Quotes and Notes 8/1: Eric Weddle competes against former team in Rams practice with Chargers

After each media session, Quotes and Notes will bring you what was said, who said it, and what it means for your Los Angeles Rams.

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“I love and have the utmost respect for him and all the players that I used to play with. It was fun to get out there on the practice field and compete and it makes each other better.”

— S Eric Weddle

  • Rams safety Eric Weddle went against many of his old teammates — including quarterback Philip Rivers — during the Rams’ joint practice with the Chargers on Thursday morning.
  • Weddle played nine years for the Chargers in San Diego before spending the last three seasons with the Ravens.
  • Weddle said he enjoyed getting to practice against Rivers, adding that Rivers didn’t seem to challenge the him too much throughout the course of the session.
  • The 34-year-old safety will get a chance to compete against the 37-year-old Rivers later this week during the teams’ second joint practice at UC Irvine.

“[T]hose are the conversations you miss and it’s helped me become the player I am today of what we went through for nine years.”

— S Eric Weddle

  • Weddle was asked about his conversations with Rivers, with the reporter apparently having spotted the safety and quarterback chatting at one point during practice.
  • Weddle noted that he used to habitually have those kinds of conversations with Rivers when both were on the same team for years.
  • The safety said he learned plenty from going over plays — why they succeeded, why they failed — with Rivers. It helped him see the game better.

Check out photos from first of two joint practices with the Chargers!

“When you have that trust and you have that accountability, everything runs smooth.”

— S Eric Weddle

  • Weddle was also asked about how helpful joint practices can be in terms of jelling with his new teammates.
  • The veteran safety downplayed that notion a bit, essentially saying that he’s already been building plenty of chemistry through practices.
  • Many defensive players have spoken about how Weddle can move them around pre-snap based on what he’s seeing from an offense.
  • Weddle said he’s always accountable for those moves, noting that if he ends up being wrong, that’s what he tells the coaches.
  • To him, that’s how he establishes the trust that helps everything run efficiently on defense.

“I’m out here practicing.”

— RB Todd Gurley

  • Running back Todd Gurley had a simple answer when a reporter asked how his knee is feeling.
  • In other words, if he’s on the field practicing, his knee is doing just fine.
  • Gurley rotated in with Malcolm Brown, John Kelly, and Darrell Henderson with the first-team offense throughout Thursday morning’s practice.
  • And when Gurley was in, he looked explosive.

“I think you can expect to see him get some work on Saturday when we revisit these guys.”

— HC Sean McVay

  • Head coach Sean McVay held wide receiver Cooper Kupp out from the joint portions of practice out of an abundance of caution.
  • Kupp has been a full participant in training camp so far, but McVay didn’t want to put Kupp in harm’s way unnecessarily.
  • McVay noted that the tempo of practice was such that he’ll likely feel comfortable putting Kupp out there against the Chargers on Saturday.

“Mike Thomas and JoJo — they had a day. They had a great day.”

— RB Todd Gurley

  • Gurley had praise for a pair of wide receivers, Mike Thomas and JoJo Natson, after what the pair were able to accomplish on the field during Thursday’s practice.
  • Thomas has started to develop a real chemistry with backup quarterback Blake Bortles, as the signal-caller seems to find him all the time.
  • That was the case on Thursday, with the pair connecting a number of times against the Chargers.
  • Thomas also came in for wide receiver Brandin Cooks — who experienced some hamstring tightness — and made what McVay called “some big-time catches” against the first-team defense.
  • While a return specialist last year, Natson also made some strong receptions with the twos on Thursday.

“I thought overall, going against a front of that caliber, I thought that they did a nice job today.”

— HC Sean McVay

  • McVay liked what he saw from the Rams’ offensive line on Thursday.
  • The Chargers finished with 38 sacks last season, led by defensive end Melvin Ingram (7.0) and defensive end Joey Bosa (5.5). Bosa was injured for much of the season, however, playing just seven games.
  • Left tackle Andrew Whitworth displayed his skill on the practice field, particularly on a red zone play where he neutralized Bosa in the backfield to give Goff time to find tight end Gerald Everett for a touchdown.

“They positively push each other. … Both those guys, you saw them show up in the pass game and they did a nice job in the run game.”

— HC Sean McVay

  • Speaking of Everett, both he and Tyler Higbee made a number of impact plays from the tight end position on Thursday.
  • Everett had a pair of red-zone touchdown receptions, and Higbee had a pair of downfield catches that ostensibly could have gone for scoring strikes.
  • McVay said both Higbee and Everett positively influence and affect one another, and gave new TEs coach Wes Phillips credit for the way he’s developed the players at the position throughout the offseason.

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