10 Observations from OTA No. 8

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 8 on Tuesday, June 4.

1) Los Angeles’ special teams unit got things going on Tuesday afternoon with kickoff return drills. Coordinator John “Bones” Fassel had cones set up to designate where players should be as they ran down the field. JoJo Natson was back to field the kicks — which weren’t exactly kicks as the club was using the JUGS machine to put the ball in the air.

2) As that was happening on one field, quarterbacks were on the other practicing quick screens to the outside. Wideout Cooper Kupp was there to help field them. The signal-callers had to get rid of the ball quickly and in rapid-fire succession, emphasizing how fast the timing has to be in that context.

3) Following the special teams drills, the defense began with an 11-on-11 session against a scout-team offense. Head coach Sean McVay was over with the defense to help run things. The scout team ran both runs and passes against the first-team defense.

4) After that scout-team period, the reserve wide receivers and tight ends came to the other field to work on red zone routes with the quarterbacks. They went through different route combinations, with multiple QBs throwing passes so each eligible receiver could get a ball.

5) Then the offense went through the same kind of 11-on-11 period against a scout defense. As it had been with the offense, the defensive starters remained on the other field going through individual drills. Reserves on the Rams’ offense also were able to get some work in against air, drilling on a separate part of the field. At the same time, reserves are working against air with some of the assistant coaches.

6) With the first-team offense competing against the first-team defense in 7-on-7, quarterback Jared Goff connected with wideout Josh Reynolds on a nice strike over the middle. Goff effectively threw Reynolds open, moving him out of the way of a defender by placing the ball a bit to the left on the intermediate level.

7) Also in 7-on-7 drills, backup quarterback Blake Bortles threw a nice back-shoulder strike to tight end Tyler Higbee for one of the more impressive plays of the session. With all receivers initially covered, Bortles rolled to his right and fired the ball to Higbee along the right sideline. Higbee made an athletic move to shield the defender from the football, then caught it and got his feet in bounds for a completion. Goff looked particularly impressed with the throw, giving Bortles a low five in celebration.

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

8) Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman has stood out throughout OTAs, and that continued on Tuesday as he broke up a pass in the back-left corner of the end zone to wide receiver Robert Woods during 7-on-7 drills.

9) For some 11-on-11 work, Los Angeles set up a two-minute drill. In this scenario, the Rams were down by five with just over a minute to go. While the offense got into opponent territory, the defense mainly kept the O in bounds, and didn’t allow the unit to get into the end zone.

10) Finally, L.A. finished with a jog-thru 11-on-11 period. The slower speed gives the Rams a chance to work on the details for anything that may not have been clean on the initial play. Wide receiver Cooper Kupp was on the field for a good amount of these plays, after spending most of the session running routes on the side with trainers.

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