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Rookie running back John Kelly will be the first to tell you he has a big personality.
Whether on the field or off, Kelly can often be found joking around with his new teammates and running backs coach Skip Peete — always with a big smile on his face.
And in the six weeks since he was drafted by the Rams, that bright personality has served him well, helping to build a solid foundation throughout OTAs.
"I've been able to learn at a nice tempo, so I'm pretty excited," Kelly said. "Just being able to come up here and bond with some of my teammates, build a good relationship with the coaches and everybody in the building. It's been a good ride so far."
But Kelly, like many other first-year players, has also experienced his share of challenges. In just a few months, the Tennessee product has undergone several big life changes — moving to the West Coast and beginning a full-time career among them.
While the most difficult aspect for Kelly has admittedly been learning the offensive system at such a quick pace, the process has been made easier by the veterans in his room.
"Todd Gurley, Malcolm Brown, and Justin Davis have all been pretty helpful," Kelly explained. "If we make a mistake out here, they are making sure to help us on the corrections as soon as possible. We've got a pretty good running backs room, so I'm excited to see what the year got for us."
The group has also helped Kelly with one of the lesser acknowledged aspects of being an NFL rookie — acting as a professional.
"I think I'm the youngest guy in our class [and] this is grown-man business, so I've got to mature for sure," Kelly said. "We've got a bigger target on us than it was at first when we were in college. We're more under the
microscope being professional athletes, so I'm definitely trying to make sure I stay along with that phase as well."
And after his first month with the organization, Kelly feels as if he has been placed into the perfect environment. Not only does he believe the roster features "a nice blend of personalities," but a head coach in Sean McVay who is very connected with the team as a whole.
"With coach McVay being a younger guy, he can relate to us a lot more and we have a nice group of older guys who've been in this league for a long time as well," Kelly said.
"I feel like we got a culture that's like no other," he continued. "As far as me being here and me taking visits to other places, I feel like coach McVay did a good job of developing a great culture here. We're all caring and loving on each other everyday, but we're also competing everyday at practice."