THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – New Rams special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis (virtually) met with the media for the first time Thursday afternoon, covering a host of topics such as his vision for the unit and his evaluation of the punter and kicker positions and return game, among others.
Here are some of the top takeaways from that virtual media session, which you can watch in its entirety below:
»Introductions have already begun. DeCamillis said he has spoken to punter Johnny Hekker, kicker Matt Gay, long snapper Jake McQuaide and "a couple of the new signings." He also was star-struck by defensive lineman Aaron Donald and will continue working his way through the rest of the roster.
"I saw Aaron Donald today, probably the greatest player in the real world, which was awesome to see, and (I will) hopefully start to make connections with some of those guys," DeCamillis said.
»Rams are set at punter and kicker in DeCamillis' eyes, but return game is still being evaluated. DeCamillis wants punt and kickoff coverage units to condense the field as much as possible, and "we've got a great punter to do that, and the kicker I think is going to get better as we go."
In the return game, DeCamillis said "you want to spread the field, make it as wide as you can, get as many gaps as you can," and "we've got to get a great returner. We've got to get a guy that can ring the bell and drop the ball over the goal line." That phase is still being assessed by DeCamillis, who later added that an effective return game starts with great blocking.
»DeCamillis will be prepared to break in a new long snapper, if needed. McQuaide is a pending unrestricted free agent, and if he does not return to the Rams, DeCamillis has first-hand experience with installing a new long snapper, having done so in each of his final two seasons in Jacksonville.
While DeCamillis said "you really have get the right one" at that position, he also recognizes how instrumental McQuaide was in Hekker and former Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein's success.
"Hopefully, (McQuaide will) have a chance to come in here and compete because I think he's excellent," DeCamillis said.