INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Twice, Tre Tomlinson was tried at outside cornerback.
Twice, he rose to the occasion.
The rookie defensive back held his own when targeted twice in the first half of last Saturday's preseason opener against the Chargers at SoFi Stadium.
"Very thankful for them, just to get targets and show what I can do early on," Tomlinson said postgame. "Ready for everything that comes."
Facing 3rd and 12 from their own 8-yard line early in the first quarter, Chargers quarterback Easton Stick dropped back and fired a pass toward rookie wide receiver Quentin Johnston at the line to gain. But Johnston's former TCU teammate, Tomlinson, was there for the timely pass breakup, forcing the Chargers to punt.
"Man I knew it would be competitive, I knew they were going to come at me, especially understanding the down and distance and where the sticks were," Tomlinson said. "But man, just picking up on remembering everything, how he ran routes and stuff like that, was part of it. And then understanding what type of routes I was going to get in that situation."
That intermediate incompletion did not deter Stick from taking a shot further downfield. Five minutes later, he targeted Johnston on a deep ball down the right sideline, but Johnston didn't have enough space to make the catch thanks to Tomlinson's coverage.
Tomlinson said winning that first rep helped him get settled in so that he could continue to make plays and perform.
"(You saw) some of the stuff that made him a Thorpe Award winner, the competitiveness," Rams head coach Sean McVay said postgame. "He's a tough competitor that doesn't have any fear and he's not afraid to get up and challenge guys. (I) thought he did a good job in a couple of those situations too of being able to get his eyes back, play the ball true, and had a nice breakup against his former teammate down that sideline on the Chargers side. He's just got a nice swagger about himself. I was happy for Tre making a couple of those plays tonight."