After a long holiday weekend, the Rams were back on the field for their fourth of 10 OTA practices on Tuesday. Here are five takeaways from the session.
1) Brown takes snaps at right tackle
There’s a solid competition brewing at right tackle between Greg Robinson and Jamon Brown. With the free agent signing of left tackle Andrew Whitworth, head coach Sean McVay moved Robinson to the right side of the line. And after Brown impressed throughout the offseason program, the coaching staff opted to give him first-team snaps at right tackle during Tuesday’s session.
“The right tackle position is something that we’re evaluating. I think Greg has shown some good signs. Any time that you transition from the left to the right, there is an adjustment period,” McVay said. “It was good to see Jamon Brown. He’s continuing to grow and improve.
“That’s a position where we feel like we’ve got some good options at that spot,” McVay continued, “and we’ll continue to evaluate that moving forward.”
Brown played at both tackle spots in college at Louisville, so he has familiarity and a sense of comfort there after working at guard for his first two seasons in the NFL.
“It’s kind of easy to knock the rust off and get back to doing what I did,” Brown said. “It’s been going pretty good. I don’t think there’s too much rust.”
2) Johnson, Donald absent
While cornerback Trumaine Johnson has been an active participant in the Rams’ offseason program, he opted to skip Tuesday’s practice.
“It’s a situation where I continue to remind people that it is voluntary,” McVay said. “We’re not sure where Trumaine was today, but it is voluntary. Guys that stepped up in his absence did an excellent job. I’m sure we’ll find out specifically because he’s done a great job this offseason communicating and being here every day.”
Defensive tackle Aaron Donald also continued to opt to train elsewhere. Last week, general manager Les Snead confirmed it is a contract-related absence for Donald, saying he’s hopeful a deal will get done. But McVay said there was no update on Donald following Tuesday’s practice.
3) Sullivan leading competition at center
One of the advantages of signing free agent center John Sullivan was his familiarity with McVay’s offensive system, having played in it with Washington last year. Also sporting several years of starting experience in Minnesota, Sullivan has at this point solidified his role as the Rams’ first-team center.
“Certainly right now John has definitely taken a hold of that spot. He’s done a great job commanding up front, with the calls, with the communication,” McVay said. “I think we feel very fortunate to have John, but you also want to continue to allow guys to develop.”
Those younger players at center include Austin Blythe — who the Rams recently claimed off waivers from the Colts — and college free agent Jake Eldrenkamp of Washington. The club also has 2014 draft pick Demetrius Rhaney at the position.
“Whoever gives us the best ability to win games and play at a high level is who we’re going to put out there,” McVay said. “Right now, we feel like John has done that and it’s pretty clear.”
4) Everett making early strides
Rookie tight end Gerald Everett has made a number of catches during the early going of OTAs and McVay noted Tuesday the second-round pick is making solid progress.
“When you look at the tight end position, we ask those guys to move around a lot. They’re involved in the run game, the pass game, sometimes protection,” McVay said. “I think he’s getting more comfortable with our verbiage, with the system each and every day. Did some good things. I think once he feels more comfortable with that, it’ll enable him to play a little bit faster and that’s where you can see that athleticism show up that we liked so much on tape from him in college.”
5) Working on the two-minute drill
Since he was hired in January, McVay has consistently talked about Los Angeles becoming “situational masters.” To that end, the Rams have been installing and working on different aspects of their offense over the last week — first down, second down, third down, red zone. On Tuesday, the club practiced two-minute situations.
“I thought the offense did a nice job with their tempo, getting in and out of the huddle, the communication. The defense did a good job, too,” McVay said. “It’s always hard when you’re not playing tackle to see would a guy break a tackle, would he not. But, the tempo, the communication, was at a premium on both sides and that’s what we felt good about.”