THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams head coach Sean McVay met with local media Tuesday afternoon following the announcement of the team's initial 53-man roster, covering some of the deep positions on the roster, positions that presented the toughest choices, and more.
Here are some of the top takeaways from the press conference, which you can watch in its entirety below.
Defensive backs, outside linebackers presented most difficult choices during reduction
While initial 53-man roster was "competitive all-around," according to McVay, the aforementioned groups presented the toughest decisions.
Hearing that doesn't come as too much of a surprise, considering McVay alluded it to it last Thursday when discussing the preseason performances of safeties J.R. Reed and JuJu Hughes to that point. The Rams wound up carrying 10 defensive backs total on their initial 53-man roster – four cornerbacks and six safeties, with Reed and Hughes among those six.
As for outside linebacker, the play of rookie Chris Garrett and 2018 seventh-round pick Justin Lawler in the preseason also likely contributed to the difficult decisions to make there. Garrett was among the five who made the roster, joining Leonard Floyd, Justin Hollins, Ogbo Okoronkwo and Terrell Lewis, while Lawler was waived.
Depth at offensive line and interior defensive line
Besides defensive back, depth also showed up in two other key places on the roster: Offensive line and interior defensive line.
The Rams carried nine offensive linemen on their initial 53-man roster, and will have 10 when Coleman Shelton is activated off the Reserve/COVID-19 list. As noted in the analysis of the roster, that group has a healthy amount of experience now compared to the groups on the initial 53-man roster of the last two years: Andrew Whitworth has 224 career games played (2020 starts), David Edwards 32 (24 starts), Brian Allen 22 (nine starts), Austin Corbett 38 (24 starts), Rob Havenstein 84 (all starts), Joe Noteboom 32 (15 starts) and Tremayne Anchrum Jr. 12. Undrafted rookie Alaric Jackson hails from Iowa, a school known for developing talented offensive linemen.
Similarly, the Rams' interior defensive line looks like this: Aaron Donald 110 career games (106 starts), A'Shawn Robinson 66 (37 starts), Sebastian Joseph-Day 32 (31 starts), and Greg Gaines 26.
Three quarterbacks, three running backs
This was the first time in three years the Rams carried three quarterbacks on their initial 53-man roster, with former Virginia standout Bryce Perkins – who joined the team as an undrafted free agent last year – making the cut.
The significance of it is that Perkins earned it, and effectively convinced the Rams to do so.
"Like you guys talked about the other day, if you told me a few weeks ago, 'Did you envision keeping three quarterbacks?' I would have told you no," McVay said. "And I think that's a real credit to (QB) Bryce Perkins earning a spot on the roster."
At running back, though, McVay envisioned three players all along.
"I think when you look at it, you always thought it would be three," McVay said.
The Rams went with Darrell Henderson Jr., Sony Michel, and seventh-round pick Jake Funk.