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Quotes & Notes 7/30: Aqib Talib likes displaying his competitive nature at training camp

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.


"I think you get a chance to evaluate some of the things up front a little bit better."

— HC Sean McVay

  • The Rams were in full pads for the first time in this 2019 training camp on Tuesday.
  • While players were not tackling to the ground, putting on pads does present the best opportunity to evaluate players on the offensive and defensive lines.
  • Putting on pads for the first time also makes things more realistic for quarterbacks, as most of the time they haven't thrown with pads on since the end of the previous season.

"It sounds crazy, but he looks more explosive than he was before, actually. And some of the numbers indicate that with just the way we've monitored him. And he's feeling good."

— HC Sean McVay

  • Head coach Sean McVay made a bit of a surprising comment, telling reporters that wide receiver Cooper Kupp looks more explosive than he did before the injury.
  • McVay noted the club has data to support that notion, given the way it tracks players during practice.
  • Kupp has looked healthy throughout training camp, making a number of impressive catches through the first four days.
  • McVay added that Kupp still feels like he's getting his feet wet when it comes to performance, so there still is more progress to be made.
  • Nevertheless, Kupp clearly looks like he's ready to resume being one of the top receivers on the team.

"I think that's what makes me good — I'm just competitive. If I'm out here, I want to be the best."

— CB Aqib Talib

  • Veteran cornerback Aqib Talib has made plenty of plays throughout camp, including an interception over the first couple days.
  • Talib is entering his 12th season in the NFL, and what keeps him at the top of his game is likely just how competitive he is.
  • Talib is currently No. 2 on the active list with 35 career interceptions.
  • When the Rams played with Talib last season, the Rams allowed 17.8 points per game and 321.1 yards per game.
  • In the eight games without the veteran corner, Los Angeles allowed 401.3 yards per game and 30.8 points per game.

"It's a few plays where I can't even get to my run fit — Aaron just tears the play up."

— CB Aqib Talib

  • Talib has played with defending back-to-back AP Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald for a full season, but this is his first training camp with the All-Pro.
  • Donald is so good defensively, he has a tendency to be a "practice wrecker" for the offense.
  • And as Talib noted, Donald is so fast that sometimes the corner can't even get to his assignment before the defensive tackle has already destroyed the play in the backfield.
  • Donald and outside linebacker Dante Fowler teamed up to do that during practice on Tuesday, as both players used their speed to nearly take a handoff from backup QB Blake Bortles.

"He's so smart, it seems like he's been in it a long time."

— CB Aqib Talib

  • While safety Eric Weddle has only been with the Rams and playing under coordinator Wade Phillips for a matter of months, Talib said it doesn't feel that way.
  • Weddle did play in a similar defensive system with the Chargers, but it wasn't quite like what L.A. is doing.
  • Talib is far from the only one to notice how Weddle's smarts can help the Rams, as any player or coach who's been asked about the veteran safety has extolled him.
  • But as Talib said, Weddle is helping everyone on the defense — and in some ways even the offense — approach the next level.

"Still early, but he's definitely showing the encouraging things that we liked so much at Memphis."

— HC Sean McVay

  • Rookie running back Darrell Henderson seems to make an impressive play every day at training camp, and McVay has taken notice.
  • The head coach noted that the team can see Henderson's explosive nature.
  • With running backs Todd Gurley and Malcolm Brown at the top of the depth chart, Henderson should get a chance to impress in preseason games.
  • Henderson averaged 8.9 yards per carry in his sophomore and junior seasons at Memphis.

Check out the best photos from Rams Training Camp Day 2!

"That really, in a lot of ways, will represent what we would like to see as the preseason work for our players that we know can play."

— HC Sean McVay

  • The next time the Rams practice, it'll be on Friday at the Chargers facility for one of two joint sessions with the two teams this week.
  • The Rams will have four joint practices over the next two weeks.
  • McVay has all but announced that starters won't play in the preseason for the second consecutive year — which makes sense given Los Angeles' success with the method in 2018.
  • But the joint practices are important for the starters in order to get ready for the season in controlled environments that lessen the risk of injury.
  • That's how the Rams will use Thursday and Saturday's practices with the Chargers, and then the two practice next week in Napa, Calif. with the Raiders.

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