After the Rams had their scrimmage on Saturday, they took Sunday off and were back at it again Monday and Tuesday. The team will travel to Cleveland today in preparation of the preseason game against the Browns. There’s a lot of action going around camp, players are beginning to make their mark and find stride. The Rams came out of their day off last week kind of sluggish and that was not the case this time, the Rams picked up right where they left off. We’ve got a lot to discuss so let’s get right into it.
The Rams had some special guests at practice again this week as both Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt showed up to help mentor the young receivers and serve as the veteran presence on the field. All of the receivers really soaked in the knowledge of the retired players, especially Tavon Austin. It’s really nice to see a young player like Austin so willing to learn. I had my doubts about Austin before the draft, but right now I really feel like he will be successful in this league.
If it’s one player every fan has their eye on this training camp it’s Brian Quick. Quick has been up and down all throughout training camp. Bruce and Holt both agree that Quick just needs consistency in his game. He has the physical ability, he just needs to be more consistent. It almost seems at times he is afraid to be physical with the defensive backs, and Holt really got into Quick for that, telling him not to be afraid to be physical. Quick has had two up days in a row now making some big plays using his physical attributes, Quick even beat cornerback Janoris Jenkins on a deep ball on the sidelines. If Quick can become more consistent he may earn his spot back as the number two guy. which is good considering Givens and Pettis are still listed as the top two guys with Austin in the slot. Pettis has earned his spot however and may just keep it as he continuously comes up with big catches in camp. Bruce even said that Pettis has a starting receiver mentality and that he wants nothing less.
The running back competition may not be much of a competition anymore. Fisher said just last week that they were going to be using two or three running backs on game day. That may still be the case, but Fisher said Tuesday, ” I think Daryl comes back as our starter. He played significantly more last year than anybody.” Fisher may have said Richardson will be the starter, but don’t think for a second that if Richardson cools off Fisher wont make a switch. Richardson has earned this spot though, on limited carries last season he faired pretty well for a rookie. Richardson said in an interview after practice that he thinks he can do it all and be an every down back. He proved that showing an unexpected physical side by lowering his shoulder in the open field and laying out hard hitting safety T.J. McDonald. Richardson also had some nice, impressive runs in practice. As for the other running backs, Pead has shown good things in camp this past week. Pead made a few nice catches out of the backfield as well as hauling in some nice runs. Zac Stacy has been forced to sit out practice due to injuries. It may just be more of a precautionary thing however. We wont know a lot about these guys until we actually see them play, Richardson may be the starter for now, but we still have a month of camp left.
On the defensive side of the ball the defensive line continues to be impressive and has been causing some problems for the offensive line. This is either a good thing, because it’s showing the defensive front is starting where it left off, or it could be a bad thing because the offensive line isn’t doing their job of protecting Sam. Im going to go with the first option just to keep things positive. Janoris Jenkins had two interceptions the last two days and the secondary has had some nice pass breakups. Safety Cody Davis and cornerback Trumaine Johnson also made some nice plays. T.J. McDonald continues to be impressive as well. Not only have the cornerbacks and safeties shown good coverage, but the linebackers as well. Kendall Langford also has said that he feels more comfortable in the system this year than he did the first half of last season. Hopefully he can start to earn that $24 million dollar contract the Rams gave him last year by putting up some better numbers.
On the injury side of things. Chris Long sat out Monday, but was back at it again on Tuesday. Safety Matt Daniels came off the PUP list and returned to practice for the first time in camp after injuring his knee last year against the Patriots. His status for Thursday is doubtful. WR Nick Johnson and DT AL Lapuaho also returned to practice. As far as I know Andrew Helmick, Jabara Williams, Sammy Brown, Matt Giordano, Lance Kendricks, Jermelle Cudjo, and Zach Potter are all still on the injury list.
That will do it for this edition of Training Camp, the Rams will travel Wednesday and then play their first preseason game. Don’t expect a whole lot, they will mostly just be doing basic things, but that’s what you do in the preseason. Hopefully the Rams will come out of it healthy and ready to get back at it again next week. Until next time Go Rams!