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Random Ramsdom: Sean McVay praises rookie receiver following loss to Chargers

Puka Nacua was a standout despite the loss

Los Angeles Chargers v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The L.A. Rams run defense was a mess in Saturday night’s loss to the L.A. Chargers, but head coach Sean McVay was impressed with what he saw from receiver Puka Nacua.

On Stetson Bennett, McVay said there were some “things that excite us about him” but also learning opportunities from the 34-17 loss.

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V: Rams run defense is going to have serious growing pains

The LA Chargers averaged 6.8 yards per carry on 20 carries in this one. Despite that success at grinding out the yards on the ground, the Rams’ defense held the Chargers’ offense to just 20 points late into the fourth quarter.

But this was preseason. The Rams defense struggled to make stops against the run. It’s early, but on several plays with a ‘pile,’ far too many Rams defenders stood back and watched while Chargers offensive linemen moved the pile forward before the whistle blew.

FINAL: Rams Fall to Chargers 34-17 in Preseason Game 1 (Rams Digest)

No, it wasn’t termed a “rebuild,” as the Rams’ goal was to brighten their financial future by shedding the big contracts of their star players from their Super Bowl season, like Jalen Ramsey and Leonard Floyd, while also mutually parting ways with inside linebacker Bobby Wagner after just one season together.

In turn, the Rams accrued the league’s most dead-cap hit this season as they turned their attention to building through the NFL Draft rather than splashing the cash in free agency and via blockbuster trades.

Most of that young talent the Rams acquired through this year’s draft will be on hand for the game versus the Chargers, as the expectation is for the likes of Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, and other veterans to watch from the sidelines.