Tight end Derek Carrier just arrived in Los Angeles after the Rams acquired him from Washington, and he's already expected to contribute this week.
"He's going to play," head coach Sean McVay said after Monday's practice. "He's going to be ready to go. He'll be active, he'll play, and he'll see snaps for sure."
How will the recently traded Carrier be ready? Well, he has a good base of knowledge from McVay's tenure as Washington's offensive coordinator over the last two years. Carrier played 20 games over the last two years in McVay's system, starting 11 in 2015.
"There's some similarities but some of the verbs have been changed," Carrier said of the playbook. "There's a little bit of a learning curve in terms of trying to forget what I did in the past and try to grasp what we're doing now."
"They're still using a lot of the same verbiage in Washington that we're using here. So, I think it's going to be an easy transition," McVay said. "Not taking anything away from it, but I think his experience being familiar with the verbiage, while there's a couple little nuances, for the most part he's a really smart contentious guy that's always done a nice job of picking things up pretty quickly. And it seemed like he did that today."
McVay said Carrier looked good in his first practice with Los Angeles, showing some of his positional flexabilty. And because Carrier is already well versed in the offensive system, he'll be able to contribute alongside Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett in many of the same ways Temarrick Hemingway would have prior to his injury.
"He can play in-line, he can play in the backfield at some of those move spots that you see us utilize — some of the tight ends," McVay said. "I think when you add him to the mix with Tyler and with Gerald's emergence, you feel good about those three, especially knowing how important and how valuable Temarrick was to us. So we feel very fortunate to be able to add a player like Derek."
And the tight end has had a favorable impression of the new teammates in his room.
"Great group of guys. They all bring something different to the table, whether it's being great in the run game and pass game," Carrier said. "That's kind of something I've liked to do as part of my career — kind of grab things from people that I've learned from along the way, and try to incorporate that into any own game. So it's a great learning environment."
Carrier described himself as an "all-around tight end," adding, "I take pride at being at the point of attack in the run game, and being able to make plays in the passing game. I try to do everything to the best of my ability."
He's looking forward to working with McVay once again, saying he has a "great admiration and respect" for the head coach.
"Just a great coach, great person," Carrier said of McVay. "Knows how to relate to players and knows how to coach, get through to guys. And, like I said, just a great overall guy."
Carrier's whirlwind few days will let up a bit with Los Angeles' day off on Tuesday. But being in a Rams uniform for Sunday's game agains the Colts should have him feeling centered once again.
"I think at the end of the day, it's football. It's a sport that I love to play," Carrier said. "Just different location and different team."