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McVay Encouraged by First Rookie Minicamp Practice

After arriving to the Rams' facility in waves over the course of Thursday afternoon, Los Angeles' draftees, college free agents, and tryout players were on the field for the first of three rookie minicamp practices.

Los Angeles has 50 individuals listed for its two-day camp, including 19 rookie and four veteran tryout players. They'll all go through the process of meetings and workouts, getting acclimated to life in the NFL.

Friday morning, the Rams were on the field form about 10:30 to noon, going through individual position drills and some 7-on-7 group work before wrapping up. They'll be back on the field for a second practice on Friday before their final practice at about noon on Saturday.

"For the first workout, very encouraged," head coach Sean McVay said. "Love the effort, love the energy that we had. And we expect to see the same thing this afternoon."

McVay said the club is mainly evaluating movement and players' ability to compete in this short camp. The coaches don't want to give the players too much to digest from the playbook, because it would likely hinder them in displaying their talents.

"We just want to see their ability to be able to say OK, I'm going to go out, compete, run routes, get into coverage positions, work some of the fundamentals and techniques," McVay said. "That's kind of the intent and the goal of this weekend, as far as our evaluation is concerned."

However, McVay said the players will likely do more from an Xs and Os standpoint in the following weekend sessions.

"Right now, we're in the very early stages of what they'll do with our offensive and defensive schemes, just running a couple of plays on offense and running a couple coverages and fronts on defense," McVay said. "We've got to be smart with some of our numbers that we have see how much team competition we can do this afternoon, we'll be ready to adjust that. But it's exclusive to really an hour and a half of meetings this morning with what they've been exposed to."

From a player perspective, tight end Gerald Everett and wide receiver Cooper Kupp said it's sometimes difficult to set aside the mental aspects of the game and just compete — particularly when you're making a first impression.

"You don't want to mess up. You want to move 100 miles an hour and do the right things every play," Everett said. "But it happens, especially being in rookie minicamp and the first day out here. So I think I had a couple errors, but not too many for my first day. Tomorrow I'll be better."

"For me, I want to know what's the guy next to me got? What's the back doing? Because that gives me a better idea of what I'm going to see defensively and be able to make my route adjustments off of that," Kupp said. "So I definitely tend to think more than that, but it'll just take me a little bit of time to get out of that and just back to playing ball."

Aside from the draft picks, Los Angeles has a significant number of tryout players to evaluate. And as McVay put it, any one of them could turn out to be an important depth piece.

"My first year in coaching in Tampa, we had a guy, Clifton Smith out of Fresno State — comes here for a rookie tryout, ends up making the team and was a Pro Bowl returner," McVay said. "Brandon Banks was a guy in Washington who came as a rookie tryout player, ends up making the team, was an outstanding returner, and is still doing his thing up in the Canadian League. I think there's examples of it."

"You want to make sure that you give the guys that are trying out their due diligence," McVay added. "And I think this weekend will offer an opportunity to find who those best 90 players are on our roster and how we can add to some of the depth that we already have in some of those spots."

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