The Rams’ first-team offense took advantage of a special teams turnover by scoring a touchdown in the club’s 13-10 victory over the Cowboys on Saturday. But after the game, much of the conversation revolved around who the unit will work to integrate in the coming days and weeks.
Newly acquired wide receiver Sammy Watkins arrived in Los Angeles a few hours before kickoff and watched the game from the sidelines. And while there wasn’t much time, he did have a chance to meet with his new head coach.
“He just got in where his flight got in and it gave us a chance to spend a little bit of time together pregame,” head coach Sean McVay said after the game Saturday. “A really impressive person. I got a chance to talk to him. There’s a lot of similar people that we’ve crossed paths with that have reached out to me since we acquired him and can’t say enough good things about him.”
Quarterback Jared Goff don’t have his phone when the trade became official, but quickly got up to speed on the news.
“We were in meetings and we break meetings and I look at my phone — [I’ve got] like 50 text messages like, ‘Sammy Watkins. Sammy Watkins.’ I was like, ‘What? What happened?’” Goff said with a laugh. “We’re excited about Sammy and excited to see what he can do.”
Watkins is the latest piece the Rams have added to improve their pass game. Wideouts Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp have both been heavily involved in the offense all camp, and once Tavon Austin returns from his injured hamstring, Goff acknowledged he’ll have a nice set of weapons on the outside to throw to.
“You start stacking guys like that, you start building a pretty good roster on the perimeter there,” Goff said. “Again, I’m excited to see what [Watkins] can do along with the other guys.”
Goff said Watkins is “obviously a weapon” whose “track record speaks for itself for what he’s able to do.” And while it will take time to build chemistry with the new wideout, Goff didn’t seem concerned about that aspect of the trade.
“I think he’s a guy who can stretch the field. I think that’s what we get from him, obviously, right away,” Goff said. “I also think he’s not only a really good guy, but works hard – just from what I’ve gathered so far. He’s excited to be here. He’s excited to get to work, and just briefly talking with him over the phone and on the sideline really quickly, just getting a feel for him – he seems like a really determined guy and excited about a fresh start.”
As for the process of getting Watkins comfortable and integrated into the offense by the end of the preseason, McVay said that’s a process the Rams will handle with a sense of urgency.
“I know that he’s a guy that’s excited about getting to learn it and immediately get immersed in the system. I think that you just make sure that you pay a little closer attention,” McVay said. “We’ve got a couple receiver coaches with Eric Yarber, who does an excellent job, and then we’ve got an assistant in Zac Taylor who’s a great coach too. They’ll be able to split up those duties and maybe one of them will be able to pay closer attention in trying to get Sammy up to speed. That’s going to be an important part of what we’re doing.”