Today I saw my first training camp of the Los Angeles Rams. I've been a fan of the team since 2010 after they drafted Sam Bradford, who I thought would bring back the days of GSOT. Yeah, that never happened. I've lived through all the heartache since then, but I'm still a fan and was excited to see my team in person.
When I walked up to camp and turned the corner to see the Rams players right in front of me, my heart skipped a beat. I couldn't believe they were only a few yards away from me. I was excited beyond belief, but the infatuation I had seeing the team in real life quickly became sobering. There were definitely some good things that happened today, but for the most part we as fans need to quickly lower our expectations. What I saw today is the same stuff that makes me want to scream at the tv on game day and rethink my fandom for this team. No, I'm not the negative type, I am all for being hopeful, but we as fans need to cut out the hype talk and get real. Here is what I saw:
QB Jared Goff
If Goff started today or even a month from now, it would be a disservice to the team and to the fans. Today, he didn't look that great. Keenum was far superior in decision making, completing passes, and making the more exciting throws. Remember how we all would feel when Sam Bradford would keep throwing check downs? That's mostly what Goff did today. A few yards every play. He took one shot down the field in the beginning of camp and overthrew his man by a few yards. He made a TD with Mike Thomas later on in the day, but don't get your hopes up over that play. He didn't play like a star, he played like a third stringer who got lucky to play with the 2s. It seemed like he was getting worse as the day went on. At first players were catching the ball, then they weren't. Then he started throwing to WRs who weren't there, and that's when he kept almost getting picked off. Lots of poor decision making and a lot of incomplete passes. The throws he did make, like mentioned before, were check downs. It was a snooze fest. I so badly wanted to cheer for him, but he let me down in that regard. He will get better no doubt, but don't expect him to start unless you like to be disappointed.
WR Brian Quick
Now this is a guy who got me standing on my feet, cheering and shouting. Unlike Goff, Quick played like a star. He was the playmaker today and if he keeps it up, he will beat any other WR for a starting job. Every time I saw 83, I saw him catching the ball in open space for a 1st down or more importantly a touchdown. There was one play in particular that etched itself into my memory. It was a beautiful catch. Keenum hikes the ball, goes through his progression and throws to Quick who is in the end zone and is barely in bounds. At this point the ball is in the air and Quick is double covered. For a moment I thought Keenum was throwing it away and out of bounds.. Nope. Up out of the horizon is Quick leaping into the air, his upper body over the defenders around him, shoulders squared to the ball and hands wide open. He catches the ball, which was over his head, and lands with feet in bounds. Quick made a very impressive touchdown catch with that play. The fun didn't stop there, Quick made 2 more touchdowns. One TD was against Trumaine Johnson where Quick beat him with a play on the ball with a double move. Another TD was on a 7v7 and he was as wide open as anyone can get. Goff made that throw, but it was so easy for him my grandma could do it.
RB Todd Gurley
He's the real deal. I don't think anyone can really stop him once he gets going. Near the beginning of 11v11, Keenum hands off the ball to Todd Gurley. Let me just say this... The dude got past the whole 1st string defense, up the middle, for a touchdown with barely getting a hand on him. It was like the whole defense was moving in slow motion and Todd Gurley had a godlike speed. No one came close to stopping him. Then a few plays later, he did it again with maybe a little bit more hands on him this time, but by no means were the defense in a position to actually stop him. He's going to be a lot of fun to watch this season, I guarantee it.
Update: Someone on the internet posted a video highlight of the practice yesterday. You can see some of what I am talking about with Keenum, Gurley, and a little nice throw from Goff to Mike Thomas (Note: the edit seems to place some things out of order. Gurley’s 1st run in the video is actually his 2nd in practice. I mentioned both in the article.)