IRVINE, Calif. – Head coach Sean McVay and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris each met with local media Wednesday following the seventh practice of 2021 Rams Training Camp presented by UNIFY Financial Credit Union, discussing the soft shells worn by offensive linemen, defensive linemen and linebackers on their helmets during Wednesday's practice (McVay), their assessment of the defensive so far (Morris) and more.
Here are some of the highlights and key takeaways from those conversations, which you can watch in their entirety below:
"Better safety. No swag with those things on, but, hey, we'll be safe and smart and guys were great about it because they understand exactly why." – McVay
- The Rams' offensive linemen, defensive linemen and linebackers all wore soft shells on their helmets on Wednesday, two days after quarterback Matthew Stafford got a contusion on his right thumb contusion after hitting a defender's helmet with it.
- Besides preventing potential thumb, finger or hand injuries, those soft shells also help avoid concussions and with preventative maintenance, according to McVay.
"(Tutu Atwell) did a good job. It's good to get him out here." – McVay
- Rookie wide receiver Tutu Atwell was activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday and put in a limited amount of work in practice. McVay said it was good to have him out there, "even just running routes on air, getting comfortable, hearing the terminology in the huddle, breaking it, getting lined up the right way. You can tell he's a smart, conscientious guy."
- McVay said they expect him to get up to speed quickly, but also wanted to be smart with their progression of Atwell given his extended absence.
"I like where we're at with the energy. I like where we're at from a learning curve, from a mentality standpoint, and the guys buying in to what we're trying to sell." – Morris
- While it's difficult to gauge the defense's progress without having gone against another opponent yet, there are still areas of tangible progress Morris can see as mentioned above.
- What Morris cares the most about is the defense making M.A.D. (Make A Difference) plays. "We got to go out there and we got to make those splash plays, those plays that make a difference in the game," he said. If that culture is established and those plays are made, "you'll become the best defense."
"Nothing like going against another team and going out there, seeing different plays and different types of deals to get it going." – Morris
- To that previous point, Morris and the Rams will have a valuable opportunity when they conduct a joint practice with the Cowboys in Oxnard.
- "We'll get a chance to communicate with the opposing team and tell those guys what we want to do and how we want to go get it accomplished, as far as the physicality, as far as the tempo, as far as pushing it to a game-like atmosphere as close as possible," Morris said.