The Rams completed their second training camp practice on Sunday afternoon. While the players are still acclimating and therefore not yet in pads, there were nevertheless a bevy of quality plays made throughout the day. Here are five observations from Day 2.
1) Goff looked sharp
After going through what the quarterback himself called an “up and down” Day 1, quarterback Jared Goff was on point throughout Day 2. Early in the club’s 11-on-11 drills, Goff rolled to his right off play action and hit wideout Cooper Kupp with a deep downfield pass. It was a sign of things to come for the young quarterback, as he remained sharp all practice.
“Yeah, I felt good,” Goff said during Rams Camp Live after the session. “There are some things you want back, and some things you feel good about. I think, always, you’re trying to get better. But practice is a time to make some mistakes sometimes. But, yeah, today I felt pretty good.”
Goff and wide receiver Robert Woods have also exhibited strong chemistry over the first couple of days, with Woods making a solid sideline reception during 11-on-11 drills on Sunday.
Yes it’s early, but there was a clear progression from Day 1 to Day 2 for the second-year quarterback.
2) Whitworth vs. Quinn will be fun to watch in pads**
Whenever you have two elite players who line up against one another on a daily basis in training camp, it’s fun to watch. We haven’t seen left tackle Andrew Whitworth and outside linebacker Robert Quinn line up against one another in pads yet. But just from their footwork over these last two days, it’s clear there’s going to be some solid competition between them.
As the saying goes, “iron sharpens iron.” And in these first two days, sometimes Quinn wins a rep, and sometimes Whitworth wins a rep. But both players look like they’re at the top of their game.
For Whitworth, that’s despite entering camp at 35 years old.
“If you want to talk about Whit’s age, all you’ve got to do is watch him on the field and you know the productions there. The guy is a leader. The guy’s a beast,” right guard Rob Havenstein said. “Anything I can take from him and apply to my game I am going to do — clearly it works. You don’t stay in the league for that many years without being some of the best. I think it’s better for everyone that we can kind of pull off of him and take what he does.”
3) Barwin still has it
Speaking of Rams free agent acquisitions, outside linebacker Connor Barwin made a few nice moves during the 11-on-11 periods during Sunday’s practice. At one point, he broke out a spin reminiscent of one of the plays we broke down in All 22 once he signed with the club in March. (Head to the 1:00 mark in the video below.)
The outside linebacker clearly has a lot of comfort in coordinator Wade Phillips’ defensive scheme, which should only become more apparent once the players put on pads.
4) Draft picks making plays
It’s always intriguing to see the progress draft picks make from the end of the offseason program to training camp. On Sunday, tight end Gerald Everett displayed how he’s come along, making a few tough catches — including a sliding grab toward the sideline on a pass from Goff in 7-on-7 drills.
“I think when you just look at the first couple of days, the comfort level that you see in Gerald Everett and just moving around and getting lined up and just executing his role responsibility on the given play, he’s much more comfortable,” head coach Sean McVay said. “When you can do that, you can play fast and that’s when I think you’ll see his athleticism.
Elsewhere, Kupp has continued to catch just about everything in sight — including that nice rollout pass from Goff. Fellow wideout Josh Reynolds has displayed some soft hands and his lengthy catch radius — including on a nice comeback route from Goff. Fullback Sam Rogers shook off a defender during one-on-ones to make a reception out of the backfield, eliciting some “Ooos” from the assembled crowd.
And there was one play in 11-on-11 drills where outside linebacker Samson Ebukam flew through the offensive line to get a play stopped as a sack during 11-on-11. It wasn’t quite clear where he rushed from, but he arrived in the backfield quickly to induce the coaches to blow their whistles and end the play.
5) Keep an eye on…
Three under-the-radar players who have caught my attention so far in camp are defensive end Morgan Fox, wide receiver Shakeir Ryan, and defensive back Aaron Penton.
You may remember Fox from last year’s fourth preseason matchup against Minnesota when he dominated the first half with 2.0 sacks and a number of run stuffs and quarterback hits. He has speed and looks like he could be effective as a potential rotational piece along the front seven.
Ryan is an undrafted free agent out of Northwestern State, and is one of the youngest Rams at just 21 years old. But he made a nice deep reception from third-string quarterback Dan Orlovsky during Sunday’s practice. He also has been working as a returner, so it will be telling to see if he receives any game reps there during the preseason.
And Penton has flashed plenty over the first two days. On Saturday, he recorded the day’s only interception, bringing it back for an ostensible pick six. And on Sunday, he stood out in one-on-one drills when he ripped a ball out of an offensive player’s hands to force an incompletion.
Again, it’s early, and there’s much still to learn about all three players once the club puts on pads. But they’re players who have stood out to me over the first two days.