“The Rams’ 2023 minicamp opened with cornerback Derion Kendrick standing out on defense during the team period, quarterback Matthew Stafford making strong throws during redzone work, and an increased workload for wide receiver Cooper Kupp as he continues his ankle rehab.
Here are additional notes, details and observations from Tuesday’s practice:
1) Defensive lineman Aaron Donald and offensive lineman Alaric Jackson excused from minicamp: Neither player was on the field Tuesday, but it was because of family reasons that had been communicated well in advance, according to head coach Sean McVay. McVay said both will be “ready to roll” when the team reports to Irvine for training camp on July 25.
2) Other absences: Wide receiver Ben Skowronek did not participate because he’s “working through some foot stuff” – for what it’s worth, McVay last week mentioned soreness. Additionally, rookie cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson didn’t participate because of a hamstring injury sustained a couple weeks ago, though McVay said it’s not going to impact Hodges-Tomlinson’s availability for training camp. Offensive tackle Rob Havenstein had a veteran rest day.”
“After getting their final pick in the 2023 draft, Desjuan Johnson, under contract on Monday, the Los Angeles Rams are now getting their top selection signed, too. According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Rams and Steve Avila have agreed to terms on a four-year deal.
The rookie wage scale makes the structure of contracts similar for players based on their draft slot, but Avila’s deal has a unique piece to it. The first three years are fully guaranteed and he gets 10% guaranteed in Year 4.
It’s the first time that’s ever been the case for the No. 36 overall pick in the draft.”
“Derion Kendrick was thrown into the fray for the Los Angeles Rams in 2022 and he produced mixed results. As Kendrick enters his second year with the Rams in 2023, Raheem Morris wants to see urgency from the Georgia product, which Kendrick has already shown this offseason.
“A little similar when you talk about expectations for a guy. What I want to see from Derion Kendrick is exactly what he’s given me. Urgency, he’s given me complete and absolute hustle. He’s given me some playmaking ability on the ball and off the ball. He provides great energy and juice just with his enthusiasm and his personality,” Morris said. “I’m looking forward to seeing him grow to his highest level, whatever that is. I don’t want to set a ceiling for him. I don’t want to set a bar for him. I think we don’t know yet. I’m looking forward to seeing it. You talk about these rookies and they get these opportunities to play in the National Football League very early. There’s going to be ebbs and flows and he certainly had his fair share, but again, you guys remember very shortly getting that guy in training camp and having the ability to get excited about him when Jalen was out. Seeing what him and Cobie were doing as very young players, getting (DB Robert) Rochell back into the mix is all really exciting.”
Impressive/notable at minicamp practice today:— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) June 13, 2023
✅ Derion Kendrick
✅ Ethan Evans
✅ Jordan Fuller
✅ Jake Hummel
✅ Marquise Copeland
✅ Tyler Higbee
Notes, details, analysis to follow @TheAthletic
Is #Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford a Hall of Famer already? He is criminally underrated…— MLFootball (@_MLFootball) June 13, 2023
-Super Bowl Champion
-2011 Comeback Player of The Year
-52,082 passing yards (11th All-time)
-333 touchdown passes (12 All-time)
-191 games played, all as a starter… pic.twitter.com/Nm9zMK5K0m
Allen Robinson Reveals Why Rams Failed In 2022 (SportsIllustrated)
“The Los Angeles Rams 2023 season didn’t go according to plan for anyone, that included the Super Bowl Champions’ free agent acquisition, Allen Robinson.
Following Odell Beckham Jr.’s torn ACL during the Rams’ 2022 Super Bowl victory, the team signed Robinson to serve as the wide receiver two behind Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp. Unfortunately, Robinson didn’t build the strong rapport with quarterback Matthew Stafford that Beckham had due to a lingering elbow issue and his own injury woes.
During a recent conversation on the Rich Eisen Show, Robinson spoke about the impact of the team’s injuries.
“I thought personally, I had one of the best training camps of my career. But unfortunately, through a lot of that, Matthew wasn’t 100% healthy. He was still coming off an injury he had from their Super Bowl year,” Robinson said. ”O-line-wise, we were kind of banged up... I was kind of nursing a foot. Cooper was banged up.”
Rams LB Ernest Jones Los Angeles’ Most Underrated Player? (SportsIllustrated)
“The Los Angeles Rams will be counting on third-year linebacker Ernest Jones in 2023.
The Rams don’t have much in the way of starting experience on defense, save for a couple of players. Obviously there’s defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who has been dominating for nearly a decade. Then there’s Jones, who only has 18 starts under his belt but should be a leader for a young L.A. defense.
Jones has already settled into a nice role with the defense. He recorded 61 tackles while playing 43 percent of defensive snaps as a rookie, then 114 tackles while playing 66 percent of snaps in his second season. With linebacker Bobby Wagner returning to the Seattle Seahawks, Jones will likely carry a much larger role and emerge as a defensive leader.
As he prepares to take on this bigger role, Jones has been attracting some hype from the team and media alike. On Monday, Touchdown Wire named Jones as the Rams’ most underrated player heading into the new season, calling him a “secret superstar.”