Veterans report tomorrow, which means we’re just days away from the beginning of training camp, with rookies reporting today and veterans reporting on Friday to U.C. Irvine. And to get you ready, we’re taking your questions all week. From Monday through Friday, team insider Myles Simmons will answer one Q in this space for the question of the day. If you’ve got a question, send it over to Simmons on Twitter @MylesASimmons and you just might see it here on the site.*
Today’s question comes from David.
Cornerback seems like it’s shaping up to be one of the more competitive positions on the team during training camp this year.
Under the franchise tag for the second year in a row, Trumaine Johnson is slated to start on the outside for L.A. He’s heading into his sixth pro season and has 16 career interceptions. But after recording seven in 2015, he recorded only one last year.
Opposite Johnson, however, things could be a bit more open. Head coach Sean McVay has said that Kayvon Webster will at least begin camp as the starter opposite Johnson. One advantage Webster had coming in was his knowledge of new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ scheme, as he played under him for the last to years in Denver.
Beyond that, there’s likely going to be plenty of competition in the group led by corners coach Aubrey Pleasant. E.J. Gaines has the most starting experience, with 15 starts as a rookie and 10 in 2016. But he’s had trouble staying healthy, missing all of 2015 with a foot injury and parts of last year with various ailments. Entering his fourth season, it’s a contract year for Gaines, which in many ways raises the importance of having a quality season.
Mike Jordan played in five games, starting two, in 2016 as an undrafted free agent out of Missouri Western State. With as much experience as he gained, he could play an important role on the outside.
Troy Hill falls into a somewhat similar category as Jordan. A former undrafted free agent, the Rams claimed Hill off waivers at the end of 2015 from the Bengals. Hill played in 12 games, starting four last season. But a two-game suspension to begin the 2017 season will at least keep him from contributing in a major way early in the year.
Additionally, L.A. has Kevin Peterson and Aarion Penton on its roster. Peterson spent the last week of the 2016 season on the Rams’ practice squad before being added to the offseason roster. And pentane is an undrafted free agent out of Missouri.
Thanks for your question, David. We’ve got one more day for the Mailbag this week, so be sure to get in your questions to @MylesASimmons on Twitter*.