LA Rams: Unpacking what we learned via joint practice with Cowboys

Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /
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And so, here was the wrap-up by Sarina Morales and J.B. Long, and we can now compare to how we did versus their own bit of recap analysis after the joint practice with the Dallas Cowboys at Oxnard, California. The action occurred on two separate fields.  So it was certain that some action would be missed.

Despite all of the rhetoric from Dallas Cowboys’ head coach Mike McCarthy that no fighting would be tolerated, it was clear that the Cowboys players paid him no heed. In fact, there were multiple occasions throughout the day where the Cowboys players reacted by coming out swinging near the end of, or immediately following a play. Of course, the Cowboys were coming off an embarrassing preseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and starting quarterback Dak Prescott is still not fully participating.  I’m sure that their team is a little high-strung right now.

Sarina Morales cited the outstanding play of Matthew Stafford overall and cited the connection that Stafford is making with wide receiver Cooper Kupp. She also cited the practice included a lot of tight end work, but I didn’t see much evidence of that on this day.

J.B. Long noted that Matthew Stafford made a superb touchdown play to Robert Woods. It’s not that the play didn’t stand out to me. I guess it was just expected. Long also noted the surprising proficiency of Maryland Terrapin running back Jake Funk, and how active he is at both the running and passing game. His impression is that Funk could fill the void left by Cam Akers’s injury. LA Rams head coach Sean McVay was overseeing the action, but it was offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell who called the plays. Hmmm…   McVay was intently focused upon the play of both backup quarterbacks Bryce Perkins and Devlin Hodges.  Was he satisfied? Or will this prompt the Rams to get active about adding additional help at the backup quarterback position?

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The impression of both Sarina Morales and J.B. Long, they believed that the Rams defense has some work to do. That could simply be the outcome that would happen after such a great defense a year ago.  J.B. Long cited that this LA Rams roster is much deeper and more talented than expected. Of course, the practice prohibited contact with the quarterback, and the LA Rams defense hitches the defense on the pass rush.

Where do the Rams stand post-joint practice? Clearly, some significant questions remaining to be answered. But this team is capable of something special, or that is my conclusion. This one took some time to complete, but it’s worth it if it helps you sort out where the Rams stand right now.