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Preseason Week 1 notebook: McVay on OL Joe Noteboom competing at multiple spots, deciding between Stetson Bennett and Brett Rypien as starting QB for preseason opener

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Offensive lineman Joe Noteboom will be in the mix for more than just the starting left tackle job.

Rams head coach Sean McVay confirmed that Noteboom, who had been rotating with Alaric Jackson at left tackle throughout training camp, is getting reps and competing at right guard.

"We feel like he's one of our better players, want to be able to move him around," McVay said after Thursday's practice. "You're just figuring out kind of the best way to mix and match. Joe's the guy that can play inside and outside, and so it's one of those deals that we kind of had planned initially. He started at guard for us before, whether or not he ends up doing that or playing tackle, we're still kind of working through that."

Guard is not entirely foreign to Noteboom. He saw time at right guard – and both tackle spots as a rookie during the 2018 preseason. Throughout his rookie year, he practiced at both tackle positions and both guard positions.

In 2019, Noteboom started six games at left guard before suffering a season-ending knee injury in that sixth game. He was also the starting left guard for the first three games of the 2020 season before suffering a knee injury in that third game. Later that 2020 season, he filled in for an injured Andrew Whitworth at left tackle.

McVay indicated competing at right guard won't prevent Noteboom from competing at left tackle. When McVay was asked by a reporter if he would like to see Noteboom hold down the left tackle spot given the investment the team made in Noteboom in the spring of 2022 – a three-year contract – McVay said he did not have a preference.

"You'd like to be able to see him continue to earn his role with our team," McVay said. "We want to find the best five, but I think every one of those positions is incredibly valuable. And really, whatever we deem is kind of the best fit for the five players at the two tackles, two guard spots and center. But I think Joe is a guy that can start at guard or tackle, and he's played at a high level, and so players like him are very rare that have the ability to do that."

Still deciding whether Bennett or Rypien starts at QB on Saturday

McVay said the team is "still working through" whether Stetson Bennett or Brett Rypien starts at quarterback on Saturday against the Chargers.

"There's a lot of layers (to that decision)," McVay said. "I think it's, exactly who are we going to play? We kind of have an idea, but we're going to finalize that and I want to make sure I talk to our players about that first. And then, just what are some of the things we want to do? Those are some of the things that go into it."

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