Traning camp is here for Rams and McVay

IRVINE (News4usonline) – It’s been a wild ride this year for Sean McVay. The Los Angeles Rams head coach has been able to bask in the glory of winning a Super Bowl. He got married shortly earlier this summer. His team picked up their championship rings on the eve of training camp. And now, it’s back to business on the football field.

“The goal to me really when you look at it, and we always talk about it and it will pretty much remain the same, we want to be able to establish our culture, our football philosophy and most importantly, come together as a team,” McVay remarked to the media at his training camp opening press conference.

McVay continued, “And then our job as coaches, as it relates to that process and planning, is making sure that we get our guys healthy and ready to go for September 8. There is a lot of things that take place in between then.”

June 10, 2021-Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay. Photo credit: Mark Hammond/News4usonline

Being the defending NFL champs has its perks and platitudes. It also presents a different set of challenges. Mainly 31 different sets of challenges with 31 other teams in the National Football League looking to knock the Rams off of their Super Bowl perch. McVay gets the gist that a new season means exactly that: it’s a new season.

“I think every team if you are performing at a high level, has a target on their back, if you will,” said McVay. “That is something you are not naïve to because we won last year, but I think a lot of these teams know it’s a brand-new year. We won it last year but everybody is undefeated now so we are just going to take the right steps one day at a time.

“I think you embrace the opportunity to be somebody that people care about covering. That is a thing we always enjoy. We talk about it all the time, pressure is a privilege, but I think we got the right kind of guys that have the humility and understand that that confidence is earned every single day by the way they work.”

Having confidence is one thing. Having Super Bowl hangover is another. But that’s something that McVay does not have to worry about with this team. Just being satisfied with what they accomplished last season is not in the Rams’ DNA. With parity spread across the league and teams upgrading their roster, complacency is nowhere on the agenda nor is her worried about that settling in, McVay said.

Bobby Wagner and Seattle Seahawks play the Los Angeles Chargers
© Mark Hammond/News4usonline – Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) looks ready for action against Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30). The Seahawks defeated the Chargers in preseason action, 23-15, at Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019.

“No, I think what I have respect for is how competitive this league is,” said McVay. “So, whether it’s a hangover – to me what that entails, is guys think they are better than they are. They stop working the right way, complacency sets in, and the previous success you think has anything to do with your future success. We got the right kind of guys in our locker room, the right kind of coaches that are intrinsically motivated. They care about each other enough that they don’t want to let each other down, so I don’t worry about that.”

There are several things to look out for at this year’s training camp. Well, for one is the giant hole in the offensive line left by the retirement of longtime staple Andrew Whitworth. Secondly, the Rams are without several key contributors from last season’s Super Bowl run. Most noticeable would be the absence of Von Miller, who left for Buffalo.

The Rams played it back with the signing of linebacker Bobby Wagner and adding wide receiver Allen Robinson to the mix. There will be a lot of eyes following both Wagner and the sure-handed Robinson. While McVay will no doubt keep his eye out on watching what Wagner and Robinson does, he will most certainly pay attention to the younger players on the squad.

Players like wideout Tutu Atwell and defensive back Robert Rochelle will be getting the lookover pretty well in training camp.

Aaron Donald Los Angeles Rams
July 29, 2021. Los Angeles Rams defensive star Aaron Donald (99) getting a break during a training camp practice. Photo credit: Mark Hammond/News4usonline

 I think everybody has to be able to get better,” McVay said. “There’s certain guys I’m excited about the way that they approach the off-season you know taking steps in the right direction. The guys that come to mind are [DB] Robert Rochell, [WR] TuTu Atwell – you guys have heard me talk about, but there’s a lot of guys that have done really good things and so to single anybody out, that’s the whole point of camp which we’re really excited about is seeing some of these competitions unfold, see some of these guys best of their ability and whether that’s first year second year or guys going in to their 10th year.”  

With Cooper Kupp and quarterback Mathew Stafford as well as other key parts of the offensive unit returning, the Rams will not lack firepower. McVay expects that unit to be even more explosive than what they were a year ago.

“That’s the goal,” he quipped. “You know I think for us the goal is to always be explosive and efficient, and I think we have to be much more efficient running the football. There’s a lot of things we did do well especially throwing the football to create some of those explosives, but there’s a lot of stuff that when you go back and look there’s improvement to be had. You don’t minimize how tough these defense structures are and the landscape of the league and where that’s going, but I do expect us to be better. That’s always the goal. That’s why you work at it the way that you do.”

Featured Image Caption: Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay. Photo by Mark Hammond/News4usonline