Day 2. Thankfully, we didn’t suffer from the drama of yesterday, or what the Daily News’ Vinny Bonsignore appropriately deemed “a soap opera.” Like I said in the live thread, we’re down to business now.
That doesn’t mean the front office foolery is forgotten:
This Rams fan's name is Blake. He had no idea how amazing his shirt placement is. pic.twitter.com/JNIvp1iC45— Ryan Kartje (@Ryan_Kartje) July 30, 2017
But with Steddy B on the sidelines reminding everyone that time in the NFL is precious and you can’t let a moment waste, I doubt there was any lack of focus to be had.
Nope. Good look. Keep it movin’.
The love for WR Nelson Spruce never really died...
Mannion finds Spruce on a post rout for a big gain during 11 on 11 drills. Crowd chants "Spruuuce!"— Joe Curley (@vcsjoecurley) July 30, 2017
And it’s still just getting started for WR Cooper Kupp:
Few times today I've seen Cooper Kupp adjust other WR's alignment. I'd have to ask, but I bet he already knows playbook for all 3 WR roles.— J.B. Long (@JB_Long) July 30, 2017
Jared Goff just delivered a beauty to rookie WR Cooper Kupp, while rolling out to his right. Can't say we've seen that out of him before.— Ryan Kartje (@Ryan_Kartje) July 30, 2017
Good to hear Gerald Everett getting comfortable:
Nice catch from TE Everett during 7-on-7. Had to slide toward the ground near the sideline to come up with it.— Myles Simmons (@MylesASimmons) July 30, 2017
We’ll have to see how things look early on in preseason games, but the connection between QB Jared Goff and WR Robert Woods is probably going to have to lead the way early on given Woods’ experience:
Another nice sideline throw from Goff to Woods in 11-on-11. Those two have been sharp today.— Myles Simmons (@MylesASimmons) July 30, 2017
35-year old OT Andrew Whitworth can’t last forever at this level, but even if his decline begins to hit this year, he’s still miles better than Greg Robinson:
Andrew Whitworth is out here blocking three different guys on one play. He's 35 years old.— Ryan Kartje (@Ryan_Kartje) July 30, 2017
Wading with Wade
CB Kayvon Webster had a good practice, and not just because of his shoes:
OLB Connor Barwin is in a for a huge year professionally on his one-year FA deal:
No pads, so take this with a grain of salt. But a Barwin spin move in 11-on-11 just looked real nice. #RamsCamp— Myles Simmons (@MylesASimmons) July 30, 2017
CB/S Lamarcus Joyner sounds like he’s set on safety work. With S Maurice Alexander alongside him, that perhaps throws rookie S John Johnson’s role up in the air, but these things have a way of working themselves out over time:
Rams LaMarcus Joyner tells me he's thrilled to be playing safety for first time since college and hopes to make the move from CB permanent.— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) July 31, 2017
But don’t underplay (a) the Chargers starting point or (b) most importantly, how quickly things change based on the quality of play.
It was a pretty impressive turnout to say the least https://t.co/mcRkvTXP2C— Vincent Bonsignore (@DailyNewsVinny) July 30, 2017
The real key moving forward is the response to both teams’ performances.
If the Rams put up a second consecutive losing season, there won’t be any blame on Jeff Fisher next year like this. The novelty of returning to LA will have completely evaporated. And fans, naturally, will respond as they do in any city: they’ll stop showing up. They’ll stop tuning in. They’ll stop wasting their time.
If the Chargers arrive in LA without any historical base entrenched and make the playoffs, they’ll build that base. The league will help them manufacture a rivalry with the Rams, and they’ll start out with the upper hand.
Neither outcome is certain. The Rams could surprise in Year 1 under new Head Coach Sean McVay and the Chargers could falter in their first-year head coach, Anthony Lynn.
Suffice to say for now with camp, the fight is beginning...and I think there’s a strong chance it gets uglier before it gets better.