeles Rams on the field for day two of OTAs.
5) After the offense and defense went through a half-field passing drill, they split up on different fields again. This time, the offensive units split into two groups — the first-teamers on one side of the field and the reserves on another — to run the same sort of misdirection plays from earlier in the session. But this time, the Rams were running them with 11 on offense as opposed to just the skill players. Los Angeles’ practices are often structured like this — position groups do drills alone that correspond to what they’ll be doing as a group later on in the session.
6) Los Angeles went through 7-on-7 red zone drills on Thursday. During that period, Goff connected with wide receiver Josh Reynolds on a short route to the middle of the field for a touchdown. Reynolds used a bit of a head fake to get loose, and Goff delivered a strike right to his hands for a TD.
7) Still in 7-on-7 drills but no longer in the red zone, rookie safety Taylor Rapp got in a few snaps with the defensive unit alongside starters John Johnson and Eric Weddle. With Rapp in just his second week with the club, Johnson was talking to Rapp pre-snap, ostensibly making sure the young safety knew just what to do during the play. Johnson’s only entering his third season, but that’s some solid veteran leadership.
8) In another passing period, Goff connected with tight end Gerald Everett on a deep pass down the left side that would’ve gone for a touchdown. Everett elevated over the defending corner to reel in the pass for a nice red-zone catch.
9) In the same red-zone period, cornerback Aqib Talib showed he’s still got closing speed entering his 12th season in the league. Goff targeted Reynolds in the back-right corner of the end zone, but Talib was able to run up and get a hand on the ball to knock it out of reach for No. 83. But on the next play, Goff was able to connect with Reynolds, with the wideout using his wingspan to snatch the ball over a couple of defenders.
10) Finally, after working with trainers on the side for most of the session, wide receiver Cooper Kupp was in on offense for Los Angeles’ jog-thru 11-on-11 period. Kupp caught a couple of short passes from Goff with the slower-than-game speed.
Check out what jersey numbers the rookies will be wearing. Numbers are subject to change.