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From the Podium: Sean McVay, Michael Hoecht, Rob Havenstein, Cobie Durant, Tyler Higbee and Cam Akers on start of 2023 training camp

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. –Rams head coach Sean McVay, outside linebacker Michael Hoecht, offensive tackle Rob Havenstein, defensive back Cobie Durant, tight end Tyler Higbee, and running back Cam Akers each held press conferences with local media Tuesday as players arrived for training camp, discussing their offseason goals and approach to training camp for the upcoming season.

Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those conversations, which you can watch in their entirety below.

"I think there was (consideration to bringing in a more veteran edge presence)." – McVay

  • McVay said the Rams did consider adding a veteran edge rusher, but it was a direction they ultimately decided not to go in based on the way the draft unfolded and having so many young players at the position competing.
  • "And then there was some limitations in terms of alright, what are you able to do and what kind of player are you able to really bring in at a position like that?"

"It's more changing how you train." – Hoecht

  • Spending the offseason training at outside linebacker full time prompted Hoecht to change his training.
  • As a 3-technique defensive lineman, it was about fast-twitch movement and getting off the ball. Now as an outside linebacker, he is focusing more on his top-end speed and distance running since he'll sometimes be asked to drop into coverage.

"Really leading how I want to lead and not how other people would see how you're supposed to lead." – Havenstein

  • Asked what he's looking in terms of growth in leadership this year, Havenstein pointed to continuing to authentically lead just as he did last year.
  • Havenstein indicated that approach remains unchanged whether it's a young or experienced offensive line room.

"Star is a lot more mental than being on the outside. It's a lot of moving." – Durant

  • Durant is one of the candidates to take over the "star" position in the secondary following Jalen Ramsey's departure earlier this offseason.
  • "It gets really technical in there. You know, and I've been studying since last season. Just being able to be ready, and you know, go out and compete.

"It's been amazing. I'm blessed to be here in year eight and excited for it." – Higbee

  • Higbee said that being the competitor he is, he hoped he would still be playing this far into his NFL career.
  • "A little different being an older guy, coming around here, seeing the younger guys come in and each year you feel a little bit farther removed from the young crowd," Higbee said. "But it's cool and I'm blessed to be here in Year 8."

"Just making sure my weight was (up) where it needed to be." – Akers

  • Akers said one of his offseason goals was staying on top of having his weight where he wanted it to be.
  • Akers also spent the offseason studying his reps from OTAs this spring and also studied his teammates in order to learn from himself and themselves too.

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