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2017 Los Angeles Rams Training Camp: August 9 Joint Practice Recap

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The #FightForLA was on last night.

Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers Practice
Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers Practice
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The fight for L.A. began the moment the Los Angeles Chargers became tenants in the new stadium to be built in Inglewood for the Los Angeles Rams. Yesterday, the fight spilled over to onto the joint practice held at Rams training camp between the new (but not improved) Los Angeles Chargers and (they only have one way to go but up) the Los Angeles Rams.

The Rams defense is known for being “chippy”, and yesterday showed why. Three fights broke out suddenly making an uninteresting preseason matchup on August 26 at the Coliseum much more interesting.

The ninth practice of camp was Booster Club and Throwback Day. Rams booster clubs from all over the Southern California met at the Cost Mesa Plaza and members were provided a Rams “throwback” flag. Fans then proceeded by caravan down the freeway to UCI. Cameras were there to capture the “Who’s House? Rams House!” chant which has a little more meaning this year.

At UCI, unlike the Chargers-held joint practice at the StubHub Center last weekend, the Rams had a great turnout considering this was a weekday event when many fans just can’t get away from their jobs to watch a practice. The Chargers’ joint practice and scrimmage was sparsely attended on a weekend and from all indications more Ram fans who showed up then Chargers fans. At least they were more vocal that’s for sure.

What few Chargers fans did come to UCI seemed to have forgotten that their team has moved from San Diego, wearing hats and carrying banners that say “San Diego Chargers.” As these fans would walk past the special enclosed booster clubs area, they were taunted with ‘Renters!’ “Want to buy my seat?” These little jabs reminded those few who did show up, that their team took four months to sell the allotted season capacity of 25,000 in the Stub Hub Center and that unless the Chargers win the Super Bowl this year, the Rams still own Los Angeles.

As for the play itself, the Rams continue with we’re doing everything we can do make QB Jared Goff the franchise quarterback. The kid does have an arm and he has shown improvement from his “deer in the headlights” performance from last year. He still makes a terrible read or bad throw now and then. He just looks better doing it this year with a lot more confidence.

The biggest problem isn’t Goff’s mechanics, reads or accuracy. It’s his weapons.

Throughout the scrimmage with the Chargers, Goff made good passes only to have his wideouts look exactly like last year by dropping the ball. It got to the point that fans weren’t concerned with whether Goff would get it right. It was more like “is the guy he’s throwing to going to catch it?” As a result of observing the Rams’ offense, one comes away with a deep concern that the wide receivers should see an orthopedist so they can have their hands x-rayed in order to make sure the bones are properly aligned, something that should be checked out so the Rams don’t waste their time keeping them on the roster.

This offense will move the ball through the air effectively once the receivers learn that they’re paid to catch the football; instead, right now the receivers are getting paid more money to drop the passes. I guess one should be more optimistic since its only practice—maybe its one of those the “lights will turn on” things when the real games begin.

The Rams’ run game for this scrimmage was just bad. They ran very few different plays. It was either up the middle into a pound of dust or let’s try, and see if we can get that stretch play (right and left) with Gurley to work. Too bad a football field has out of bounds markers.

In the red zone portion of scrimmage, it was just awful. Mannion and Goff were not to blame—it was the receivers who dropped the ball and the O-line looked like the 2016 Rams at the goalline against the Detroit Lions at the end of the 1st half.

The truth is that this is the ninth day of training camp’s 15 practices. Goff looks better then last year. The O-line will get better. And the Rams defense is still chippy and aggressive in the 3-4.

If the wide receivers can ever get around to actually catching the ball, we might have something here with this team that will shock the football world. As for the Chargers, well they’re more like the Clippers who also came from San Diego. Wake me up when they get to the Super Bowl.