The Los Angeles Rams will begin training camp in a little less than a week. This will be the first time that we will have seen these players since OTAs. Both rookies and veterans report to camp on the same day.
There were a lot of storylines and chatter during OTAs and that will be the focus at the beginning of training camp. If a player stood out earlier this summer, it will be expected that they continue that into the preseason. Let’s take a look at some of those storylines and which one we may be buying and others we’re selling.
1. The Hype Surrounding Puka Nacua
No player was hyped up more than Puka Nacua during Rams OTAs. The coaching staff raved about him as did other players and the media. It was difficult to get through a day of OTAs without something being said about the fifth-round rookie.
As of right now, the hype that Nacua is getting is a little unfair. It's ok to be excited about what the rookie can bring to the table. However, there are already expectations being placed on him by the fanbase that realistically, he won’t be able to live up to.
For right now, I am selling. We have yet to see Nacua on the field. If he continues that level through training camp and the preseason, I may begin to change my mind here.
2. New Energy Around the Team and Coaching Staff
Sean McVay and even played such as Matthew Stafford and Copper Kupp raved about the energy during OTAs. All three talked about the energy that the players were bringing throughout OTAs and McVay mentioned that he was seeing it from the coaches as well.
This is what you want to hear from these guys coming off of a 5-12 season. When McVay took over in 2017, he helped turn around a franchise that was lost. A lot of that was because of the energy that he brought every single day. Much of that was lost last season. This could be coach speak, or it could be a coach that is refreshed after burning himself out the past two years.
This is one that I’m buying for now. Things could obviously change in training camp and the preseason. However, as of right now, everyone seems to have a positive mindset.
3. Matthew Stafford is Healthy
This is one that we’re not going to truly know until Stafford is out on the field in Week 1. It’s worth pointing out that Stafford wasn’t throwing at this point last year. Still, Stafford suffered a lot of injuries last year. The elbow may be better, but what about everything else?
The concussions were certainly scary last year and will be something to monitor. Outside of Steve Avila, the Rams didn’t do a lot to improve the offensive line. He also suffered a spinal contusion. It’s hard to know exactly what type of effect that will have on him. After all, he is 35, not 25. The trade rumors and speculation only adds to this.
This may be cheating, but I’m holding for now. There are positive developments such as Stafford being able to throw during OTAs and being more involved. With that said, his age combined with the injuries last year can’t be tossed aside.