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Between the Horns - Episode 50 Recap

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  • Between the Horns - Episode 50 Recap

    Myles Simmons and D'Marco Farr recapped what they have observed at OTAs on the Between the Horns podcast.

    -Still looking at key areas. Defensively, they look exceptional at corner and in the middle.

    -Offensively, the team is taking a step forward with an offense they already know. There will be some coming back to earth for the offense, because teams have a year of film to see what youíre doing. But it also means youíve got a year to build on and grow. Offense is improving and getting better.

    -Offense does not look like a Day 1 OTA offense. This is the first time in a while the Rams have had the same offensive coordinator (McVay) in back to back years, and it shows. Jared Goff got guys together to go through routes and work on timing. Cooks joined them after the trade. Cooks is as good as advertised. Fast, quick, polished. Thereís no way he canít help this offense.

    -Regarding questions about Goffís growth as a leader on and off the field, Cooper Kupp says we need to start calling it what it is and say Goff is the leader of this offense, period. To hear Kupp say that, especially after the way things have gone for Goff so far in his career, is big time. He has the chance to be special and we're starting to see him take steps forward.

    -Looking at offense, they have one new starter (Cooks) and both agree that the Rams got better. Thatís not a slight on Watkins, but more their opinion of Cooks. Cooks is a guy who has at least 1000 yards and 7 TDs in the last three seasons.

    -Regarding Tight End, McVay wants more out of that position and may go into different personnel groups (1 RB 2 TEs). Far says 12 personnel is awful for defenses because itís balanced and the defense doesnít know which way the ball is going until the snap. When you have a lead and a running back like Gurley, you want to go into 12 and pound them.

    -With Cooks, Woods, and Kupp, how do you cover it? They had fun talking about how to block Suh, Donald, and Brockers, but now how do defenses cover Cooks and Woods on the outside with Kupp stretching the middle? That receiving group, with Goff feeding them the ball, McVay designing plays, can be just as hard to deal with as Donald, Suh, and Brockers.

    -Holtís impression at OTAs, the first guy he mentioned was Josh Reynolds. Heís a guy who has so much room to grow. We saw enough to say we want to see more, and the potential is there. Holt loves the other guys as well; loves Cooksís attention to detail. Reynolds wants to prove that even though he has the size, he wants to prove that heís more than that. How does he get on the field when youíve got Cooks, Woods, and Kupp? There are going to be reps out there, no one can play every single one. Also dependent on people staying healthy.

    -Farr canít wait to see Temarrick Hemingway in this offense. McVay in the OTA and camp stages last year said they had plans for this guy, then he had the injury. Having to sit gave Hemingway a different perspective, about how much the game means to him and having to watch means he saw things differently. Now heís looking forward to bringing that stuff to the field. Farr said with a guy that big at that position, your football coach becomes a basketball coach Ė you can go big or small or change up. Itís more for the defense to have to worry about. Itís more than just scheme but itís size as well.

    -Another injury to bring up is Morgan Fox. Especially unfortunate because he had been lining up with 1ís at OLB and he was flashing. He has potential and moving him to OLB opposite Samson Ebukam gave him the opportunity but itís a shame he is injured. Now the guy to get ready is Justin Lawler, who also has flashed and has a nose for the football. Kind of a good sign that thereís a guy who knows where to be and knows whatís in front of him to step into that role. Give Wade Phillips as much credit for the defense as McVay gets for the offense. They think Wade can get Lawler ready to play.

    -Regarding OLB, Samsun Ebukam has flipped sides. Last year he backed up Barwin, now heís playing Quinnís old spot. He likes it better there because he rushes more. Simmons thinks he can take a significant step forward. Farr compares it to baseball and a DH, where everyone wants to do it until youíre it and you have to do it. Now Ebukam has to do it and rush the passer, heís got to win one on one.

    -Farr not surprised to learn that Littleton is the new defensive signal caller. It was either going to be Cory or Barron, or maybe Hager. But one of those was going to be the QB of the defense. Littleton had a fantastic year on defense and special teams so heís earned the right to become the starter. Not sure if heís going to end up being that guy but heís putting best foot forward.

    -Farrí first thought on what could keep this defense from being great is communication. If call isnít adjusted all the way through the defense, then the offense will keep moving the ball on them.

    -About the corners, Simmons says itís hard not to be impressed with how the secondary looks on the field. Farr says he doesnít know who you go after in the secondary and with what route. The other thing is depth behind them; NRC one of the best nickel corners in the league.

    -Zuerlein is kicking again, to see him kicking is a good sign. Rams still have Ficken so they wonít push Zuerlein and risk a setback, but itís good to see him kicking off and attempt FGs in nonpressure situation. Could lead the league in total points due to this offense.

    -Issues and unknowns from last year have largely been resolved. Last year, talking about the right side of the offensive line and where those guys fit. Around this time, Rams were moving on from Robinson after working at right tackle, then Brown tried it, and then they went back to usual alignment. LB spots seem like issues now, but you can overcome guys who are learning their positions. Whatís special about Rams is whatís going on on offense and how much of a jump you can get on teams there.

    -McVay is a fan of the self-scout: what did we do well last year, what were our tendencies, how can we be creative and keep defenses on their toes. Knowing the personnel with a year under his belt, he is so driven to succeed and get better, itís going to be fun.

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