Joint practices beneficial for Rams

THOUSAND OAKS (News4usonline) – The Los Angeles Rams engaged the Las Vegas Raiders in two joint practices leading up to the teams playing each other in a preseason game at SoFi Stadium. The Raiders traveled to the Rams practice facilities at Cal Luthern University in Thousand Oaks to go through the training camp exercise.

Surprisingly, there was a little moisture in the air as drippings from light showers made their way to the football field.

“It wasn’t too bad,” Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford said. “I think our guys did a great job trying to keep the balls as dry as they could. Once the rain settled down you really didn’t notice at all.”

ug. 18, 2021. The Los Angeles Rams hosted the Las Vegas Raiders for the first of two joint practices. Photo credit: Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

What was noticeable was the chippiness that the two teams played with. As expected, lots of chirping and several skirmishes broke out, which McVay wasn’t too keen about. But it didn’t take away from what he thought his team had worked on accomplishing, he said.

“I think part of it is how we structure the practice to get the things that we want out of it,” Rams head coach Sean McVay remarked after the practice session. “I don’t want to make it like it’s negative, like we didn’t get anything out of it. There was a lot of things that we can take away. I just felt like for the most part, when we’ve worked with them previously, and then when we’ve worked with other clubs, there hasn’t been as many things that have taken away from just the football, that it felt like to me. Sometimes when you’re fresh off the field and you’re like, ‘Ah, maybe it wasn’t as bad as you think,’ but there was just a lot of things that I think we can clean up. And I think it starts with me.”

With that said, McVay did add that the high level of intensity that the two teams played with was a good thing.

“Absolutely. There’s a lot to be gained. You can learn so many different things in these settings without any of the ramifications or repercussions that you would normally have – whether it be penalties in a game where you end up really just being able to talk about composure, plan one snap at a time, being able to move on from a bad play from one snap to the next, being able to stay steady through the good ones. There are great learning opportunities, not only for players but for coaches alike. There’ll be a lot of things that we can gain from this film.”

Aug. 18, 2021. Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald (99) gets ready for some action against the Las Vegas Raiders. Photo credit: Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline

During this particular training camp practice, the Rams defense was getting in plenty of work as the Raiders alternated between starter David Carr and backup Marcus Mariota going up against Jalen Ramsey, Aarron and Donald, and the crew. The matchup between Ramsey and Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow was a good one. Renfrow got the best of Ramsey on a couple of routes.

But for the most part, Ramsey and the Rams defense proved steady most of the practice. Stafford said the joint practices are beneficial for both teams.

“It’s always good to get out there and play somebody different – different schemes, different looks with different players. Just getting used to all that kind of stuff,” Stafford said. “We saw some stuff from them that we haven’t seen any of in camp, which is really good for us as a team and me as a quarterback to see. Our plays kind of develop against certain coverages and certain players. I’m always just trying to soak up as much as I possibly can when it comes to these practices, knowing that we’re just trying to get some good work in.”