Rams head coach Sean McVay, left tackle Andrew Whitworth and defensive tackle Aaron Donald held video conferences with local media Wednesday morning. Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from that virtual conversation:
"We'll try to mimic and emulate a game-like setting as much as possible in those two opportunities." – McVay
- McVay expanded upon the team's scrimmage plans at SoFi Stadium. According to him, the first scrimmage will be held this Saturday, August 22, around 5 p.m. pacific time similar to the kickoff time for the season-opener against Dallas. The second and final scrimmage will take place Saturday, August 29, at 1 p.m. pacific time "to get a feel for what a lot of our home games will feel like."
- Beyond a game-like setting, McVay also said these settings would serve the purpose of "a little bit of both" increased physicality and getting acclimated to the new stadium.
"I think they've done a nice job. They really have." – McVay
- The Rams have only had a couple of padded practices so far, but McVay has been pleased with the progress of the offensive line early on based on what they carried over from last year.
- McVay said he's been "particularly impressed" with Joe Noteboom and Austin Corbett, who have been getting first team reps at left guard and right guard respectively.
- McVay also said he feels Noteboom has "picked up right where he left off" prior to last season's knee injury.
"I'm hoping that in the next week or so (Taylor Rapp) will be able to get back out on the field." – McVay
- Asked if he was able to provide a timeline on safety Taylor Rapp's return, McVay remains hopeful it will be sooner than later.
- McVay added that he's hoping to get more clarity on Rapp's status next week.
"I'm glad that he's back because I feel like he's a huge piece to the puzzle that we need." – Donald
- Donald is grateful to have defensive lineman Michael Brockers in the fold, especially with defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson on the Active/Non-Football Injury List.
- Donald has previously praised Brockers as "one of the best run-stoppers in the NFL," making him a key part of L.A.'s run defense.
"That's good competition. That's the stuff you love." – Donald
- Asked about cornerback Jalen Ramsey's big hit on running back Cam Akers, Donald viewed it as a healthy sign of two teammates trying to help each other improve.
- Donald said that "at the end of the day, football is football, and the end goal is to play at a high level and get the guys around you better."
"I say this as humbly and respectfully as I can, I think I've outlasted most of them (laughs)." – Whitworth
- Asked if he has reached out to any left tackles who successfully played into their 30s for tips on how to be productive at that stage in their careers, Whitworth said one key takeaway he learned from them was managing his health better as he got older.
- Whitworth, who estimates he played at "345 or 350" pounds early in his career, made a commitment when he turned 30 years old to report to each successive training camp at a lighter weight. He said he weighed around 342 pounds when he made that decision at age 30, and on Wednesday, the now 38-year-old offensive lineman said he's currently around "315, 316" pounds.
"You're just so happy for him. He's worked his butt off this offseason." – Whitworth
- After McVay said right tackle Rob Havenstein "has been outstanding" so far in training camp, Whitworth joined the chorus of praise and shared his excitement about seeing Havenstein at full strength.
- Whitworth would know, and not just because they're part of the same position group: They both worked out together during the offseason at Whitworth's house, so he had a front row seat to the work Havenstein put in. "It meant something to him to come back healthy and over the injury," Whitworth said.