NAPA, Calif. - In the lead up to the first preseason game of the summer, the Rams and Raiders are having a pair of joint practices. With action on two separate fields, here are 10 notes from the second session, focusing specifically on the Rams' defense.
1) The Rams and Raiders had competitive one-on-one drills between the offensive and defensive lines. Rookie nose tackle Greg Gaines used a rip move to get underneath Raiders OL Jordan Devey and into the backfield. Trevon Young also had a spin move to get into the backfield around a right tackle.
2) Still on DL vs. OL drills, defensive tackle Aaron Donald and outside linebacker Dante Fowler got past Raiders’ left guard and left tackle Richie Incognito and Kolton Miller, respectively, with a combination stunt.
3) In 11-on-11 drills, Donald and Fowler kept it going defensively with a play that would have been a sack. The pair got penetration on the defense’s right, leaving quarterback Derek Carr nowhere to go.
4) The Rams’ defense was flying around throughout the day, coming up to defend short passes well. Safety John Johnson had one example in 11-on-11, coming up to stop a swing pass at about the line of scrimmage on the defense’s left.
5) Los Angeles has mainly had JoJo Natson on punt returns throughout the summer, but wide receiver Austin Proehl was deep to return a few punts on Thursday. We’ll see how much time each player receives at the spot in the first preseason game on Saturday.
6) In red zone 11-on-11 drills, outside linebacker Clay Matthews batted down a Carr pass on the defense’s right. It was the second play of the segment, and Carr got flushed out of the pocket with the Rams’ pass rush.
7) During the next segment of 11-on-11 work, defensive lineman Morgan Fox batted down a Carr pass behind the line of scrimmage as well. Carr was trying to get a pass off on the run, but Fox chased him down and got his arms up to prevent the QB from finding a throwing lane.
8) Working with the first-team defense, rookie safety Taylor Rapp broke up an intermediate pass in the middle of the field to Raiders rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfroe. Rapp had to run up and get his hand between the receiver and the ball, and did it well.
Check out photos from the team's first joint practice with the Oakland Raiders in Napa.
9) Cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman also had a pass breakup late in practice on the same receiver in Renfroe. Robey-Coleman’s PBU came on what looked like a slant route on the defense’s left. Carr clearly likes Rendroe a lot, as the fifth-round pick seems to be excelling from the slot.
10) Finally, Fowler had a long conversation with Oakland right tackle Trent Brown following the conclusion of practice. Brown, who signed a lucrative four-year contract with the Raiders over the offseason, is well regarded as one of the better offensive tackles in football. He won Super Bowl LIII with the Patriots back in February.