THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Rams held their first of two joint practices with the Raiders on Wednesday, a session which featured an aggressive approach by quarterback Matthew Stafford and activity from cornerback Robert Rochell, linebacker Travin Howard, outside linebacker Justin Hollins, and safety Taylor Rapp against the Raiders' passing attack.
Staff writer Stu Jackson shares 10 Observations from the session:
1) Cornerback Robert Rochell registers interception: The rookie out of Central Arkansas made an impressive interception during 11-on-11 team drills, picking off Raiders quarterback Marcus Mariota near the sideline and running it all the way back for a touchdown.
2) Quarterback Matthew Stafford sharp in 7-on-7 redzone period: During that segment, Stafford connect with wide receiver Cooper Kupp and tight end Tyler Higbee for touchdowns.
3) Aggressive throws: While Stafford threw three interceptions during 11-on-11 team drills against the Raiders' first-team defense, the 13-year veteran said after Wednesday's practice that it was a product of wanting to rep some new things the Rams' offense was installing. Stafford acknowledged those mistakes need to be corrected, but Rams head coach Sean McVay said he appreciated that approach to trying things out. McVay also said one of the picks was a "good, aggressive decision" while the other two were tipped passes that "didn't have anything to do with him."
4) Centers hold their own in 1-on-1s: Brian Allen and Coleman Shelton both repped well going against the Raiders defensive line during the 1-on-1 drills.
5) Near-pick by linebacker Travin Howard: During 11-on-11 drills, Howard almost made an interception on a pass by Mariota.
6) Linebacker Justin Hollins and safety Taylor Rapp active: The 6-foot-5 Hollins used his length to break up a short pass by Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, while Rapp closed quickly on another Carr pass to deliver a "thud" tackle and prevent the completion.
7) Offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum Jr. exits practice due to allergic reaction: Anchrum was unable to finish Wednesday's practice, which McVay later said was because of an allergic reaction to something he ate earlier.
8) Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd does not practice as a precautionary move: After exiting Monday's practice with an ankle injury, Floyd did not participate in Wednesday's joint practice with the Raiders, but that decision was just a precautionary measure, according to McVay. "He's going to be okay," McVay said after Monday's practice.
9) Extra work: Rams offensive lineman Bobby Evans took time after Wednesday's practice to receive pointers from Austin Corbett and Joe Noteboom.
10) Reunited: Before the Raiders' buses departed, linebacker Cory Littleton – who played his first four NFL seasons for the Rams before signing with the Raiders last offseason – spent some time catching up with Howard, Rams defensive line coach/run game coordinator Eric Henderson and Rams linebackers coach Chris Shula.