Organized team practice activities (OTA’S) for the Los Angeles Rams are winding down and although proceedings so far have been voluntary, these workouts will be finalized with next week’s mandatory mini-camp June 7-9.
Because of the Rams long run to a Super Bowl victory, a spate of late season injuries, and the voluntary status of OTA’s, Head Coach Sean McVay has taken a cautious approach to early workouts. He mused and reflected about his approach to this season’s OTA’s in a video press conference on June 1 on the Rams official website.
“We’ve got so many guys that are banged up. Getting into the off season program where there was almost less than two month’s before we started this up, let’s keep guys as healthy as we can. Let’s really challenge them above the neck. Get a chance to evaluate some of the younger guys in some competitive 7-on-7 periods, but knowing we are going to get a chance to report a little earlier with the September 8 kickoff.”
“This is a period right now, where we’re really trying to get these guys taught the foundations how we want to operate. How we want to do the little things...some of the jog throughs and walk throughs.”
McVay is impressed, so far, with effort of his draftees and rookie free agents
“These are guys you hope can become pro’s pros. They’re approaching things the right way, they’re mature rookies, they’ve got a good look in their eyes, they know how to come out and go to work. They know, “hey, I'm going to look at what these veterans are doing and be able to mimic and emulate that, but put my own spin on it.” And these guys like football, that’s really important, they are the types of players and people we want to be able to on-board.”
“In theses settings, you can appreciate how they work, how they handle things in the classroom... Once we get to Irvine (official training camp) when we’re playing real competitive 11-on-11 in a lot of team settings, that’s when a lot of good things come to light.”
Of course, there is always the Aaron Donald contract drama and that was the first question of the press conference. He claims he ‘s not hanging on every word of the negotiations.
“If there’s anybody that has earned the right to make that decision on their own terms, after what he’s done, what he’s meant to me, to our team, it’s Aaron... We have regular dialog with Aaron and the goal is to get a contract done that he feels good about and that we feel good about and have him continue to do his thing with the Rams and lead the way.”
In the final stages of the press conference the subject took a lighter turn when McVay was asked if Donald would be participating in next week’s mandatory mini-camp and a follow up on attending McVay’s wedding, set for this weekend.
“Yeah, I think so, that’s the plan right now. I sure hope so, so I don’t have to answer your questions about it next week.”
(On AD’s attending his wedding) “Oh yeah, so he better be at the mini-camp next week. It’s this weekend, excited about that, we’re going to have some fun.”
McVay was loose, jovial and thoughtful in his approach to questions, there was bit of stammering and searching for the right words when the subject of Donald’s contract was broached, but he was upbeat the whole interview. Maybe it’s his upcoming nuptials or hopefully, he see’s the team rounding into shape.