By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
It’s a new season ahead and the Rams Mini Camp is where it all begins. They will open Sunday Night September 12th with a 5:20 kick-off at So-Fi Stadium. They got to have their final mini camp practice in front of fans.
The big named newcomers on the roster are quarterback Matthew Stafford acquired from Detroit and Desean Jackson who is reunited with coach Sean McVay.
Stafford spent 11 years with the Lions throwing for over 45,000 yards and 283 TD’s during the regular.
It appears during the practices Jackson, Robert Woods and all the receivers are on the same page in the offense.
They both played locally, Jackson a Long Beach Poly standout and later attended CAL where he became a Consensus All-American. Woods prepped at Serra High (Gardena) and played at USC where he too was named an All-American.
“It’s been awesome working with Mathew,” said Jackson who signed a one year deal during the off season. “Having a veteran QB that’s played a lot of ball in this league.”
After one practice Stafford was ask what was like throwing to shorter receivers (Jackson and Woods) than the taller wideouts he had in Detroit.
“I try to put the ball right on the money as much as I can and let those guys do their jobs as easily as they possibly can with it,” said Stafford.
McVay and Jackson were together in 2014-2016 with Washington where McVay was offensive coordinator. In Jackson’s three years with Washington he had 142 catches including 56 in 2014 and 2017 to go with 2,542 rec yards and 14 Touchdowns. Jackson feels McVay understands players and knows how to put them in the best place to succeed. He knows how to put them in a successful position.
“The only thing I can say about Sean McVay is that’s changed about him is that he’s he gotten a lot smarter and he’s already been smart,” added Jackson.
Cam Akers is the top running back early last season he Malcom Brown and Daryl Henderson but as the year progressed. He led the team in rushing barely with 625 yards on 45 carries to Henderson’s 624 on 138 carries.
Andrew Whitworth has been in many camps-He has seen something in Ackers many not close to the running bac might miss.
“He (Akers) is one of the few backs I have been around that has enough to run a play or have a good play and a bad play and still continue talking and communicating with the guys,” said the veteran Whitworth during a conference video call. “Almost like a bell-cow in a sense of like. ‘Hey come on guys lets get this’ or ‘if you guys get me a block I’m going to make something happen.’ “He’s talking to guys throughout the deal because he’s not in anyway starstruck. That’s a trait and mentality, that shows he’s wired different and he’s someone who expects to perform well and I think guys are excited to see him do his thing and continue to grow.”
On the defensive side Raheem Morris in now Defensive coordinator replacing Brandon Staley who left for the Chargers head job. Morris takes over the top ranked defensive team in the league brings 18 years of experience to the team including having been interim head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.
Aaron Donald will lead the way but also Taylor Rapp will be returning after missing games due to an injury. “I’m moving really well I am feeling well and I’m excited for next year” said Rapp by video conference.
Morris has the ability to connect to players and the and he will run the same scheme as Staley. He has an energy that you can feel all over the practice field.
“Morris is a great coach,” said veteran linebacker Kenny Young. “Honestly he loves ball and loves guys seeing ball the way he sees it.”