Training camp has come to an end at UC Irvine. Check out senior writer/team insider Myles Simmons' top 10 observations from each day of camp.
1) While head coach Sean McVay downplayed the notion of running back Darrell Henderson getting first-team snaps — the Rams are rotating in a lot of players, McVay said — Henderson looks the part. During one-on-one drills, Henderson caught a slant going from left to right and it’s easy to see why the Rams like him. McVay credited Henderson’s work ethic and running backs coach Skip Peete for getting the rookie RB up to speed.
2) Running back Darrell Henderson continues to impress over the first couple days. Again during on-on-ones, he tracked a deep ball down the right side from quarterback Brandon Allen, reeling it in over his shoulder. There are wide receivers who don’t have that kind of ability. It’s early and the Rams aren’t in pads, but he looks like a weapon.
3) At the end of the half-field drills, quarterback Jared Goff connected with wide receiver Josh Reynolds on a deep route down the middle of the field for what would’ve been a touchdown. Reynolds put a double move on the defensive backs and Goff put the ball just within reach of the wideout, who stretched out to make the grab. Later in the session, Reynolds used his 6-foot-3 frame again in 11-on-11 drills, making a catch from Goff off play action. On an intermediate route over the middle, Reynolds stretched up to make the catch, reeling in what initially looked like it could be an incompletion. That’s an element Reynolds can bring that’s unique in the WRs room.
4) Outside linebacker Dante Fowler had a couple of impressive periods on Monday afternoon. During the first 11-on-11, he got into the backfield to stop Natson for what would’ve been a loss on an end around to the defense’s right, showing his speed and strength. Then he burst in off the edge on the defense’s left to get a pop on Henderson. His speed really makes a difference.
5) Aaron Donald is good at defensive line drills. That’s it, that’s the observation.
6) During 11-on-11 drills, Donald and outside linebacker Dante Fowler got off the ball so fast on one play that they nearly took a handoff from backup quarterback Blake Bortles in the backfield. The pair of defenders absolutely ruined the play for the offense, and embraced one another in celebration near the sideline. Everyone knows what to expect from Donald, but Fowler has put tighter a nice camp so far.
Aug. 1 - Joint practice with the Chargers
7) The Rams’ tight ends made some big plays throughout the day, one coming in the red zone 7-on-7 period from Tyler Higbee. Los Angeles was using a two tight end set, Higbee ran a slant on the right side, made the catch, got popped by a defender, but still held on for a touchdown. Goff went back to Higbee during the first 11-on-11 period, hitting the fourth-year tight end down the left sideline off play action for a play that would’ve gone for a touchdown. Goff’s ball placement was strong on the play, dropping it in the bucket for Higbee to run down the field for YAC.
8) In red zone 11-on-11 drills, tight end Gerald Everett caught a pass and tiptoed the end line for a touchdown. Whitworth neutralized Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa in the backfield, giving Goff time to complete the pass as the play developed. Later on in that practice, Goff once again connected with Everett in the red zone for a touchdown. The tight end got his feet in quickly for a second time, but in this instance he was at the front right pylon.
Aug. 3 — Joint practice with the Chargers
9) For an 11-on-11 move the ball drill, the Chargers were able to move the chains on the first try but on the net set of downs, cornerback Aqib Talib batted a ball down, Rivers had to throw away a second-down pass, and then a check-down swing pass went nowhere on third down. Talib continued his big day by nearly making a diving interception on an intermediate route in the middle of the field. And in a later period, he had strong coverage on Keenan Allen on a deep pass to the the end zone, forcing another incompletion.
10) To end practice on the defense’s field, Dominique Hatfield picked off an intermediate Taylor pass in the middle of the field before taking it to the house down the defense’s right sideline. It was a fitting close to a strong defensive day from the Rams.