Check out photos from Day 2 of the Los Angeles Rams Training Camp presented by AT&T.
The Rams second 2017 training camp practice is officially in the books.
On Sunday, the team got some solid work in throughout the afternoon, practicing in jerseys, shorts, and helmets for about two hours in front of an upbeat crowd. And though the pads were off, there was still plenty to be seen. Here are the top observations from Day 2 at UC Irvine.
New additions making an immediate impact
During the offseason and coming into training camp, the Rams made a point to sign several young, dynamic playmakers. On defense, the Rams added depth at cornerback with former Bronco Kayvon Webster. Webster and the rest of the secondary looked solid in today's practice breaking up several plays downfield and positioning themselves well in man coverage.
Webster reunited with his former defensive coordinator Wade Phillips by signing with Los Angeles and has adjusted well on the Rams' defense. He had several notable plays throughout the 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 periods, but really shined during the one-on-ones — breaking up a deep ball to wide receiver Robert Woods early in the day. In addition, Webster was the last player on the field, choosing to spend a few extra minutes catching balls off the jugs machine.
"It's really important," he said of getting those extra reps in. "We're preaching getting turnovers, so I am working on catching the ball a lot. I try to get 300 catches a day."
On offense, Woods has been an impressive addition. Quarterback Jared Goff connected with Woods on several routes today, including a few deep passes downfield. While Goff praised his new receiver after yesterday's practice, it was head coach Sean McVay's turn to complement the receiver's versatility on the field.
"He's done excellent. He's playing both outside and inside for us. He's competing well in the run-game," McVay said. "Kind of like we talked about the other day, he's been what we had hoped. He's a complete receiver, not really limited in any of the routes he can run."
"You talk about a pro's pro where you say something in the meeting room and he's going to be able to translate it out to the grass," he continued. "A conscientious guy that you can look at and say, 'This is the example of what it looks like to work and do the little things the right way on a consistent basis.'"
The defense continues to shine
It was another stellar performance today for the entire defense. The defensive line in particular, has continued to take the transition from a 4-3 to a 3-4 in stride. They look comfortable in their new defensive scheme and are showcasing a lot of depth up front. Defensive tackle Michael Brockers, alongside Dominique Easley and Ethan Westbrooks took reps with the first-team, and even without pads looked aggressive and mobile.
"It's a Wade [Phillips] defense — it's a mix of things," Brockers said of the new system. "We've got games, we've got blitzes, so it's fun to play in. As a fairly large tackle I think I fit in perfectly. He came in [and] he didn't take any aggressiveness away from us, so you know we're pretty much doing the same thing in the 3-4 that we would do in the 4-3, so I'm loving it."
The few, the proud, the Over 30's
For the last five years the Rams have fielded one of the youngest teams in the NFL, but this year the offensive line welcomed one of the league's most seasoned veterans — 35 year old Andrew Whitworth. Over the weekend, Whitworth has proven to be a valuable addition to the Rams line, bringing wisdom, experience, technique, and skill up front.
Though he is one of few Rams over the age of 30, McVay made the perfect parallel, referring to Whitworth as a fine wine, who "is just getting better with age."
"I think that he is the epitome of a pro's pro — doing the little things the right way all the time," McVay said. "A great example in terms of just playing the techniques, the fundamentals — I think it has been encouraging to see a guy that has had the level of success that he has had in Cincinnati, and then asking him to do a couple things differently, and how willing he has been to buy in to those techniques. But he has been everything and more."
- Fullback Sam Rogers was the first player to take the field on Sunday, followed closely by his teammate and roommate Cooper Kupp. The two took turns at the jug machine before practice.
- During the 11-on-11 portion of practice, cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman showcased his speed in zone coverage breaking up a passing play to Pharoh Cooper.
- Tight end Tyler Higbee saw a lot of action during today's practice connecting on several routes from Goff — exhibiting strong hands and plenty of run-after-catch ability on field.
- Outside linebacker Connor Barwin stayed after practice chatting with rookie tight end Gerald Everett. Everett had a few big plays today including a nice sliding catch during 7-on-7 drills.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Once again the play of the day came from the offense — this time featuring wide receiver Tavon Austin. During 11-on-11 drills, Austin ran a jet sweep to the right side before cutting up the middle for a would-be touchdown.
Though Austin did not participate in the team's offseason program, he has fit in well with the new offense, showcasing his high speed and solid hands. At yesterday's practice, the receiver talked about his excitement to get back on field.
"It's exciting for anybody that plays this position," he said about playing under McVay's instruction. "Everybody wants the ball. Everybody wants the opportunity to get the ball. So I'm definitely excited to be in the offense, I just want to keep working every day. Whatever challenges he has for me, just want to knock them down."
After practice Rob Havenstein took the time to address the media. Catch up on his most interesting point after Day 2:
On playing alongside Andrew Whitworth: "If you want to talk about Whit's age, all you gotta do is watch him on the field and you know the productions there. The guy is a leader, the guy's a beast. Anything I can take from him and apply to my game I am going to do, clearly it works. You don't stay in the league for that many years without being some of the best. I think it's better for everyone that we can kind of pull off of him and take what he does."