Training Camp Report: Observations from Day 6

Check out some of the best shots from Day 6 of Rams Training Camp in Irvine, Calif.

It was business as usual on Friday afternoon as the Rams returned to UC Irvine for practice after their day off yesterday. Day 6 of training camp was the team's third in full pads and was characterized by high intensity drills and good spirits coming into the weekend.

When the Rams take the field tomorrow, it will be in a joint practice with the Los Angeles Chargers. But for now, catch up on our top takeaways from Rams Camp Day 6:

TOP TAKEAWAYS

1. Filling gaps

Coming into Day 6 of training camp, the Rams have had to face a variety of injuries. On Tuesday, the team lost defensive end Dominique Easley to a season-ending injury. They have also gone without wide receivers Tavon Austin and Josh Reynolds, as well as linebacker Samson Ebukam for the last three days - after each suffered minor injuries earlier this week.

"I know he's frustrated right now because he is a guy that wants to be out here, he's a great competitor," head coach Sean McVay said of Austin's injury. "It's a little bit of a setback, but the way we look at it is a setback is a setup for a comeback. We're not going to blink, we're just going to worry about what we can control and that's him doing a great job with his rehab every single day."

And while dealing with injury is often a large part of the game, McVay has been forced to confront this issue early on. With Austin out, wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods have seen a majority of the first team touches, while there has been greater emphasis placed on throwing to the tight end. 

On the D-line, defensive ends Ethan Westbrooks and Louis Trinca-Pasat have fit in well alongside defensive tackle Michael Brockers. The defensive line looked strong today, holding their own against the O-line and remaining in high spirits despite the loss of Easley. 

"Well, all of our D-line, they're all working hard," defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. "Most of them can play at any of the three positions. So, we've worked all those guys. I wouldn't say one guy over the rest of them so we've got some possibilities."

2. Tight ends making plays

Tight ends Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee have been making their names known as potential playmakers as well. McVay is known for getting the most out of his production from the tight ends and this year has proven no differently.

Specifically in Day 6, we saw a lot from the two tight ends with both recording a variety of impressive grabs throughout the afternoon. At one point, Everett jumped high above his defender snatching the ball right over linebacker Kevin Davis' head into the end zone.

Higbee showcased his maturing chemistry with quarterback Jared Goff, logging several receptions during the 11-on-11 and one-on-one portions of practice. The big-bodied tight end has looked solid on the passing game and strong in his ability to block for other receivers on the line throughout training camp.

"I'm out here everyday trying to get better, whatever they ask me to do is what I'm trying to do," Higbee said of McVay's tight-end friendly offense. "You come out here and get to beat up on each other everyday so it will be good to get after another team. I'm so ready to go."

3. Looking forward to tomorrow's practice:

The Rams will take a break from practicing at UC Irvine tomorrow as they travel to face the Chargers in the first of two joint practices. While the Chargers have based their training camp just five miles from the Rams in Costa Mesa, their first matchup will take place at the StubHub Center in Carson.

The padded practice is scheduled from 4:30-7pm and will feature about four team periods switching between 7-on-7 drills, red zone work, two-minute drills and other scripted and non-scripted situational work. 

"We've got it laid out, because we're going to be StubHub it's going to be an interesting setup," McVay said of tomorrow's practice. "While our offense will be doing a team-run kind of segment of practice if you will, then our defense will be doing red zone and we'll flip-flop with that. I think it will be a great opportunity for us.

Joint practices like these will give the Rams a much-needed change of pace during training camp and will provide an important piece in preparing for the regular season.

"I think number one is just what a great experience it is for our quarterbacks in general," offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur said. "From seeing the same defense that Coach Phillips has all throughout OTAs, throughout the first part of training camp, to just experience some new looks and I know that obviously Gus Bradley - the Chargers' defensive coordinator - plays a similar system to some teams that we're going to play this year, so I think it's going to be invaluable."

FIELD-LEVEL OBSERVATIONS

  • Over the weekend the Rams signed two wide receivers, Justin Thomas and C.J. Germany, while waiving fullback Zach Laskey. The team also signed wideout K.D. Cannon earlier this morning.
  • Former Rams tight end and Super Bowl champion Roland Williams was on hand at today's practice. He could be heard cheering on the tight end group throughout the afternoon.
  • Wide receiver Shakeir Ryan provided the comedic relief of today's practice during 11-on-11 drills. The wideout rose up high into the end zone for a touchdown grab off of a Dan Orlovsky pass before busting out the moves for a signature touchdown dance.

- During the red zone drills, Goff threw a nice short ball to Woods who ran straight into the end zone, dodging his defenders for a would-be touchdown.

  • The Nickell Robey-Coleman covering Woods saga continued as the two former USC players have gone one-on-one throughout the majority of practice. Today the corner forced an incomplete pass on a perfect throw from Goff during the 11-on-11 drills.
  • Kupp had an impressive grab on a straight shot from Goff right through the gap between two defenders. The receiver jumped high into the air to pull that one in for the reception.
  • The defensive line continued to put the pressure on the quarterback. At one point during practice, outside linebacker Connor Barwin exhibiting his impressive skills on the blitz, spinning past the offensive line for a would-be sack on Goff. 

PLAY OF THE DAY

Today's play of the day came during the tail-end of practice while the team worked on red zone drills. Goff rolled back and delivered a pass into the end zone but was intercepted by safety LaMarcus Joyner at the goal line. Joyner ran it back to about mid-field before celebrating with the defense.

Joyner has had a very successful training camp so far in his move from the cornerback to the safety position.

PRESS POINTS

After practice, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips spoke to the media about working with McVay. Catch up on his most interesting point and check out his full interview below.

WADE PHILLIPS:

*On his working relationship with head coach Sean McVay: *"I'm there if he needs me, but he's really sharp. I mean, he's a lot smarter than I am, so it doesn't take him that long. He's got 40 years worth of knowledge and I have 40 years worth of experience, maybe that'll help a little bit."

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