10 Observations from the Rams first joint practice with the Chargers

After each training camp practice, senior writer/team insider Myles Simmons will share 10 observations from the session. Here are the notes from the first of two joint practices with the Chargers from Aug. 1. With action on two separate fields, these observations are all of the offense.

1) One notable element of the session was who didn’t participate — wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Head coach Sean McVay said after the session that the Rams held Kupp out for precautionary reasons, not wanting to expose the wideout to a tempo that could jeopardize his progress. But based on everything, that happened, McVay said Kupp would likely be on the field for Saturday’s practice at UC Irvine. Kupp did participate in the separate warmups with the Rams before the two teams came together.

2) During red zone 7-on-7 work, quarterback Jared Goff connected with wideout Brandin Cooks in the back-right corner of the end zone for a touchdown. Cooks ran a nice route and Goff put some good touch on the throw to float it in. McVay mentioned the Rams held Cooks out later on in the session due to some discomfort in Cooks’ hamstring, but the head coach didn’t make it seem like it was too serious.

3) In one-on-ones on the other side of the field with offensive lineman and pass rushers, left tackle Andrew Whitworth used Melvin Ingram’s momentum against him to push the defensive end to the ground before he could make a move. Whitworth may be 37, but he’s still got it.

4) The Rams’ tight ends made some big plays throughout the day, one coming in the red zone 7-on-7 period from Tyler Higbee. Los Angeles was using a two tight end set, Higbee ran a slant on the right side, made the catch, got popped by a defender, but still held on for a touchdown.

5) Goff went back to Higbee during the first 11-on-11 period, hitting the fourth-year tight end down the left sideline off play action for a play that would’ve gone for a touchdown. Goff’s ball placement was strong on the play, dropping it in the bucket for Higbee to run down the field for YAC.

6) With the second offense in for 11-on-11, quarterback Blake Bortles hit wide receiver Mike Thomas on the left side with an intermediate pass. Thomas, who had a strong practice, went up for the catch, got hit as he went to the ground, but still held on. Bortles has gone to Thomas a bunch throughout the first week of camp.

7) In red zone 11-on-11 drills, tight end Gerald Everett caught a pass and tiptoed the end line for a touchdown. Whitworth neutralized Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa in the backfield, giving Goff time to complete the pass as the play developed.

8) Early on for an 11-on-11 “move the ball” drill, Goff faked left, booted to his right, and then connected with a wide open Higbee for a big gain down the right side of the field. Again, Goff’s ball placement was just right for the tight end to continue running.

9) On the same drill, the offense ended the drive with a touchdown as Goff once again connected with Everett in the red zone. The tight end got his feet in quickly for a second time, but in this instance he was at the front right pylon.

10) In a two-minute period with the second-team offense toward the end of practice, Bortles threw a pass to JoJo Natson that the receiver was able to run under to make a nice catch as he approached the sideline. It was one of a few nice receptions for Natson on the day — prompting running back Todd Gurley to quip at his press conference that both Natson and Thomas “had a day.”

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