Head Coach Sean McVay and quarterback Matthew Stafford took the podium after a “sloppy” first of two joint practices with the Las Vegas Raiders. Here are six takeaways from their press conferences on Wednesday.
Matthew Stafford: ‘I made a couple poor decisions that I wish I had back”
(00:30) “They did a nice job getting the ball back from us a couple of times. I made a couple poor decisions that I wish I had back. That’s practice. Some of the new stuff that we’re putting in, I want to make sure I get reps at it. I’ve got to do a better job making sure that we end up with the ball after every play. That’s everybody included so I’ve got to do a better job with that.”
If there is a time to a have a three interception day, it is most certainly at practice against new defensive looks, while working on recently installed plays. It’s best to get the mistakes on film now so the coaching staff can get the errors corrected. The fact that Stafford is a gunslinger is going to lead to him taking risks and the inevitable multiple interception game.
It will take time for Stafford to develop chemistry with offense
(02:35) “That’s always a work in progress and just because we have one good day or one bad day doesn’t mean it’s going to be the same the next. If we go out there and have a great day we’ve got to go out there and prove it again the next….Make sure that every time we step on the grass, we’re doing everything we can to be in sync and on time. Some days are obviously better than others.”
Stafford and Rams ones had a nice RZ 7on7 period (pretty sideline ball to Jefferson; TDs to Kupp and Higbee). Struggled in full field 11on11 and had a tipped ball meant for Woods picked.— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) August 18, 2021
Rochell dove to pick Mariota, and Carr hit Remfrow on a slick out and up explosive.
Although Stafford is veteran with a dozen years’ worth of NFL experience, and wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods each have had four seasons in Sean McVay’s offense, it will still take time and reps together to develop the chemistry necessary to get this offense ready for the season, and what we all expect will be a deep playoff run.
It’s the little things that separate the good from the great. Cooper Kupp is such a pro. Look how late he shoots his hands to pull the ball in. Times it last second so the DB doesn’t have any time to react to play the hands/ball.— Sosa Kremenjas (@QBsMVP) August 18, 2021
Does a great job tracking it too. pic.twitter.com/HpVIDfLljf
Stafford says it’s been good to work with C Brian Allen
(03:50) “I think Brian’s (center Brian Allen) done a great job and Austin’s (right guard Austin Corbett) doing a great job moving back to guard. It’s been pretty seamless. He’s (Allen) a really good communicator, a smart guy, played center before for a long time. It’s been good to work with him.“
As Los Angeles Rams fans, we all want this to be true. Coaches and several teammates have had positive reviews about Allen during camp. Maybe Allen has actually earned this starting job through work that none of us have seen behind the scenes. We’re in a position where we have to trust the guys that see the work every day.
Let’s stay positive and assume that the feedback is legitimate and the offensive line wasn’t reshuffled because right guard Bobby Evans has been struggling and had to be relegated to the bench, forcing Corbett back to right guard, while thrusting Allen back into the starting lineup.
Sean McVay isn’t worried about the interceptions, but offense has to “clean up some of the mechanics”
(18:00) “The one I thought was a good aggressive decision, the one over the middle where he’s kind of resetting to the backside of the progression. I thought it was a good job by them being able to play visual on the quarterback and then a couple of them are just tip balls that really didn’t have anything to do with him…I didn’t like how sloppy it felt overall. There were a lot of breaks in the action because of unnecessary stuff. It wasn’t exclusive to one side or the other, but for us to get the work that I know Coach (Jon) Gruden and his group wants and for us and our group, we’ve got to clean up some of the mechanics and I’ve got to do a better job of managing some of the things as well.”
McVay also spoke of Wednesday’s minor skirmish.
Fights at joint practices are commonplace and will undoubtedly continue to happen across the NFL. However, they should not occur at a pace that disrupts practice to the point where coaches have to get together after practice and discuss how to move forward without these issues repeating. Trying to fight a man wearing a helmet isn’t really the smartest use of time at these joint practices. It needs to be cleared up before someone gets hurt.
Joint practices are not considered opportunities for game planning
(19:33) “I’m not concerned. We don’t do any sort of game planning for these practices. This is a great opportunity to test a lot of our rules. That’s what I like about Matthew. He’s aggressively trying things out so then you can be smart with that decision making thought process when the games really count.“
While I’m not concerned either, and it is just practice, this has been a bit of a theme when the LA offense has gone against another team this summer. McVay was “expected better” with the offense’s performance against the Dallas Cowboys. The Rams scored six points in the preseason opener against the Los Angeles Chargers, albeit with reserves starting across the board. Now we have this practice against the Las Vegas Raiders where there are more negative reports than positive ones. The sense of urgency needs to be much more apparent going forward.
Darrell Henderson is “stacking good days” in practice
(20:10) “He’s done a nice job. I think he’s really picked it up the last week. He’s had really good practices, stacking good days on top of one another and that’s the thing that we’re looking forward to.”
It’s encouraging to hear McVay continue to speak glowingly of Los Angeles’ newly minted RB1 especially with the backup running backs’ having trouble winning the few one on one open field battles against the Chargers. Henderson has flashed in live game action when given the opportunity. As long as he stays healthy, we should see much of the same during the 2021 campaign.