10 Observations from OTA No. 4

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 4 on Tuesday, May 28.

1) OTA No. 4 got going at noon on a clear, sunny day in Thousand Oaks, Calif. While the special teams period was ongoing to start the session, quarterbacks were on the second field going through a drill to simulate passing on the run. Jared Goff and Blake Bortles, for instance, were moving in a large circle, throwing the pigskin back and forth.

Check out photos of week two of the Los Angeles Rams during OTAs.

2) During individual drills, the offensive line worked on double teams with the guards and tackles, while centers had to execute a one-on-one reach block against a player lined head-up against him. Those kinds of combination blocks with the guards and tackles are a foundation of the team’s zone run scheme.

3) With the offense and defense still on separate fields, the offensive unit worked on installing red zone plays, running them against air. Before the offense ran each play, head coach Sean McVay would provide detailed instructions on the routes for each receiver. And each eligible receiver would get a ball — so if there were two receivers going out, two would have to make a catch, same if there were three.

4) The Rams continued working on a number of misdirection plays during a jog-through session with just the offensive unit. With O players lining up opposite the starting 11, the Rams worked in different players to go through plays like regular running back handoffs and jet sweeps to wide receivers.

5) The offense then separated into two different groups to run plays with a full offensive unit against air. For the first-team O, McVay would shout out what the coverage was before the snap. There were a number of different types of screens run during this period.

6) Bringing the offense and defense together for 7-on-7, tight end Gerald Everett displayed his considerable receiving skills by elevating in the back of the end zone to catch a Goff pass over a pair of defenders. The coverage from the first-team secondary was tight at the beginning of the play, so the signal-caller had to roll to his right to create something off-schedule. Because it was 7-on-7, yes, Goff may have been sacked in reality. But it was still a good find in the back of the end zone and a pretty athletic catch by No. 81.

7) Still in 7-on-7 but now in the middle of the field instead of the red zone, safeties John Johnson and Taylor Rapp combined to force an interception. Johnson had tight coverage on the defense’s left, batted a pass up, and Rapp was right there to catch it for a takeaway. The Rams were in a three-safety defensive package for this third-down play, with the veteran Eric Weddle being the final player at the position.

8) Over the course of OTAs during certain periods, the Rams have been running essentially 7-on-7 plays, but with most of the offensive line on the field going against air. On the first play of this Tuesday practice period, Goff hit Everett again over the middle of the field, sneaking the ball just past Weddle, who seemed to turn around in disbelief that the pass made it to the tight end in what was a pretty small window.

9) But, Weddle would make his own play later in the period. On a red-zone play with the safety on Everett, Weddle batted down a pass at the front-right corner of the end zone. Weddle had tight coverage throughout the play, using closing speed to put the pass harmlessly (…for the defense) on the ground.

10) When asked about wide receiver Cooper Kupp during OTAs, McVay has said that L.A. has found some creative ways to get the wideout reps on the field as he recovers from his ACL tear suffered last November. One such way is through the 11-on-11 jog thrus, where Kupp has participated since L.A. isn’t going at full speed. He was in that drill today, and caught a couple passes — one over the middle of the field from Goff.

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