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Random Ramsdom: Mike LaFleur talks WRs and “good competition”

Los Angeles Rams News and Links for 7/29/23

NFL: Los Angeles Rams Minicamp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I am excited for this season for many reasons. One of those reasons is to see what Mike LeFleur can bring to the table for the Los Angeles Rams. I was excited when the team hired LeFleur because he coached with the San Francisco 49ers. My hope is he can help LA have some success against a team that for the last few season has bullied Sean McVay and Co. in the regular season.

Our question for today has more to do with the article posted. Who you do think will be LA’s number 3 receiver and or what do you think the WR depth chart will look like?

Check out the last article for another solid topic (and I might have to bring this up again) is the Rams defense being too heavily criticized?

Whereas I don’t know the final WRs that make the roster I think it’s going to Cooper Kupp and then they are going to mix and match from there. I think this team is going to use all types of personnel on offense (and defense). I don’t know what the identity of this offense is right now and despite that I expect this offense to be exciting and to put up points. It’s going to be different then when McVay could just run the same 11 starters out there.

Happy Saturday, feel free to answer our questions or disagree with me in the comments! I can be wrong. Have a great weekend!

Mike LaFleur provides update on Rams’ WR competition in training camp (ramswire)

“Outside of Cooper Kupp and Van Jefferson, none of the other wide receivers on the Los Angeles Rams have secured definitive roles in the offense yet. Among other position battles that are going on, Mike LaFleur shared an update on the current wide receiver competition that is taking place during training camp.

“Similar to the (Offensive) O-line there’s a lot of guys that played last year at that position, a lot of positions across this team, that weren’t planning on it, no different with the receivers,” LaFleur said. “Probably (not) having (WR) Cooper (Kupp) in (Organized Team Activities) OTAs was good for all of us. As much as we always want Cooper out there, because he is one of the best to do it, it’s been good that those other guys got to get a rapport with (QB) Matthew (Stafford) and that won’t stop. So there’s been some really good competition. It will be really fun to see how this thing shakes out, particularly when we get into the preseason. It always works itself out, but there is good competition.”

At the moment, it appears that Puka Nacua, Tutu Atwell, Ben Skowronek, and Demarcus Robinson are competing for the No. 3 spot on the depth chart. And then you have Tyler Johnson, Lance McCutcheon, Austin Trammell, Xavier Smith, Braxton Burmeister, and Tyler Hudson competing for a spot on the roster.

With Kupp coming off a season-ending ankle ailment from last season, the Rams have gradually brought him along this offseason, which allowed the other wide receivers to get reps with Matthew Stafford. Having Stafford available for OTAs and training camp has been a positive for the Rams as he’s been able to work with all of the wideouts on the roster after being limited last offseason.”

Rams receiver Cooper Kupp quickly getting ‘back in the groove’ (

“IRVINE, Calif. –- It did not take Cooper Kupp long to stand out at Los Angeles Rams camp and show flashes of a former Offensive Player of the Year.

On the second day of camp Thursday, Kupp was busy, catching passes all over the field, including one he tipped to himself in traffic for a long touchdown from Matthew Stafford.

“This is my second day running full speed, like competitive stuff,” Kupp said after practice at the University of California, Irvine. “Being camp, things feel fast, like they’re just moving a little faster than you’re used to. But man, even just from the first day to second day, things definitely [starting to feel] like, OK, now we’re back into the groove.

“Seeing things and being able to react off them. So it’s going to be a process. … Obviously, I haven’t done it since November, so it’s been a while. But it’ll come back fast.”

Kupp is making his way back from a high right ankle sprain suffered in Week 10 of the 2022 season that required surgery. He had 75 receptions for 812 yards and six touchdowns in nine games and the Rams finished 5-12 with injuries to Kupp, Stafford and defensive lineman Aaron Donald, among many other Rams.

Kupp, 30, is hoping to return to the prolific OPOY level that saw him finish with 145 receptions for 1,947 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2021.

“It feels good,” Kupp said of his ankle. “That’s a long time [to be out]. I think the last time I [came back from such a long layoff] was basically coming off of the ACL [injury] in ‘18 to ‘19. Man, [it’s] great being back out here playing football again.”

Stafford hooked up with Kupp for a couple of long touchdowns on Thursday to the delight of the crowd on hand.

“It’s great having him out here,” Stafford said on Wednesday after the first practice. “It’s great having a lot of guys that kind of ended the season either banged up or had a little bit of an abbreviated season last year. So it’s nice to have him out here.”

Stafford and Kupp looked like they were back on the same page, which will be trouble for opposing defenses this season.”

Rams are looking for accuracy over power from rookie kicker Tanner Brown (ramswire)

“A lot has been made about the losses the Rams suffered on offense and defense this offseason, with Jalen Ramsey, Bobby Wagner, Allen Robinson and Leonard Floyd being the headliners. But Los Angeles has made wholesale changes on special teams.

Matt Gay, Matt Orzech and Riley Dixon all left in free agency and have been replaced by three rookies. Tanner Brown, the Rams’ new kicker, was signed as an undrafted free agent and remains the only kicker on the roster as of now.

He’s obviously done enough to impress his coaches, leading to the Rams releasing fellow rookie Christopher Dunn after minicamp, but there’s still a long way to go, too. New special teams coordinator Chase Blackburn has been impressed by Brown, along with the Rams’ other two specialists.

“He didn’t miss a lot of kicks, I can tell you that,” Blackburn said. “He hit the ball clean, has a really strong leg. Like I said, mentally, that mental makeup and the mesh between the three of them is really good. I feel like we have a lot of confidence going in right now.”

In two years at Oklahoma State, Brown’s longest field goal was 52 yards. He didn’t make anything over 50 yards in 2021, but he was unbelievably accurate in his two seasons. He made 26 of his last 27 field goal attempts, including 22 of 23 last year alone.

Blackburn didn’t hesitate to pick whether he prefers accuracy or power from his kicker.

“Oh, accuracy. A hundred percent. A hundred percent,” he said flatly. “Put points on the board. We have a great offense, right? We have a great defense that we can trust if we pin them deep. If we can make them inside a 50 with a great accuracy, we’ll be good. Obviously, there’s situations where a longer field goal is going to come up, but we’re going to need it to end the half in the game. That’s going to be critical. But I’d take accuracy every time.”

Fortunately, the Rams have one of the most accurate kickers from the college ranks last year, which helped Brown earn recognition as a Lou Groza Award semifinalist, which is given to the best kicker in college.”

No shortage of cheap shots at the LA Rams right now (ramblinfan)

“The number of bad takes that are surfacing over the LA Rams right now is getting ridiculous. The team has not taken a single defensive snap. The Rams have not played a single quarter of meaningless preseason football. And yet, the claims that the Rams defense will be the worst defense in the NFL of the last 20 years are already being made, and with a straight face.

And nobody is calling them out on it:

Well, I’m not hear to claim that the Rams defense is going to set franchise records, but the claim from somebody who does not follow the LA Rams team that this is going to an historically bad defense is complete bullshit. Sorry, but nobody who knows the team knows how well or poorly this team will do. So how does a casual follower suddenly get the gift of clear clairvoyance?

We did a quick and dirty analysis of the 2023 LA Rams defense, and compared this year’s projected depth chart to the Rams 2022 depth chart for the second half of the season. Believe it or not, the Rams ended the year without a number of key starters, and still played competitive football. And that was over a period of time when the Rams offense was decimated, and struggled to move the chains.

It’s the cheap shot season. Whether fans who have been frustrated over a defeat at the hands of the LA Rams, or NFL analysts who are so desperate to be viewed that they take cheap shots, the LA Rams are one of the most disrespected NFL teams right now.

While it’s easy to tout doom and gloom of epic proportions before the season occurs, those disparaging remarks often come from sources who scramble to hide as soon as reality sets in, and the early results prove to be far from the apocalyptic predictions stated so boldly before.

I really do not believe that this LA Rams defense will be anywhere near the disaster that many expect. The Rams defense, which was not better than what will take the football field this year, ended the 2022 NFL season with respectable efforts. It’s all just fuel to the raging Rams inferno right now.

Too bad the folks who are predicting disaster will disappear when the 2023 NFL season starts.”