Over the last two days, Rams players and coaches have had plenty to say about rookie minicamp. Here are some of the best quotes from the three practices.
HEAD COACH SEAN McVAY
What are the differences in the route tree for guys like Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds in the NFL compared to what they were doing in college? "It's going to be a little bit different, just because at Texas A&M they're a little bit more spread out. [Josh Reynolds is] pretty much lined up outside of the numbers, and he's kind of running straight-stem routes. Cooper was kind of moving all around the formation throughout the course of his career. I think we're going to ask them to do things a little bit differently. But, what you can appreciate about both of those guys is they did a good job of being able to translate some of our verbiage, understand some of the little routes that we were putting in this week. You could see they're both smart, conscientious players. It was good to see them move around this weekend."
How might you try to balance the number of targets for the new receivers vs. the ones who are already on the roster? "[Y]ou certainly try to call plays to get certain guys involved, but when you feel like you've got a handful of playmakers, I think the idea is to kind of have that quarterback be a point guard and be a great distributor to all your guys. You want to be able to get them touches and get them involved. I've been a part of some offenses that we feel like we were able to do that and we'll look to try and do the same here."
OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR MATT LaFLEUR
Aside from how quickly he's picked up the offense, has anything else surprised you about Jared Goff? "I'll be honest with you, I think he's a little more accurate than I anticipated, so that got me excited. Obviously, he's got a big arm. Until you work with a guy you don't really know. Obviously, I studied him coming out in the draft and knew that he had some of the characteristics that you look for. He's a natural thrower. He's tough and he's throwing the ball with, like I said before, surprisingly with really good accuracy."
What excites you about Cooper Kupp? "I think the first thing you know about Cooper is he's a pro and you can see that. He came in here not like most rookies do. He's an extremely polished route runner, got great hands, is a precise route-runner. You can tell he works at his craft each and every day. He does a great job."
DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR WADE PHILLIPS
How much pride do you take in defenses improving quickly once you arrive? "I've had a lot of good players. But, I attribute some of it to the way that we teach them, we don't make many mistakes. We make sure we don't make many mental mistakes, as far as alignment and assignment. Then, we work really hard on fundamentals and techniques and try to improve each player."
Where did the inspiration come from to write your book, Son of Bum?** "We'd been working on it for about a year and a half, so it took a little while to get it done because coaches don't have much time off, especially during the year. During the offseason Vic Carucci and I worked on it. I think it came out well, at least it got over what I wanted to get over, which is how great my dad was and how he influenced a lot of positive things in me and a lot of people. It's a great Father's Day present."
WIDE RECEIVER COOPER KUPP
Coming from a small school, did you go to the combine and private workouts thinking you had something to prove? "No. Anytime you come out there and you're trying to prove something, you're trying to be something more than what you are. If you're trying to prove something, you've got a weight on your chest. There's no room for error. But I'm just trying to come out and be who I am. I'm just going to play football. I know I'm a great player. So I'm going to come out and just let that show. That should be enough."
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER SAMSON EBUKAM
What have been your impressions of Wade Phillips? "He's chill, man. Like he's just right there trying to get you better. And that's what I like about him. He's just trying to get us better. Because if we mess up all he cares about his effort. If you give effort, man, you can make play even if you make a mistake."
OUTSIDE LINEBACKER JUAN PRICE
What do you remember about Aaron Donald from your shared time at Pitt? Ferociousness, strength, naturally gifted, hard worker. He's probably one of the hardest workers I've ever seen. So just to be that naturally gifted and that of a worker really says something about him.
Did you think Donald would be as good as he is? "Yeah. We even went back to high school. We were rivals in high school and he did crazy stuff to our O-line. So I've been seeing it in him, even though he was a smaller guy coming out of high school just like me. But he's been a top dog, so I'm not surprised he's doing what he's doing."