As the Los Angeles Rams conclude the exhibition season tonight in Green Bay, staying healthy is the signature priority, as the big decisions have already been decided.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay will see the 2017 preseason wrap up tonight 1,766 miles away from home. LA will face the Green Bay Packers in the finale of an interesting, if not uneventful exhibition season.
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In Green Bay, a few players at the back end of the roster and bottom of their respective depth charts will get one last chance to impress. But beyond that, tonight is only meaningful to the league and team’s coffers as gate revenue is the thing worthy of note.
For Rams fans who were disappointed in who didn’t play last Saturday night against the Chargers, they won’t be surprised by who is on the sidelines in street clothes tonight.
Los Angeles will look to stay healthy. With starters on both sides pretty much locked up, McVay will look simply to have his team finish on a high note. Whatever questions he had have either been answered or won’t be until the games begin to count for real.
Jared Goff may have stumbled some last Saturday, but every fan knows Sean Mannion is solid at backup. Malcolm Brown impressed, but Todd Gurley sits comfortable atop the depth chart. The offensive line, should it remain healthy, looks to be capable of protecting their young quarterback.
Perhaps most impressive this preseason was the emergence of rookie Cooper Kupp. It was clear as training camp got underway, and in two games of the preseason, that he has the potential to be a bonafide star. If the chemistry we saw in Oakland is an indication, the receiver from Eastern Washington may emerge as a signature franchise draft pick in years to come.
As for McVay, his first preseason will be judged not in the post game presser, but at season’s end when the postmortems are written for his inaugural season as a head coach. Short of the wheels completely coming off in Los Angeles, the Rams may be on the cusp of turning around the fortunes of a team who lacked any semblance of an offensive pulse. Count on optimism being high come Friday morning.
It should be.
But come September 10, when the win/loss record will be meaningful, fans will finally know how far the Rams have come from the disaster of 2016. Brilliance isn’t necessary, but progress is.
And that’s something McVay has already scored on this preseason.