Los Angeles began its mandatory minicamp on Tuesday afternoon, a wrap-up of Sean McVay's first offseason program as the Rams' head coach.
"I think when you really look at it, [minicamp is] very similar to the OTA structure other than the fact that it's mandated and we get a little more time with the walk-thru and then we'll come out for practice," McVay said. "But getting through the OTAs and kind of Phase I and Phase II, now this kind of represents the culmination of our offseason program."
While the earlier portions of the Rams' offseason program were voluntary, as McVay said, this three-day session is not. And the list of attendees includes defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who was not present for the 10 Rams OTAs the past three weeks. Donald, however, did attend earlier portions of Los Angeles' offseason program, including the voluntary minicamp at the end of April.
"It's great to have Aaron here," McVay said. "He's really kept up with what's going on mentally — such a sharp, natural football player. Kind of made a seamless transition with the walk-thru. And it's great to have him back here around his teammates."
McVay said there is no update on Donald's contract status, though it remains clear that the team would like to get a deal done.
"I think we all want to come to a resolution, and we feel great about what Aaron's done for this organization. And we're optimistic about what's to come," McVay said.
Donald did not participate in practice, though McVay mentioned he was a part of the team's walk-thru earlier in the day. The defensive tackle did some conditioning work on the side during practice.
"With him not being here, wanted to just make sure that he's in great shape — like we know he is — but be smart about the way we give him those reps," McVay said. "And he's done a nice job so far today."
There is a possibility Donald could become a full participant in subsequent practices this week, which McVay said the club will likely determine Tuesday evening.
Still, the team is not concerned about Donald being behind when it comes to learning the new scheme. McVay sounded like he knew Donald had been studying film and working out while he was away in order to stay in shape mentally and physically.
"I think certainly you want your guys here and there's a lot of information that's given," McVay said. "But with some of the resources we do have at our disposal where you're able to do some things away and still access some of the film, he's such a conscientious player that I think he's one of the players that you do feel good about his ability to be able to get up to speed in a quick manner.
"You certainly would love to have those guys here, but with Aaron, he's such a natural football player, I think the game comes simple to him," McVay added. "So that's not something we're too concerned about."
Elsewhere along the defensive front seven, outside linebacker Robert Quinn has been sidelined for minicamp by what McVay termed a minor procedure on his hand.
"When you look at it, what he's done this offseason, the way he's competed, it was a situation where we were able to get it addressed so that it's going to be fixed," McVay said. "He's going to be fully ready to roll for camp."
As for what happened on the field, the Rams were able to get in solid work for their first practice of the week. Quarterback Jared Goff delivered a number of strong throws, particularly when the offense was in the red zone. McVay said he's seen the quarterback come along well in the last few weeks since starting the offseason program.
And so these three days of practice will be important to leave a lasting positive impression for the club's time off before training camp.
"We get a chance to hit all our situations. The majority of our offensive and defensive systems are in place," McVay said. "And I think [minicamp] gives us a chance to really get a good evaluation before we get on break and kind of see where we're at and what we need to really address going forward into training camp."