LA Rams last training camp day before first SoFi Stadium scrimmage

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

The LA Rams training camp resumes on Friday, August 20. This is the team’s last practice in pads before the team conducts their first SoFi Stadium scrimmage

So close and yet so far. That has to be on the minds of both the coaching staff and the players of the LA Rams as they face the oncoming 2020 NFL Season. Close in terms of calendar days. The first game of the 2020 NFL season will be played in less than three weeks now – on September 10, 2020.  Three days after that, the LA Rams face the Dallas Cowboys at 5:20 pm PT at SoFi Stadium.

Far in that the team has so much to do until then. On September 5, 15 days away, the Rams must reduce their roster from 80 to the 53-man regular-season roster by the 1:00 pm PT cutoff.  The next day, on September 6 at 9:00 am PT, the Rams can sign up to 16 players to their practice squad, Four of those players can be protected from signing with another NFL team.  Today the team is at 80 players, and are entering their third day of training camp in full pads.

Full-on sprint

If other training camps could be thought of as a marathon, this training camp is a full-on sprint. There is little room for patience. The coaches are shuffling players through the ranks to give everyone an opportunity to be seen. The rest is up to the player.  We know that undrafted 6-foot-2 230-pound linebacker Christian Rozeboom got some repetitions at inside linebacker.  We also know that seventh-round offensive tackle Tremayne Anchrum, who everyone projected as an NFL guard, got looks at offensive left tackle.

We’ve noticed that 6-foot-1 197-pound wide receiver Trishton Jackson out of Syracuse is having a good camp. He was originally projected as a day-two draft prospect at wide receiver who fell out of the draft simply due to so many talented players in the 2020 NFL Draft class. We know that the kicker competition is too close to call, but that all are making their kicks.

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Perfectly imperfect process

For everything we know so far out of training camp, there are ten times as many things that we do not yet know. Perhaps even the Rams coaches feel that way. We talk about the pressure upon players to make the most of each opportunity. But coaches are trying to process it all at a pace unheard of even a short year ago.

The Rams training camp is based on controlled environment drills. Limited variables to enhance the ability of players to perform, and coaches to evaluate.  But football games have no such controls in place That free-for-all arrives in 23 days.  To acclimate to those game-like conditions, the team will conduct two scrimmages before the regular season.  The first will be held in the evening to simulate the conditions for the season opener.  The second will be held the following week in the afternoon, to simulate the conditions of most NFL games 1:00 pm start time.

More details will be forthcoming later today about the scrimmage. It’s the closest thing that the Rams coaches and players will have to preseason games.  It’s the first of two chances for players to get game simulating conditions.

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Football is back.  Let’s hope for no a no-injury, no COVID-19 day for all players and coaches. Go Rams!