Saturday, August 19, 2017

Los Angeles Rams, 2 New Defensive Players, The Depth Charts, Tonight's game vs. The Raiders, Transcript Last day Training Camp, Sean McVay, Aaron Donald hold out, Les Snead, Jared Goff on The Dan Patrick Show...

Tonight is the second pre-season game vs. the Oakland Raiders up in Oakland which means it begins at 10PM tonight for the likes of me.

I keep studying the weekly depth charts and honestly, I think the team is sound in most areas. 

I was however, only really wondering about the D-Line. I was going to count Robert Quinn as a lineman but I forget that he is not. I said last week that someone will need to step up which it looks like the rookie, Tanzel Smart may be getting the number one spot. Along with (Ethan) Westbrooks and (Michael) Brockers. It is a good mix of young and young veterans because let's be real about the team, it is a very young team. And, then I keep forgetting that friggan Aaron Donald is holding out for gods sakes. I really need to know the nature of this one because what does he want and what does he deserve? Anyone has ballz to hold out after such awful seasons, but setting that aside, that would obviously fix that issue at Defense. Unless again, someone really steps but even if he does step up, we won't know for a few games. What they discuss at the last press conference this week which coach McVay is that it could feasible bleed into the season. Which tome is a good sign because it means they were at least going to think about ending it sooner than later. Like I said, I wonder what he needs money wise and what the team has to give.

The one thing I will say is that I do have a good feeling the coaches know best for the first time in a long time. I think so far, the coaches and front office have made utterly perfect decisions this year. And, the off seasons with Jeff Fisher were awful. I used to freak out about some of those moves. So that is a good thing because we have to assume Coach Wade Phillips knows what is up. They will figure that issue in the end and I also have to remember that we do have three more pre season games.

With that said, the team added two people on the Defensive side (linebacker Davis Tull and cornerback Carlos Davis). They did not touch the line but they also let go some WR's to make room on the roster.

It looks like all of the starters both offense and defense will begin the game this week. 

The WR crew is great now. I am in shock about how at the drop of a sime, that the WR's would be at this level. The offense is basically set. The line just needs to deal. And, then we need the RB's to deal.

I have to hope that because of the WR's, it opens up the running game once again. I do wonder why Todd Gurley was getting to those holes year one and was not able to last year. And, in pre season game 1 quite frankly he got nowhere fast. Not only that, he also reminded me of Eric Dickerson. He has this way of looking  like he is standing up straight which is so cool. It also seems and seemed like they run effortlessly but again, Gurley needs to deal. 

This is why I am bit nervous about that situation. Considering how Justin Davis played last week, it could be on Gurley. He needs to get to the holes. He is playing like the holes will automatically find him. He leans into players rather than standing up straight looking first for the hole and going for it. Maybe sending him to the outside could be best. He could then dart any which where when he does find a gap. Maybe he needs an extra second which is not good, but I am just not understanding what is up with regard to Gurley. Last week was not impressive. It was honestly him picking up where he left off last week which I am not psyched about today.

And, BTW, he needs to play. I think there is a debate out there as to whether he should get runs in pre season and after him getting no plays in last years pre season, do not even go there. Especially, if all the starters are in tonight. They need to play a quarter to a half at full speed.

Then, I want to see the back ups play. But again, I want to give the first team some major play for a bulk of time today.

What else? 

I am not sure why I am doing it, I posted the Jared Goff interview with Dan Patrick and some other guys asking him important things like about who has better hair, him or coach McVay. Then, they push the issue when Goff answers it the perfect way just to end it or to get to the next question. It was very odd. Then, they are trying to make age an issue with regard Sean McVay which Goff explains that he is eight years younger than him (which to me is a lot). Patrick says that most coaches are like decades older than whatever players and it was just an odd interview about things no one cares about.

Because you know why? We care about wins. That is it. Have you ever dived into the history of the Ram team? They were always a cast of characters. You can read my book quite frankly. Anyway, Game tonight. I am psyched. I cannot wait to see the starters now all in one place...

Rams Add Defensive Depth, Sign Two Players. Before heading up to the Bay Area to face the Raiders in Week 2 of the preseason, the Rams have made a few roster moves.
Rams Add Defensive Depth, Sign Two Players
The club has signed outside linebacker Davis Tull and cornerback Carlos Davis. As corresponding roster moves, Los Angeles waived wide receivers C.J. Germany and Justin Thomas.

A 2015 Saints fifth-round pick, Tull has spent time with New Orleans and the Falcons over the last two years. The linebacker also signed with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders earlier in 2017. Tull was a three-time Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year at Chattanoga, becoming the conference’s all-time sack leader with 37.0.

Davis, an undrafted rookie out of Ole Miss, was a standout returner for the Rebels. He finished No. 3 in SEC kick return average in 2016.

Game Preview: Rams, Raiders Gear Up for Week 2 of Preseason. The Rams are set to play their first road game of the 2017 season on Saturday following the team’s 13-10 win over the Cowboys in the preseason opener. In Week 2 of the preseason, the Rams will travel to the Oakland Coliseum to face off against the Raiders. Saturday’s matchup will mark the first time the two teams have met in the preseason since 2015.
Game Preview: Rams, Raiders Gear Up for Week 2 of Preseason
In their win over the Cowboys, the Rams’ starting offense played for just two drives, ending in a fumble recovery for a touchdown, scored by wide receiver Cooper Kupp. Quarterback Jared Goff looked relaxed on field for the short span, completing three of four passes for 34 yards, while Sean Mannion went 18 of 25 for 144 yards.

After practice on Wednesday, head coach Sean McVay said the goal for Saturday’s game was to play their starters “through the first quarter,” easing them into the action over the next two games. The newest Rams’ wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who entered training camp just four days ago, will take reps with the first-team against the Raiders.

“Sammy’s going to be a guy that is a big part of our plans offensively [and] I think in the last couple days, he’s made a seamless transition,” McVay said. “We know that we’ve got to increase the level of urgency to get him where we needs to be by the time the regular season rolls around, [but] I’m looking forward to seeing him compete with these guys against Oakland on Saturday.”

For Goff, Saturday will represent his first time playing in the Bay Area since he was in college at the University of California. The quarterback said he was excited to build upon the win in Week 1 and create a “rhythm” heading into the second.

“That’s what I look forward to doing,” he said, “is just getting out there and stringing a few completions together, moving the ball and hopefully getting us in the end zone a couple of times.”

But that won’t be easy. In the Raiders, the Rams’ offense will face a top-tier defense led by the pass-rushing duo of Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin. The pair combined for 18 of the Raiders 25 sacks last season, and according to Pro Football Focus also led the NFL in stops with a combined total of 79.

In addition to the passing game, the first quarter matchup will allow McVay to get a good look at the progress of his offensive line, specifically Jamon Brown and Rob Havenstein — who made the switch to right guard and right tackle over training camp.

“It’s big,” McVay said of going up against the Raiders’ defense. “I think that experience, especially for younger players at any position, is extremely beneficial and that’s something that we don’t take lightly. We know we’re going to get an opportunity to go against a great front and great defense in the Oakland Raiders.”

After a strong defensive showing in the preseason opener where the Rams held the Cowboys to 48 yards rushing and just 10 points overall, Week 2 against the Raiders will bring the team a new set of challenges.

The Raiders ranked sixth in the NFL in total offense last season, averaging 26 points per game, led by quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Amari Cooper. And though the Rams will not face the Raiders in the regular season, linebacker Alec Ogletree said the game will still give the defense a chance to evaluate its progress thus far.

“Right now it’s still kinda early, so you’re definitely trying to focus on yourself and do things you need to do for the season. Luckily, Oakland’s not on our schedule this year,” Ogletree said. “[But] for sure there are things to work on — we did miss a few calls, but we were able to get the job done [last week], even with some of the mistakes.”

The Raiders are coming off of a loss to the Cardinals 20-10. But it is important to note that many of their starters, Mack and Cooper included, were held out of the preseason opener and are set to return in Week 2. Overall, Saturday’s game should be an exciting challenge for the Rams, who will land in Oakland fresh off of the conclusion to their 2017 training camp.

“I think in terms of what you what to get out of training camp, continuing to try to connect as a team, continue to get better in your offense and defense, and special teams systems, we’ve gotten a lot of things accomplished,” McVay said.“[But] Oakland has some premiere players that will pose a great challenge and it’s going to be a great evaluation tool for us.”

Kickoff is set for Saturday at 7 p.m. For more information on how to watch, scroll down for that info!

Les Snead Appears on ESPN LA 710 - CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
Two days after the Rams 13-10 victory over the Cowboys in Week One of the preseason, general manager Les Snead joined Keyshawn Johnson and Jorge Sedano on ESPN LA 710 to talk about the Rams' first win of the year. During the Monday morning call, Snead discussed a variety of topics, ranging from Rams' rookie Cooper Kupp and his first NFL touchdown to the team's trade with the Bills for wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

You can listen to the full audio recording of the conversation by clicking here.

Jared Goff on The Dan Patrick Show. Following the Rams' preseason opener QB Jared Goff called into "The Dan Patrick Show" to talk about Year 2 in Los Angeles. Watch and listen to clips below as well as the full interview.

Goff on entering his second season:
Goff on Coach McVay:
Full interview:
TRANSCRIPT: Sean McVay Last day of Training Camp Press Conference
TRANSCRIPT: Sean McVay Last day of Training Camp Press Conference
Head Coach Sean McVay – Training Camp Press Conference – August 17, 2017

(On the last day of training camp and if he’s pleased with where the group is at right now)
“I couldn’t be more pleased with the way the guys competed, went about the meetings, and when we practiced every single day. It’s been a great group to be around – both coaches and our players. I think in terms of what you what to get out of training camp, continuing to try to connect as a team, continue to get better in your offense and defense, and special teams systems, increase that continuity. We’ve gotten a lot of things accomplished. We’re not where we want to be, but we’re going in the right direction. That’s what you feel good about. I think it’s a real credit to our players. It’s been a successful training camp. Anytime that you lose a great player like a (DE) Dominique Easley, that’s unfortunate. But, I think guys have done a nice job not letting those things be a distraction and just worrying about what they can control and that’s the way they prepare and approach every single day.”

(On WR Sammy Watkins and if he likes where he is in the installation process)
“Yeah, I think he’s done a nice job. Coach (Zac) Taylor spent a lot of extra time with him, our assistant receivers coach, and gotten him up to speed. He’s a smart football player that understands the game. There’s a little bit of carry-over from some of the things he’s done in Buffalo over the last couple of years. I think in the last couple days, he’s made a seamless transition. We know that we’ve got to increase the level of urgency to get him where we needs to be by the time the regular season rolls around. I’m looking forward to seeing him compete with these guys against Oakland on Saturday.”

(On if he likes where QB Jared Goff is and if he’s improving)
“Yeah, he is improving. I think when you really look at it, I was mentioning that the other day with these guys, being able to go against a great defense like we have with (Defensive Coordinator) Coach Wade (Phillips) and what those guys are doing. It presents a lot of problems and some good things to be able to go through with the quarterbacks. Anytime you try to create those competitive situations, it’s excellent work really for all of our quarterbacks and Jared especially. He’s improved and I think you learn from the good and the bad. If you’re able to take it the right way, that’s where you see good productive football in the days ahead.”

(On today’s reports that DT Aaron Donald’s holdout may spill into the regular season and if he’s concerned)
“Our approach is exactly the same, we’re continuing to try and find a solution. He’s a very important part of what we want to do. In the meantime, we’ve got a lot of great guys out here that are working hard and getting ready for this Oakland game and just approaching every single day with the situations that we’re throwing at them. Whether that report is true or not, we’re continuing to try to find a solution and we’ve got some time until that does come. We’ve got to always have contingency plans in place. But, like I said, that doesn’t change our approach because we’re still trying to find that solution to get Aaron here and be a part of what we’re doing and if not we need to be ready to adjust.”

(On if he treats Donald’s absence like an injured player)
“That’s a good question. I think what you look at it as – is he’s a player that’s important to us that isn’t here. When you actually have an injured player like a Dominique Easley that you’re counting on, you know he’s not going to be able to participate. So, it is a little bit different, but like we’ve talked about over and over in the NFL, you’ve got to have contingency plans in place and be ready to adjust and react accordingly. I think our players have done a nice job in his absence and we’re just taking it a day at a time right now.”

(On how he feels about the right side of the offensive line at this point)
“Well, I think really everybody is a constant work in progress, because we always strive for that improvement. I think with our line as a whole, just continuing to get those guys to feel comfortable. That continuity that we talk about, that’s so important. But, with the right side of the line, I feel good about (T) Rob Havenstein at right tackle and (G) Jamon Brown at right guard and that’s what we’re going to be right now and that’s what we anticipate moving forward. I think those guys getting comfortable at those spots is the most important thing leading into that (Indianapolis Colts) ‘Indy’ game and that’s the lineup that we’ve got right now. I think they’ve done a good job kind of having played tackle and guard and then going back to it, it’s been good for us to evaluate and see that these are probably their most natural spots and that’s important for us as coaches to put these guys in the best situations for them to have success.”

(On how big it is that both Havenstein and Brown will get a lot of playing time Saturday)
“It’s big. I think that experience, especially for younger players at any position, is extremely beneficial and that’s something that we don’t take lightly. We know we’re going to get an opportunity to go against a great front and great defense in the Oakland Raiders. They’ve got some premiere players on that side of the football that will pose a great challenge and it’s going to be a great evaluation tool for us.”

(On how the addition of WR Sammy Watkins affects guys like WR Nelson Spruce and WR Paul McRoberts who are trying to make this team)
“Adding a player like (WR) Sammy (Watkins), where you know he’s going to be a part of what you’re trying to do – it certainly does change a little bit, but I think those guys, their mindset and their mentality is, ‘I’m going to go out every single day and play to the best of my ability.’ And that’s what we preach to our players and at the end of the day, the nice thing about the NFL is, if you can play, whether it ends up being here, if injuries take place, you just never want to get too far ahead of yourself. But, I think what we preach to our players is always putting good stuff on tape, whether it is for us or for the rest of the league. With the uncertainty and the unpredictability with the injuries and different things that can occur, I think you get yourself caught up in worrying about things that you can’t control and that’s when it affects your ability to be your best. Those guys aren’t players that do that and I think that’s why you appreciate what they bring to this team right now.”

(On if he ever took Donald not being here personally)
“I think initially, sometimes you could maybe – just your initial instincts could be to do that. But, spending some time with him when he was here for the mandatory minicamp, it definitely gave me a different perspective and an understanding that there’s business elements to this. One of the things that I can appreciate about (DT) Aaron (Donald) is that he loves this game, he’s all about the right stuff, he’s one of those players that coaches love to work with. He’s one of those players that are why you coach – to be around players like that, but you also respect and understand that this is how people make their living and those are things that I would never try to get in between in terms of the dynamic between the business side of it with some of the money and understanding the nuances. Certainly, it isn’t something now that I have a better understanding that you take personally. It’s something that both our organization and Aaron’s people are trying to come to a solution and we’re hopeful and we’re still optimistic that we’ll be able to get that done.”

(On how he builds up the confidence of his players)
“I think in practice, when you’re able to have some success you want to try to put them in good spots to have some success in those game-like situations. I thought (QB) Jared (Goff) being able to do some good things against the Chargers was beneficial for his confidence moving into the game against Dallas last week and then getting a chance to go against our defense where you’re trying to create and mimic and emulate those looks you’re able to learn from it. I think it’s just about making sure that you’re thorough and detailed with your preparation and your approach so that guys can feel confident going into the games and then ultimately having success is really what builds that confidence over the long haul.”

How to Watch: Rams vs. Raiders
How to Watch: Rams vs. Raiders
Broadcast information for the Los Angeles Rams preseason matchup with the Oakland Raiders. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum.

The Rams are gearing up for a Week 2 preseason matchup with the Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum. The game will be broadcast throughout the Los Angeles area and the majority of Oakland/San Francisco. Saturday’s matchup will be available to watch live on CBS 2 as well as on UniMás 46 Los Angeles. The game will also be available on the Bay Area Fox affiliate KTVU. Fans living outside of the L.A. and Bay Area markets will also be able to watch the game live on NFL Network or by signing up for a FREE 7-day trial of NFL Game Pass. Below is the full broadcast informations for the preseason game, along with information on how to get NFL Game Pass.

BROADCAST INFO
    •    TELEVISION: CBS 2 in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Bernardino County (Play-by-play provided by: Andrew Siciliano, Marshall Faulk, and Daniel Jeremiah. Sideline Reporting from: Jill Arrington and Dani Klupenger). The game will also be broadcast in Spanish on UniMás 46 Los Angeles.
   •    RADIO:  ESPN 710 AM, 100.3 The Sound FM (Play-by-play provided by: J.B. Long, Maurice Jones-Drew and D’Marco Farr). Tune into 1330 AM for ESPN Deportes' live Spanish broadcast of the game.
    •    SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow the Rams on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat for live updates and behind-the-scenes content before, during, and after the game.
    •    ONLINE: NFL Game Pass* gives you access to live out-of-market preseason games, replays of every game, the NFL Films Archive and so much more! Click here to sign up for your FREE 7-day trial and start getting unprecedented access to every game, all year long.

* For domestic subscribers NFL Game Pass does not include live regular season, playoff, or Super Bowl game broadcasts, as well as some preseason games broadcasts. Access to these games is available within NFL Game Pass on an on-demand basis in the NFL Game Pass archives. International subscribers are able to watch both preseason and regular season games as they happen with certain restrictions. Audio feeds may be subject to availability. 2009-2011 games are temporarily unavailable. For a full description of features, requirement, limitations, and other information, visit our FAQ at NFL.com/help/GamePass.
A satirical look at more than 75 years of Football's Rams history, combined with discussions of American Exceptionalism and almost 50 years of personal experience in the life of a Rams Fan. The history parallels and intertwines life to form a humorous, yet serious look at American HistoryWorld History, an American Football team, and Political Science.