Monday, April 30, 2018

Garden Bros Circus, Isa and Viola, Carson & Barnes Circus, Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES), Laxmi & U.K. Government's action to ban ivory sales are in the Elephant In The Room!

Save Isa and Viola From a Lifetime of Fear at This Traveling Circus. It's a shocking video that Garden Bros Circus never wanted you to see. 

The heartbreaking footage, taken by Animal Defenders International at a recent Garden Bros performance in Pennsylvania, shows two captive elephants named Isa and Viola huddled in fear behind a metal gate — swaying back and forth to soothe themselves from the stress of the shouting crowd and the deafening noise of the motorcycles in the center ring.

Please sign this petition demanding that Garden Bros Circus send poor Isa and Viola to an elephant sanctuary and immediately stop exploiting elephants for profit!

Stolen as babies from the wild, Isa and Viola have been forced to perform unnatural and painful tricks for over 40 years. Off duty, the pair are confined to cramped spaces and exposed to extreme temperatures while travelling — causing the extreme mental and physical distress shown in the video.

Garden Bros also has a long and documented history of physical abuse on elephants like Isa and Viola. Trainers can use cruel and painful methods like bullhooks, ropes, and electric tasers to beat elephants into submission and get them to perform daily.

It's clear that Garden Bros doesn't want people to see the shocking and abusive truth behind the scenes — but now that's it's out, we can't ignore the truth while Isa and Viola live out the rest of their lives in pain and fear.

Sign and share now to demand that Garden Bros Circus release both elephants to a sanctuary and stop ALL future captive elephant performances!

Urge Carson & Barnes Circus to End All Cruel Animal Acts!
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down, and Cole Bros. Circus—which used animals from Carson & Barnes Circus for a long time—is no longer touring, but Carson & Barnes is still forcing animals to perform confusing, often painful tricks. Please join PETA in urging the circus to join the 21st century by eliminating all animal acts and sending the long-suffering animals to reputable sanctuaries.

Carson & Barnes has been cited for more than 100 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act—including for failing to provide animals with basic necessities, such as adequate veterinary care, minimum space, shelter from the elements, and clean water. Video footage of a veteran Carson & Barnes trainer shows him violently striking elephants with a bullhook—a sharp steel-tipped weapon resembling a fireplace poker—and shocking them with an electric prod. This circus also has an abysmal record of endangering the public. In 2016, it agreed to pay $16,000 to settle an administrative enforcement action brought by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after three elephants became frightened, escaped from a circus performance, and ran amok for nearly an hour—causing damage to the venue and cars in the parking lot.

Please tell Carson & Barnes Circus to end its cruel animal acts and send the animals to reputable sanctuaries, highlighting the circus's human talent instead.

Ensure Laxmi the elephant finally receives justice after 30 years of abuse.
Lamxi never got a chance at a happy life. At a young age she was taken away illegally from her family and the wild in Bihar, India. Lamxi is believed to have been malnourished and neglected until the day she died. She endured 30 years of inhumane treatment which reportedly included grueling hours of work, being whipped, and left alone in a tiny cold room with zero interaction with other elephants.

After Lamxi’s abusers were done with her, they apparently left her to die. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to kill her or leave her extremely malnourished. They also decided to torture her without reason days before the elephant took her last breath. The Forest Department found her chained in a small brick shed. Her abusers fled leaving her dead lifeless body in her own filth. Lamxi deserved better than this, she didn’t deserve a life full of pain and suffering. Sign to demand that justice is served and Lamxi’s killers are found and prosecuted for their actions.

Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary (BLES) in Sukhothai, Thailand recently welcomed an elephant whose arrival had been eagerly awaited for some time now. Pang Fai is an elderly elephant who urgently needed to retire and settle down in a new, comfortable home. Now she has found that special place at BLES and her first moments at the new home were a sight to remember.
The BLES team has known Pang Fai for over 10 years and is now incredibly happy to be able to welcome her into the family. At the sanctuary, the beautiful elephant will spend the rest of her life in safety, surrounded by loving and dedicated carers. Look at the beautiful moment her chains were finally removed! 
For years, Pang Fai lived very near the sanctuary. “Her owner, who loves her very much and has cared for her for the past 32 years, is also old and wanting to retire,” said Katherine Connor, founder of BLES.

To be able to take the elephant in and provide her with the best care possible, BLES launched a fundraiser and succeeded in raising over $15,000!
Thanks to that precious support, the team was eventually able to share the heart-warming pictures of their “newest and (possibly the sweetest!) elephant” walking into her new home for the first time.
Once she was walked in from the village, Pang Fai had a welcome buffet already waiting for her – and she was clearly very happy with the warm welcome.
“She stood in the sunshine for hours, slowly eating her way through it all,” the team wrote.“ Every now and then she would pause, glance over at Hope, Noah and her owner, who sat in the shade, smiling proudly at our sweet lady….”
Pan Fai has many more feasts like this one ahead of her – and hopefully very many years of happiness at the sanctuary among her new friends.

“Thank you to every single one of you who made this happen,” BLES said. “Pang Fai is one, very, happy elephant right now and she is a testament to what we can all achieve, when we come together and put compassion first.”

To learn more about Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary, click here. All image source: Boon Lott’s Elephant Sanctuary/Facebook
AWF lauds U.K. Government's action to ban ivory sales

Earlier this month, the U.K. Government announced a ban on ivory sales — another victory for the future of elephants. Environment Secretary Michael Groves stated the ban will be one of the strictest in the world, although a firm date has not yet been set for implementation. The U.K. had the unfortunate status of being the largest global exporter of legal ivory between 2010 and 2015. "We laud the decisive action by the U.K. government to ban the ivory trade," said AWF President Kaddu Sebunya. "The robust measures send a strong message that ivory's rightful place is on an elephant and not as a decorative item or a product for financial gain." African Wildlife Foundation continues to strengthen its presence in the U.K. and stands ready to work with governments around the world to further this momentum, tackling the wildlife trade and protecting Africa's most iconic species from the threat of extinction.
> Read AWF's response to the U.K. ivory ban
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Between the Horns: Let's analyze the 11 Rams picks, OT Joseph Noteboom, C Brian Allen, DE John Franklin, C Micah Kiser, LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, RB John Kelly, OL Jamil Demby, DT Sebastian Joseph, OL Trevon Young, LB Travin Howard, DL Justin Lawler, Goff Goes Undercover, Red Bull Prank, Rams Host Free Youth Football Clinic, Tavon Austin, Todd Gurley and Marcus Peters, Episode 4 "Behind the Grind"

After a year of being the center of attention at the NFL Draft two years ago, the Los Angeles Rams do not have a pick until #89. 

That was well into third round. 

Last year, the team did not have a first round pick and even that night in Philly was a gruel. Coach (Sean) McVay also traded down making the night longer for me (I stayed until their first pick).

According to Kristen Lago, of the 82 drafts in franchise history and dating back to 1937, the team has been without a first-rounder in only eight of them. 

But for the most part, the season following each of those drafts have been good for the franchise.

On five different occasions, the Rams went on to win at least 10 games (1967, 1968, 1984, 2017). Plus, in three of those years, the club also claimed the NFC West title (1967, 1973, 2017).

In total, Los Angeles holds a 72-38-5 (.647) all-time record in the seasons following a draft without a pick in the first round.

Rams Record and Divisional Finish Following No First-Round Picks

2017 | 11-5 record | First-place finish in NFC West

1987 | 6-9 record | Third-place finish in NFC West

1984 | 10-6 record| Second-place finish in NFC West

1973 | 12-2 record | First-place finish in NFC West

1972 | 6-7-1 record | Third-place finish in NFC West 

1968 | 10-3-1 record | Second-place finish in NFC West

1967 | 11-1-2 record | First place finish in NFC West

1948 | 6-5-1 record | Third-place finish in Western Conference

This year in Dallas, the team did not even pick day one the entire evening and then the team did not pick until midday on Saturday.

Which honestly, setting my boredom aside, I am fine with it. Like I said though after the Rams last trade or pick up I should say which may have been for Brandin Cooks, was for the team to literally do nothing with regard to the roster until the start of training camp.

That is basically happening today, however, the team did trade Tavon Austin to the Dallas Cowboys for another deep pick in this years draft.

Remember too, the team is not weak anywhere but if you want to try to poke some holes on those weaknesses, and after this years trades, was at Middle Linebacker. The team drafted a few players in those positions. Usually though, Linebackers picked that deep are not NFL starters.

I do not think the team is weak in any regard and or whatsoever and so the key is merely staying healthy and uninjured this year. I expect to compete for the Super Bowl. I expected to compete on that level no matter what went down in the off season this year..
Overall, I think the first round went great for every team. The Broncos may have done the best and then the Browns allowing Bradley Chubb after their fourth pick could be the only potential blunder. I happen to feel that Cornerback is the hardest position and if that 4th overall pick is the bomb, that will be good for the Browns team. My brother thought the lineman on t6he browns could have accompanied Chubb. The Broncos and notably, Vonn Webb's reaction was wild.

Our picks were for back ups in key positions: 
Rams Select Joseph Noteboom at No. 89 Overall
Rams Select Joseph Noteboom at No. 89 Overall
For the second-consecutive season, the Rams have traded back to select their first pick of the NFL Draft, selecting TCU’s Joseph Noteboom with the No. 89 overall pick. The Rams were originally slated to pick at No. 87, but sent that selection to the Raiders in exchange for the No. 89 and No. 217 picks.

Noteboom is a three-year starter who closed his college career with 40 consecutive starts in Fort Worth. The Honorable Mention All-Big 12 left tackle impressed many scouts with his solid Senior Bowl performance and had a great workout at the Combine — posting a 4.96-second 40-yard dash and 27 reps on the bench press.

The TCU product was the third-highest graded offensive tackle by and will join an offensive line room that includes left tackle Andrew Whitworth and center John Sullivan. Noteboom will have the unique privilege of learning and developing under the two veteran linemen — who have a combined 22 years of NFL experience between them.

Conference Call: OJoseph Noteboom (3rd Round, 25th Choice, 89th overall)
(On if he prefers to go by Joe or Joseph)
“Either one really, it doesn’t matter.”
(On how it feels to be selected by the Rams)
“It’s fantastic, just knowing all of the pieces they’ve added. What a great young team it is and Coach McVay –I think it’s the perfect spot, so (it feels) amazing.”
(On what he thinks he brings to the Rams)
“I think they have an explosive offense, which we kind of had at TCU. Just athleticism, coachability, just do whatever they want me to do – help the offense out and try to score many points, which they did last year, so the same thing.”
(On if he is familiar with T Andrew Whitworth’s work and if he’s excited to be mentored by him)
“Yes, for sure. I know a lot about (T Andrew) Whitworth, watched a lot of him. I’m excited. I’m going to take in everything he’s telling me. That’s a perfect guy to learn from, a Pro Bowler like you said, a veteran.”
(On the type of contact he had with the Rams during the process)
“I had a top-30 visit and I had a formal visit at the (NFL Scouting) Combine. Those were pretty much the big moments right there.”
(On if they had a feeling the Rams were interested)
“Yeah, I had a good feeling they were interested. (Run Game Coordinator) Coach Kromer offensive line, I felt good in the visit - everyone was pretty interested and felt comfortable there, so it was the perfect place.”
Rams Pick Up Brian Allen at No. 111 Overall
Rams Pick Up Brian Allen at No. 111 Overall. The Rams further boosted their offensive line on Saturday morning, adding Michigan State center Brian Allen as the No. 111 overall pick in the fourth round. Los Angeles received the pick from the Dolphins, as part of the trade for middle linebacker Alec Ogletree.

The Michigan State product is a four-year letter winner who played in 51 career games, finishing with 28 consecutive starts. As a team captain in 2017, Allen earned second-team All-Big Ten accolades and finished the season as a the highest rated center in the Big 10 and No. 5 in the FBS. 

The versatile lineman also has experience at both left and right guard. Throughout the draft process, many scouts praised his toughness and strength on the line. He is known for his power an durability and should develop well under veteran center John Sullivan and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.

Allen joins left tackle Joseph Noteboom — the Rams No. 89 overall pick — as the newest additions to the team’s offensive line room.

Conference Call: OL Brian Allen (4th Round, 11th Choice, 111th Overall)
(On if he had any sense that the Rams would be interested in him)
“Yeah, absolutely. This was one of my top-30 visits and I came away from there with a pretty good feeling and I felt the feelings were mutual between me and the coaching staff. I’m just really excited to have the opportunity to get out there.” 
(On what he thinks he can bring to the Rams)
“Just a tough, hard-nose working guy, who’s going to do his job and do what’s expected of him. Just looking forward to getting out there again. Kind of overjoyed right now with all the emotions.”
(On the Rams having veteran C John Sullivan and if he thinks he will be mentored or if expects to play right away)
“I’m open to whatever they expect in me. But, at the same time, being a guy from the Midwest, seeing John Sullivan play for the (Minnesota) Vikings all these years, he’s someone who I’ve always looked up to. So, to be able to be in a room with him and be able to learn from a guy who’s shown that he can play at the level he has, for as long as he has is something pretty incredible for me. Just to have that opportunity to be in there and be able to learn from him. I definitely will be picking his brain, as long as I don’t annoy him too much. So, I’m excited to be under study of him.”
(On if his brother, Jack Allen assisted him with the entire process prior to the draft)
“Yeah, I was there in 2015 when it was his day and the call never came, so I kind of had that situation and scenario going in my mind if that was going to happen or not. But, honestly, I was telling my agent that I think the Rams are going to take me. I think this is where it’s going to be. He’s actually giving me a hug right now. This was kind of my gut feeling, but I didn’t want to have my expectations too high. Once I was getting a call from Thousand Oaks, I didn’t know if they were just calling me to mess around or what, but I was pretty excited.”
(On where he’s spending his time at for the draft)
“I’m from Hinsdale, Illinois, it’s a suburb right out of Chicago. So, I’m here with my family right now. Just us and my agent.”
(On what his family’s reaction was when he got the call from the Rams)
“I was on the phone and I was giving my older brother a fist bump. We were outside and he immediately went into my parents and they didn’t really know what was going on, so he started pointing at the T.V. I don’t think they still understand what’s going on. Everyone is excited. I’m not lying when I was saying that we thought this was going to be the spot since the beginning, so I’m glad it came to fruition.”
(On if he had spent much time in California, or Los Angeles besides his visit to meet the team)
“My first time in California was actually the bowl game, we played in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego this year, so that was my first trip out there. My second was when I visited the Rams. Haven’t been out in the sunshine out there too much, but the weather is definitely a little better than Chicago this time of year.”
(On how he would describe his comfort level with guard compared to center)
“Yeah, in college that’s really all I played until this last season, so I feel just as good at left guard, as I do right guard and just as good at those positions as I do center. I’ve taken a lot of reps there and feel that I can play that position too if need be.”
Rams Grab DE John Franklin in Fourth Round of 2018 NFL Draft
Rams Grab DE John Franklin in Fourth Round of 2018 NFL Draft. The Rams brought in their first defensive pick of the 2018 NFL Draft on Saturday, selecting defensive end John Franklin out of Stephen F. Austin at No. 135 overall. 

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 283 pounds, Franklin will bolster the team’s depth at defensive line. An All-Southland Second Team selection in 2017, Franklin finished his collegiate career as one of Stephen F. Austin’s top defensive performers of all time. Last season, the defensive end started in 10-of-11 games, leading the team with 13.5 tackles for loss (55 total) and 3.5 sacks.

Franklin impressed many scouts at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and 2017 Combine with his solid technique, measurements, and pass-rushing potential. He was often referred to as a “solid developmental prospect” who will stand to benefit under the leadership of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

As the No. 135 overall pick in the draft, Franklin becomes the first pick out of Stephen F. Austin since 2011.

L.A. was also set to be on the clock at No. 136, but instead sent that selection to the Panthers trading down for two additional picks. The Rams added on No. 147 in the fifth round and No. 197 in the sixth round.
Conference Call: DE John Franklin (4th Round, 35th Choice, 135th Overall)
(On getting the phone call to be drafted)
“It feels good. It was a dream come true. I’ve been waiting on this my whole life. I’m very excited. I’m excited to get to work.”
(On if he had much contact with the Rams or if it was a big surprise)
“I went on a (top-)30 visit with them and talked to (Defensive Line) Coach (Bill) Johnson and liked him a lot. (inaudible) I had an idea, but you never know with the draft. So, I’m just excited about this.”
(On if his scheme required him rushing the quarterback from a three-point stance or standing up)
“My first three years, I was a stand-up D-end. My senior year turned into more of a three-technique. We played a different scheme my senior year.”
(On how comfortable he feels as a stand-up edge rusher)
“I’m willing to do whatever. Like I told Coach Johnson, I’ve played a little outside backer, dropped into coverage, I’ve played D-end and I’ve played D-tackle. Obviously, they don’t need D-tackles right now. I’m willing to go in there and do whatever it takes to win.”
(On if he was told how the coaching staff sees him fitting in)
“Yeah, they see me as a D-end, primarily a five-technique, due to the fact they have (DT) Aaron Donald, (DE) Michael Brockers and (DT Ndamukong) Suh.
(On if he had a chance to speak with Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips after the Rams picked him)
“I didn’t get a chance to talk to him, I talked to Coach Johnson. We have a good relationship from the visit and from the (NFL Scouting) Combine. I talked to him and he was excited. He said they would give me a call sometime here soon.”
(On if he has spent any time in Los Angeles besides the NFLPA game)
“I was actually born in Los Angeles. My sister is down there and my brother is down there also. So I’m looking forward to heading back to L.A.”
(On how long he lived in Los Angeles)
“I lived in L.A. for about eight or nine years and then moved to Texas with my grandfather.”
Los Angeles Drafts Micah Kiser at No. 147 in Fifth Round
Los Angeles Drafts Micah Kiser at No. 147 in Fifth Round. The Rams have added a linebacker to the fold, drafting Virginia’s Micah Kiser in the fifth round. Los Angeles acquired the No. 147 overall pick in a trade with the Panthers — sending their original No. 136 slot, in exchange for the fifth-round selection and an additional sixth-round pick.

After redshirting his first year in Charlottesville, the inside linebacker was a three-year starter for the Cavaliers. Throughout his college career, Kiser piled on over 400 tackles and 19.0 career sacks. In his senior season, he ranked among the nation’s leaders in tackles (145) and received third-team AP All-American accolades as well as first-team All-ACC honors.

But his impressive production was not the only thing to stand out to scouts in the draft process. His speed and agility, coupled with his consistent playmaking ability, are expected to translate well at the league level. In 2018, Kiser will join a Rams linebacker room that features Mark Barron, Samson Ebukam, and Cory Littleton.

Conference Call: LB Micah Kiser (5th Round, 10th Choice, 147th Overall)
(On his reaction to being selected by the Rams)
“I’m pumped. This is a blessing. I knew all along the Rams organization liked me as a player. I felt like it was a great fit and I’m so happy to be a Ram and glad that they chose me.”
(On what he thinks he’ll bring to the Rams and their scheme)
“A really smart linebacker, leader on the field, great player, very productive. I think I’ve been one of the more productive linebackers in college football the last three years. So, I’m just going to come in and do whatever they want me to do - special teams, linebacker. I’m all about the team and I’m just a football player.”
(On if he interviewed with the Rams and who he spoke with if so)
“I did. I was on a visit with the Rams I guess two weeks ago. I had met with Coach (Chris) Shula, the assistant linebackers coach at the combine and so I got to meet him a little bit. Then from the combine, I went out there on a visit and met with (Assistant Head Coach /Linebackers) Coach (Joe) Barry and (Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Wade) Phillips and talked film, talked football. It went pretty well, so I’m glad they thought enough of me to take me and I’m just ready to get to work.”
(On what he knows about Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips and what he thinks about being able to play under his scheme)
“Yeah, he’s always had great defenses. What he was able to do, not only here with the Rams, but also, I remember watching him with the Broncos as well. Great defense, great players and I’m just ready to be a part of it.”
(On if he paid attention to how the Rams’ roster looked with respect to the linebacker position and if he thinks he can come in and make an impact)
“Obviously, you know the roster or whatever. But everyone at this level is a pro so you’ve got to come in and work. Anyone can play – anyone who gets picked in the draft, a veteran that is a great football player. So, I’m just ready to come in, put my best foot forward and be as productive as I can.”
(On if he solely played inside linebacker or if he played outside as well)
“I was technically a middle linebacker, but I played all over the field. I’ve lined up on the line of scrimmage, I’ve lined up at ‘Will’ linebacker, I’ve lined up at ‘Sam’ linebacker. I’ve done a lot. I’ve blitzed the passer a lot, I’ve played pass coverage a lot. I feel like I’ve done a lot at the college level and only going to get better.”
(On if they played in a of 4-3 defenses a lot at Virginia)
“We actually played a 3-4.”
(On if he played on special teams)
“Yeah, I’ve been on the punt team in college the last two years. So, I’ve played special teams, I’ve played defense. I’m just ready to contribute.”

Rams Trade WR Tavon Austin to Cowboys
Rams Trade WR Tavon Austin to Cowboys. The Rams have traded wide receiver Tavon Austin to the Cowboys in exchange for a 2018 sixth-round draft pick.

A first-round selection by the Rams in 2013, Austin played in 78 games for the franchise, starting in 50 of them. Throughout his five years with the club, the West Virginia product was an integral part of the team’s offense and special teams units. But after failing to remain healthy throughout the 2017 offseason, he struggled to carve out a role in head coach Sean McVay’s new offense.

Austin finishes his time with the Rams with 194 career receptions for 1,689 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. He also recorded 1,238 rushing yards for nine touchdowns, and scored three punts returned for touchdowns.

Los Angeles received the No. 192 overall pick from Dallas in exchange for Austin. As it stands now, the Rams hold seven picks in the sixth round.

Rams Trade Up for Ogbonnia Okoronkwo at No. 160 Overall
Rams Trade Up for Ogbonnia Okoronkwo at No. 160 Overall
The Rams have traded up for the first time in this year’s NFL Draft, sending their No. 183 and No. 217 sixth-round picks to the Broncos, in order to select outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.

Okoronkwo was a menace on the edge of the Sooner defense for four seasons, earning the starting job in 2015. In the following year, the linebacker got his first chance to rush the passer, earning a second-team All-Big 12 honor for his 67 tackles, 9.0 sacks, and three pass breakups. And though he was moved to the backfield in his senior season, Okoronkwo was still a disruptive force on the defense.

Last season, he shared the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Award posting 76 tackles, a team-high 17.5 for loss, and 8.0 sacks. He was also named a second-team All-American and ranks second in Oklahoma history in sacks recorded by a linebacker, with 21.0 all-time.

While Okoronkwo doesn’t possess the measurables of some linebackers drafted ahead of him, he is an explosive player with natural athletic ability on the outside. And with the Rams expected to be without both of their starting outside linebackers from 2017, Okoronkwo should have the opportunity to make an immediate impact.

Conference Call: OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (5th Round, 23rd Choice, 160th Overall)
(On if he has any nicknames)
“Yes, my cousins call me ‘Obeezy’ and some of my friends call me ‘Obo’. My mom calls me ‘Obo.’” 
(On what it was like to get the call from the Rams)
“Honestly, I was at a loss of words. It felt like a dream. I had sort of dosed off a little bit just sitting on the couch and I was just awoken to a bunch of people shaking me with a phone in my face. So, when I got that call, I was a little disoriented. When I got the call, tears just started dropping when I heard (Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Wade) Phillips tell me that they’re going to draft me.”
(On being listed at Oklahoma as a defensive end/linebacker and if the Rams have told him what position he’ll be playing with them)
“Yeah, they see me as an edge guy who can do linebacker things and also an instant contributor on special teams. So, I’ll be doing what (former Rams OLB) Robert Quinn was doing.”
(On what kind of opportunity he sees with the Rams since former Rams OLB Robert Quinn is no longer with the team)
“I see an amazing opportunity. With the addition of (DT) Ndamukong Suh and also (DT) Aaron Donald opening up the inside like that. It’s an edge rusher’s dream.”
(On if he visited the Rams at all)
(On what other contact he had with the Rams throughout the whole process)
“(Area Scout/Western) Steve Kazor, I talked to him throughout the whole process. I saw him a number of times. I knew the Rams were going to pick me, I just didn’t know when. The contact between us has been so fluid, so I knew it was going to be the Rams.”
(On how he knew the Rams were going to pick him)
“I just got a feeling. Just every time I would talk to Steve, he just kept telling me I’m his guy and I just believed him. So every time the Rams’ pick came, I made sure I was at the T.V. watching closely.”
(On if he ever matched up against Rams third-round pick T Joseph Noteboom and if he knows him at all)
“Oh, yes. I know him very well.”
(On if his prior meetings with Noteboom were friendly)
“Oh, yeah. I mean at this point, yeah (laughs).”
(On what it was like going head-to-head against Noteboom)
“I think he had a great jump from junior year to senior year. I think in the year we battled it out. I think junior year I really got the best of him. Senior year, he was like a whole different player. I saw him grow a lot in a year.”
Rams Select RB John Kelly at Top of the Sixth Round
Rams Select RB John Kelly at Top of the Sixth Round. The Rams have bolstered their running backs room, adding in Tennessee’s John Kelly with the second pick in the sixth round. Los Angeles received the No. 176 overall pick in a trade with the Giants for middle linebacker Alec Ogletree.

Kelly joins a running backs core that features the reigning AP Offensive Player of the Year, Todd Gurley, along with Malcolm Brown and Justin Davis. He becomes the first offensive skill player to be drafted by the Rams in 2018.

The Tennessee product burst onto the scene last season, taking over for the 2017 Offensive Rookie of the Year, Alvin Kamara. His breakout performance came against Georgia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game where he recorded 128 rushing yards and an impressive four touchdowns.

From that point on, Kelly finished his junior campaign with a team-leading 831 yards and nine touchdowns on 189 carries. He also posted 299 yards on 37 receptions, averaging 8.1 yards per catch.

Overall, Kelly is dynamic running back who brings solid pass-catching abilities with him to Los Angeles. At 5-foot-10 and 216 pounds, he is also a tough runner with the power to gain additional yardage by bursting through and between tackles.

Conference Call: RB John Kelly (6th Round, 2nd Choice, 176th Overall)
(On how he feels about being drafted)
“This feels unreal. I can’t even explain it. I’m so blessed.” 
(On how he took a bigger role as pass-catching running back at Tennessee)
“I just wanted to show my versatility in the game. I got a chance to learn from guys like (New Orleans Saints RB) Alvin (Kamara) and just do work with the receivers and everything. I definitely just wanted to be able to incorporate the route running and pass-catching in my game because I know it translates to the league. So, I was just blessed to have a guy like Alvin that was able to show me how to perfect my craft on that.”
(On how feels he developed in as a pass-catching running back and his readiness to do so in the NFL)
“I definitely feel like I’m ready for it, because me coming from Tennessee and Coach G (Tennessee RB Coach Robert Gillespie), I felt like they were able to help me develop that skill, so I can be able to put that into the league as it translates. So, I definitely feel like they prepared me well.”
(On what it was like watching his ex-teammate Alvin Kamara make an impact in the NFL and if he thinks he can make an impact himself)
“Yeah, definitely. Me just being able to watch him work at practice and caught everything, translated to the league. I expected him to do the great things that he did and just having a guy like that is motivation for all the younger guys that are under him. So, that definitely motivated me a lot, too, as I continued.”
(On if he has watched RB Todd Gurley much throughout the years and what he thinks he can contribute in the running backs room)
“Oh yeah, I definitely got a chance to watch Todd play over the years. I think he’s a great back in the league, obviously. I really just can’t wait to be able to learn some of the things that he was able to do and just be able to compete with him at practice. So I’m definitely looking forward to it.”
(On if he has ever met Gurley before)
“No, I’ve never met him before.”
(On what contact he had with the Rams throughout the draft process)
“I had a chance to speak with some of the coaching staff and speak with the running back coach as well, but I’ve never met any other players. I’m still in shock right now.”
(On when he had a chance to speak with the coaching staff and if it was at the Combine)
“A little bit at the combine and then we stayed in contact during the process. We were on the phone a lot, I would say.”
(On how he feels he is as a pass blocker in pass protection)
“I feel like I’m pretty solid in pass protection, but there’s always room to improve. I want to make sure I can solidify myself as one of the top pass-protecting backs in the league. So that’s something I’m definitely going to focus on improving once I get on the field.”
(On if it was a tough decision to declare for the NFL Draft instead of playing his senior year or if he felt confident in all along)
“I mean, I definitely felt confident in the decision. That’s why I made it. I weighed out the pros and the cons of it and I felt comfortable with forgoing my senior season and taking my next step in my football process. I mean it just landed me a job with the Rams, so I feel like I made a good decision. I’m blessed.”
(On how much was he able to watch the Rams play last year)
“I got a chance to watch them a little bit. I try to watch the NFL season, but at the same time was focused on what we got going on. I know that the Rams had an explosive offense, but I was more so focused on our season at hand at the moment.”
Los Angeles Finishes Sixth Round by Selecting Demby, Joseph, and Young. The Rams rounded out the sixth round with three picks in fairly quick succession, selecting offensive lineman Jamil Demby, defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph, and outside linebacker Trevon Young. The three players make up the No.192, No. 195, and No. 205 overall picks in the sixth round.
Los Angeles Finishes Sixth Round by Selecting Demby, Joseph, and Young
L.A. was originally slated to pick at No. 194 and No. 197, but sent those picks to Atlanta and Washington respectively, in exchange for the No. 205 slot and two seventh-rounders.

Demby joins Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen as the three newest additions to the club’s offensive line room. Throughout the draft, general manager Les Snead made bringing in several promising, young linemen a priority — hoping to develop them under veteran players like Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan.

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 319 pounds, the Maine product kicked off his final season as a CAA All-Conference selection and a third-team FCS All-American. Coming from a pass-heavy offense, scouts project he will develop well inside to guard. And after a strong performance in the Senior Bowl, many believe he has the skills necessary to excel as an eventual starter.  

The franchise also added further depth on the defensive line through the addition of Joseph. The three-year starter from Rutgers played in all 12 games of his senior season and was named an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention. He showcased his durability and athleticism on the line, starting in 49 consecutive contests to end his career.

Joseph totaled 41 tackles, 4.5 for loss, 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble in 2017 to finish as the Homel Hazel Award recipient — given to the Rutgers’ football team’s most valuable player.

Young closed out the Rams’ sixth round selections at No. 205. After posting 8.5 sacks in 2015, the All-ACC talent suffered a fractured hip in Louisville’s bowl game, causing him to miss the entire 2016 season. But after returning for his senior season the following year, Young finished with 62 tackles, 12 for loss, 4.5 sacks and five pass breakups.

His 6-foot-4, 258 pound frame makes him a nice fit on the edge and if he remains healthy, Young should provide some needed depth to the Rams’ linebacker core.

Conference Call: OL Jamil Demby (6th Round, 18th Choice, 192nd Overall)
(On the contact he had with the Rams and if he thought they were a likely candidate to take him)
“Yes, they took me in for an official (top-) 30 visit. It was just a great vibe, great atmosphere there. My ex-offensive coordinator (Rams Assistant Wide Receivers Coach Liam Coen) from this past season was there. So, me and him were in contact and just on the visit, the O-Line coach showed a high interest. It was definitely all for me. It was a great vibe. A lot of positivity within the franchise.”
(On who his offensive coordinator was at Maine)
“My offensive coordinator from my senior year of college, Coach Coen, is now an assistant wide receivers coach with them.”
(On his strengths and what he thinks he can improve on as he enters the NFL)
“I feel like my versatility, my knowledge for the game and my ability to compete and be dominate against no matter what the competition is. Having that mindset and I think just really what I need to fix are the little things to bring my game up. My fluid full body motion, going from the left to the right side on the offensive line and just the little technical things and I feel like I’ll be all set.”
(On if he split time on the left and right side of the offensive line in college)
“I played, pretty much, all left tackle throughout my four years of college. So, I was just used to being on the left side. But throughout this process, I‘ve been working on my versatility and from a concept standpoint, I understand the game and had some great coaching.”
Conference Call: DL Sebastian Joseph (6th Round, 21st Choice, 195th Overall)
(On what he thinks he brings to the Rams)
“I’m a hardworking guy that loves football. I’m excited to get out there and learn from two of the best D-linemen in the game. I just think I’m a hardworking guy, hardworking, lunch-pail, driven guy that strives to get better each and every day.”
(On what his reaction was when the Rams called)
“Oh man, it was a dream come true. I had such a great time when I visited L.A. with the coaches, I felt like I meshed with the coaches so well together. It really did feel like home, it was crazy, I told all my family that when I got home. Obviously, I couldn’t express that information to anyone else. When I saw that phone call, it was just a dream come true.”
(On if he played three-technique in college)
“In college I played both, when I first came in I played three-tech. My third year, I moved to nose. I played basically three different sides, I played three-tech, I played shade nose and then I played short nose. I think I’m pretty versatile in that aspect.”
(On what college event did he play in, what was it like and did he think it helped him get drafted)
“A lot of my credit goes out to (Rutgers Former Head) Coach (Kyle) Flood and (Rutgers Head) Coach (Chris) Ash. I had two college coaches in my career. The way the prepared me mentally, physically and even in a spiritual aspect. (inaudible)”
Conference Call: OLB Trevon Young (6th Round, 31st Choice, 205th Overall)
(On how it feels like to be drafted by the Rams)
“It’s such a big relief. I’m so honored and feel so blessed to be part of that organization. I know this organization has some big things ahead of them.”
(On if he felt confident that he would be drafted by a team since it was getting later into the draft)
“To be honestwith my situation, I really didn’t know it was going to happen. I’ve honestly been sick all day just not knowing what was going to happen. But, to finally get that call, I can’t even explain the feeling. It’s so great.”
(On if he operated mostly at a three-point stance and how confident he is as an outside linebacker in this scheme)
“Yeah, in college I had my hand down most of the time. But, I feel like I’m a versatile player. With practice, I’ll be able to be just as effective or more effective coming out of a two-point stance or whatever they ask me to do.”
(On if he played in a 4-3 defensive scheme)
“Yeah, I was in a 4-3.”
(On how he thinks he’ll fit in Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips’ scheme)
“I feel like I’m going to be a pass rusher. What I bring to the team is putting pressure on the quarterback or whatever they ask me to do, I’m willing to do. So, I’m ready to go.”
(On getting the call after going from high school to community college to Louisville)
“I know most people don’t know a lot about me and my road here and where I come from. I’ve been through so much to get to this point. To finally get this call and be a part of an organization like the Rams is more than a dream and more than what I asked for.”
Rams Round Out 2018 Draft Class with Howard and Lawler
Rams Round Out 2018 Draft Class with Howard and Lawler
Los Angeles completed its 2018 NFL Draft class by picking up linebacker Travin Howard and defensive lineman Justin Lawler with the No. 231 and No. 244 overall picks

Los Angeles completed its 2018 NFL Draft class by picking up linebacker Travin Howard and defensive lineman Justin Lawler, with the No. 231 and No. 244 overall picks.

Howard marks the fourth linebacker selected by the franchise in this year’s draft. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips noted earlier this offseason that the Rams would look to add between six and seven linebackers to their room by the start of training camp. The TCU product joins Micah Kiser, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, and Trevon Young to help fulfill that need.

In 2018, Howard will also join former teammate Joseph Noteboom — who was drafted as the No. 89 overall pick — in the Rams locker room.

Howard became the first player in TCU history to lead the team in tackles for three-consecutive seasons. In 2016, he led the Big 12 with 130 tackles as a junior before posting 108 tackles — seven for loss — and an interception returned for a touchdown in his senior year. As a safety turned linebacker, he was also well known for his speed and strong abilities in pass coverage.

The Rams further boosted their defense by bringing in an All-AAC defensive end out of SMU. In 2017, Lawler racked up a team-high 74 tackles, 15.5 for loss, 9.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. He was also a standout player on special teams — tying the national lead with three blocked kicks in a single season.

As a productive three-year starter for the Mustangs, Lawler impressed scouts with his strength and physicality. He will bolster a Rams D-line that includes defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh, Aaron Donald, and Michael Brockers.

The Los Angeles Rams' draft picks addressed the media via conference call following their selections during the 2018 NFL Draft.
Conference Call: LB Travin Howard (7th Round, 13th Choice, 231st Overall)
(On his reaction to getting the phone call)
“This was a long time coming. It was a long wait, big relief, a little emotional with my family. It was great.”
(On if he thinks he’ll play as an inside linebacker or outside linebacker)
“I think they’ll have me at inside linebacker.”
(On if he spoke to the Rams prior to the draft)
“Yeah, I talked to them two weeks before the draft. Ever since then, we’ve pretty much been talking every day.”
(On his position history)
“When I came into TCU, I was a safety and then I converted to linebacker my sophomore year. But ever since then, I pretty much played both of them at TCU throughout my four years.”
(On what he thinks his strengths are as a player)
“Just speed – sideline-to-sideline, running to get the ball anywhere, just pretty much a ball magnet.”
(On if he spent much time in Los Angeles or ever visited California)
“No, I have never been to California before. But, I’ll be there soon. I’m pretty sure I’ll adjust quick.”
(On the Rams drafting his TCU teammate, T Joseph Noteboom, and what he knows about him)
“He’s a great player, big guy, athletic – he doesn’t really say too much, but he’s a good guy.”
(On what Noteboom would say about him)
“I’m pretty sure he’d say the same thing.”
Conference Call: DL Justin Lawler (7th Round, 26th Choice, 244th Overall) 
(On how it feels to join the Rams)
“It’s incredible. I knew they had interest in me. I loved L.A. when I was down there, I had a visit down there and I’m just ready. I’m excited to get to work and excited to get going.”
(On what he thinks he brings to the defense)
“Immediately, I’m just going to do my job, I’m going to play my role. Come out, if I’ve got to be a backup, I’ll be a backup. But, I’m just going to help this team win, that’s what I’ve always done and that’s what I’m going to continue to do no matter where I go.”
(On if he knew they had interest in him)
“They were one of the teams I had a visit with. I had a (top-) 30 visit, so I knew they liked me. We had a little contact here and there. We had some phone calls and I knew they were interested.”
(On what type of role he had at SMU, what type of front they played and what his role was in it)
“It was really similar to what the Rams do, I think that’s why we’re such a good fit for each other. I was a hand in the ground, four-down guy, rushing the quarterback and just making plays. They let me run free, run loose, similar to what the Rams do with their ends and we look forward to having the same success in L.A.”
(On how much special teams work he did for former SMU Head Coach Sam Morris)
“I didn’t do any for Coach Morris, the year before that, I did a bunch. I also did some at my all-star game, the East-West (Shrine) Game. I’m more than capable of doing all of that, so I’m ready to roll.”
Between the Horns: Let's analyze the 11 Rams picks in the 2018 Draft:
Between the Horns: Let's analyze the 11 Rams picks in the 2018 Draft
Rams Exercise Fifth-Year Options on Gurley, Peters
Rams Exercise Fifth-Year Options on Gurley, Peters
In an expected move, the Rams have exercised the fifth-year options for both running back Todd Gurley and cornerback Marcus Peters.

Both players were first-round picks in the 2015 NFL Draft, and are now under contract with the Rams through the 2019 season.

Selected at No. 10 overall, Gurley has been a mainstay of the Rams offense since he was drafted. He’s recorded 4,599 yards from scrimmage and 35 total touchdowns in his three seasons as a pro. Gurley was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year after rushing for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns in just 13 games — a year after tearing his ACL at Georgia. Gurley also earned 2017 AP Offensive Player of the Year by leading the league with 2,093 yards from scrimmage, 19 total touchdowns, and 13 rushing touchdowns.

Since Peters entered the league as the Chiefs 18th overall pick, no player has recorded more interceptions. The cornerback has 19 regular-season picks and two more postseason interceptions — giving him five more than the next player on the list. Peters was named 2015 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year after leading the league with eight interceptions — two of which he returned for touchdowns. He’s also recorded five forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries in his young career.

Los Angeles officially acquired Peters at the start of the league year in March.

Since the league’s latest Collective Bargaining Agreement in 2011, teams have been able to exercise fifth-year options on the contracts of first-round picks. All contracts of draftees are for four years.

Rams Host Free Youth Football Clinics for Nearly 700 in LA Region
Over the past two months, the Los Angeles Rams partnered with local non-profit organizations and youth football clubs to host free football clinics for nearly 700 LA youth at different locations throughout Southern California. Each clinic engaged youth in football drills, an educational lesson on character and offered competitive flag football games. Participants ranged from grades 2-8 and went home with a Rams-branded Youth Football Camp t-shirt.

On Monday, March 5, the Rams hosted their first clinic at Lincoln High School with LAPD’s Pueblo United. As a police officer and a volunteer youth football coach, Joe Quezada believes the sport of football can provide countless mentorship opportunities. Through the game, he motivates Pueblo Del Rio youth to achieve their full potential and build confidence through sport and teamwork. Quezada believes the Rams free clinic was a great way to reinforce his program’s values while engaging in some friendly competition.

“The experience for Ramona Gardens/Lincoln High is one that will be unforgettable for our youth football players,” said Quezada. “It really had a positive impact for all participants and the community in so many ways.”

Located in South Central Los Angeles, Verbum Dei High School was the site of the Rams free youth football clinic for the Watts Bears on Saturday, March 10. The Watts Bears program was created by LAPD officers from the Southeast Division, who coach student-athletes in football and track & field and give underprivileged youth in Watts a chance to play organized sports on a larger scale while providing a safe and positive outlet for well-deserving kids. As the program’s general manager, Carnell Marshall believes the youth football clinic provided great instruction on topics such as safety, preparation and most importantly, team solidarity.
“The clinics have been awesome for us because it helps us jump start the kids into shape and it got the kids pumped up for football,” said Marshall. “The USA Football coaches that came talked a lot about safety and counseled the kids about Pop Warner Football for ages 14 and under. They were telling the kids to get low and not lead with their head. Even though it was flag football, they were educating the kids about anatomy and showing them where the spine is and giving them instructions on how to prepare before engaging in physical activity. It was great because they were teaching them in a way the kids would understand and learn. When you have programs like this come in, the kids and the parents realize that these big organizations like the Rams really do care. This wasn’t just about flag football and it wasn’t about the Rams, it was about working together as a team.”

The Rams held their third clinic with Heart of Los Angeles at Lafayette Recreation Center on Saturday, March 25. The program’s Athletic Director Cameron Schuster thought the clinics were a refreshing way for athletes of all positions, gender and skill level to fine tune their football skills and get some instruction from professional coaches and mentors.  

“The LA Rams football clinic was a resounding success,” said Schuster. “The youth who attended had a fantastic time, as well as the parents who were vigilant spectators. I was impressed by how genuine and warm the coaches were with the youth. The approach that they brought was not formulaic or routine at all. They made every kid from each group feel welcomed, supported and celebrated. For me, one of the best parts of the day was seeing some of the girls from our Girls on the Run program compete on an equal playing field with the boys and succeeding!”       

At Narbonne High School, the team hosted a clinic for Laced Facts, a Charter School for 2-8 grade student-athletes where they attend study, train and play together year-round. Laced Facts CEO Mike Evans thought it was great to see his student-athletes building relationships with other kids in the community as they shared their common joy for the game of football.

“This really let our kids know that the Rams care about them and are willing to be in the community creating experiences for them,” said Evans. “Our kids also were able to build relationships with other kids in our community which was really awesome.”
Held at Edward Vincent Jr. Park on Saturday, April 7, the Rams hosted a free clinic for After-School All-Stars of Los Angeles, which is a comprehensive after-school program serving kids with the greatest needs and fewest resources as the premier K-12 program for schools throughout LA County. With many of his youth participating in organized football activities for the first time, the program’s Director of Leadership and Community Outreach Donny Faaliliu couldn’t help but notice an unmatched level of energy and enthusiasm during the Rams clinic.

“Our After-School All-Star, Los Angeles students were full of energy as they rotated throughout the different stations,” said Faaliliu. “For many of our students, this was their first time participating in an organized football clinic. Students walked away from it with a renewed sense of self confidence to push themselves to overcome their physical and mental fatigue. The LA Rams staff/volunteers went above and beyond to ensure our students had a great time and encouraged our students to not be afraid, to overcome their fears, and continue to chase their own greatness. Thanks so much to the LA Rams for their time and dedication in educating our students on the importance of staying active and making good healthy decisions. We are so grateful!”

On Tuesday, April 10, the Rams hosted their sixth football clinic for youth at A Place Called Home, which provides a safe, nurturing environment with proven programs in arts, education and wellness for the young people in South Central Los Angeles to help them improve their economic conditions and develop healthy, fulfilling and purposeful lives. The program’s External Relations & Special Initiatives Director, Gilbert Radillo believes the opportunity to learn from professionals will help set a precedent for his students, and one that will provide them a recipe of success to achieve their future dreams and aspirations.

“I think the kids learned that it is hard work to be a pro athlete,” said Radillo. “They appreciate that it’s fun, but they also understand that it involves real commitment, hard training and discipline to propel to greatness. They also learned that a team is as good as an individual contributes and that everyone has to give it their all to yield the best results as a team.”

The Rams hosted their final clinic with Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club at Lincoln High School on Saturday, April 14. With nearly 130 youth in attendance, the club’s Program & Teen Director Lance Holliday thought it was great to see such a large group show unity and cohesion on the field and to watch the coaches explain the importance of technique in the game of football.

“Everyone had smiles on their faces,” said Holiday. “As a coach, it was great to be out there with different kids from different communities and see them come together. One of the things I noticed was the structure and concentration of the drills and the way the coaches demonstrated them. They really took the time to show good technique which was important because a lot of these kids haven’t been in that type of learning environment. The coaches brought their expertise and terminology while also making it fun for the kids. The two words that come to mind when reflecting on the camp are ‘community’ and ‘togetherness.’ Even though they were in separate sections, they were all wearing that Rams T-shirt and it gave everyone a sense of belonging and I know they felt part of something bigger than themselves.”

For more information about the Rams’ youth football and community initiatives, please visit

Goff Goes Undercover for a Hilarious Red Bull Prank

Jared Goff may be the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams, but for one day he was transported back to college — specifically to Ventura College in Southern California — as a transfer named Dreaj Foge.

Goff and the rest of the football staff, along with the crew at Red Bull, convinced the team into believing he was the hotshot newcomer eyeing the starting job.

Watch the full video below to see how the prank unfolded:
Watch Episode 4 of Rams Original Series "Behind the Grind"
Watch Episode 4 of Rams Original Series
Episode 4 of new Rams original series "Behind the Grind" is available now on Facebook Watch

"It Starts Right Now" focuses on the start of Rams offseason workouts, Year 2 for WR Josh Reynolds, Tyler Higbee checking out the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and a preview of what to expect in the NFL Draft.
Diary Of A Ram Fan. 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.