“Rams head coach Sean McVay likes what he sees from a certain back-to-back national champion quarterback.
When discussing the rookie class at Rams mandatory minicamp this week, McVay expressed how “pleased” he’s been with former Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Stetson Bennett, who was taken by Los Angeles in the fourth round (No. 128 overall) of the 2023 NFL Draft amid previous speculation he wouldn’t be selected at all.
“I’ve been really pleased with him,” McVay said according to Yahoo! Sports. “The one thing that stands out is when the ball is in Stetson’s hands, the game makes sense to him. He’s got a good feel for being able to get through progressions quickly. He can feel space on the back end as it relates to different coverage counters that he’s seen, but he feels open areas and gets through things quickly. I love the athleticism but there’s a lot of work to be done. He stays nice and steady, doesn’t get too high or low, and he’s fun to be around.”
Stetson Bennett has been DEALING at Rams OTA’s.— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh) June 9, 2023
Bennett’s “athleticism” has reportedly stood out throughout OTA’s.
Cooper Kupp recently noted that Bennett has made some “really big-time throws” in practices.
The Rams rookie QB is impressing EARLY. pic.twitter.com/hUcuQOA8qt
“Stafford wrapped up mandatory minicamp on Wednesday after two days of throwing, something he could not do in initial preparations for the 2022 season because of an elbow injury that required surgery.
“It’s nice,” Stafford said. “You know, I love to be out here and practice and compete, play with these guys. So it’s tough to sit on the sideline like I did last year for so much time and not getting any kind of reps, so it was great to get a bunch of reps this offseason. I feel good and excited about getting back in July.”
The injury dated back to the 2021 season, Stafford’s first in Los Angeles where he helped the Rams win Super Bowl LVI in their home stadium after 12 years playing for the Detroit Lions. His right elbow had to be managed carefully in the lead-up to last season, keeping him out of OTAs and minicamp.
Coach Sean McVay described the difference of having Stafford available and participating as “night and day.”
“I don’t think I realized it or anybody, and he would never say it because he’s so tough, the amount of pain that he was working through, how limited he was,” McVay said. “But to have our quarterback, the command, the way that he really elevates [the team], his communication skills, it’s been huge for us. He makes a significant difference.”
Stafford played in nine games last season, missing the final seven because of a concussion and neck injury he sustained in a Week 11 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
The Rams went 5-12, mounting a meager defense of their title, and expectations aren’t much higher going into this season after cutting standout players to address a salary cap crunch and loading up their roster with rookies.
Stafford said he isn’t bothered by the belief the Rams won’t be successful.”
“Akers had a promising rookie season with 748 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. He tore his Achilles tendon ahead of 2021 training camp, though, and missed nearly the whole season. The former Florida State runner came back stronger in 2022 with 903 total yards and seven touchdowns but was unhappy with his role at times and even requested a trade midseason as the Cam Akers-Sean McVay relationship seemed to sour.
In 2023, Akers seems content again to be on the Rams, and McVay is excited about where his running back is at.
“He’s really capitalized on a lot of the momentum he built up toward the latter part of the year. And he’s going to be a huge part of what we’re doing moving forward,” McVay said on SiriusXM Mad Dog Sports Radio. “Cam is going to be a central figure in this offense. I think he’s priming himself to have a great year.”
McVay also added, “Cam is a stud. He’s taking great care of himself physically, he’s in a good place mentally. Just continuing to mature, and I’m really excited about what he’s going to do for us this year.”
“1. Los Angeles Rams
2022 record: 5–12, third in NFC West
Key additions: G Steve Avila (second-round pick), LB Byron Young (third-round pick), DT Kobie Turner (third-round pick)
While I don’t think we know yet what will become of Sean McVay’s major reorganization at the end of this past season (both his offensive coordinator, Liam Coen, and assistant head coach and tight ends coach, Thomas Brown, are in new locales), I think we can bet on boundary-pushing people setting themselves up with other boundary-pushing minds. Mike LaFleur, Nick Caley, Jake Peetz and Zac Robinson round out a group that, to me, has the chance to make this offense special. The Rams were injured last year, and, while we still can’t completely depend on the long-term health of Matthew Stafford, I think they can break out of the patterns of stagnation that slowed them down. L.A. had a boatload of mid-round picks that I think, if deployed correctly, could finally add the layer of depth we all struggled to find during their best seasons, when the team was a bit top-heavy and reliant on star power.”
corporate needs you to find the differences between this picture and this picture pic.twitter.com/SFCt4zWspm— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) June 14, 2023
Could Rams Target Free Agent LB Justin Houston After Cooper Kupp Deal? (fannation/ramsdigest)
“The Los Angeles Rams have just over $11 million to throw around after Cooper Kupp’s contract was altered, the organization can target more expensive free agents. And USA Today has labeled linebacker Justin Houston as a top candidate.
“He’s 34 years old... and played a little less than half the Ravens’ snaps last season. Yet, he still had 9.5 sacks and 17 quarterback hits in just 14 games, showing he’s still more than capable of applying pressure on the quarterback,” USA Today wrote.
Houston’s trajectory truly is intriguing. He totaled just 4.5 sacks in 2021 but rebounded with the aforementioned 9.5 sack performance last year. He may be old, but he’s still got it.
Regarded as a top linebacker in the NFL while playing for Kansas City, Houston has 12 seasons under his belt and 506 tackles, 130 tackles for loss 111.5 sacks and an All-Pro season to show for it.
“He’d be a perfect addition to the Rams’ inexperienced and unproven pass-rushing group and also give Aaron Donald some help on the edge,” the article continued.”