The Rams practiced in front of 30,000 faithful fans after the suspension of live sports being lifted. What should we take away from the live event?
We made it.
Live sports have returned to everyday life. On Thursday night, they made their overdue debut at SoFi Stadium. The Rams ended the three-day minicamp in front of 30,000 fans; nature is healing.
The practice gives analysts and fans a chance to watch some of their favorite players in a different light. Players like Matthew Stafford and Desean Jackson need to connect with their teammates and the entire fanbase. This was their chance.
After spending months recreating some of the NFL’s best moments through Madden 21, the opportunity to tune into living, televised football fell on my lap.
Here are a few of my thoughts and takeaways about the Rams live practice:
The Cheers and Jeers
No more cardboard cutouts; the real thing has returned.
Fans attending any event makes it that more meaningful and exciting. The Rams stretched, ran some drills, practiced some plays, and scrimmaged; Fans treated it like Week 1. Sean McVey cracked a smile after hearing the roars of the crowd running on the field.
Leonard Floyd made a fan’s day tossing the football with a few young fans. These interactions with fans were deeply missed in 2020. It’s refreshing to see these interactions again. We are only in June.
Raheem Morris continuing to bring new energy to defense
The Rams needed a new defensive coordinator after Brandon Staley took the job as head coach of the other football team in Los Angeles. McVay needs someone to match his level of competitiveness. Morris fits the role.
Morris took part in the action by throwing passes during defensive back drills. This is not surprising as Morris has already immersed himself in the culture. He consistently talked with players throughout minicamp, even if it meant running on the field to do so.
Kupp full of love for DJax
Desean Jackson signed during the offseason, in what seems to be, to finish his illustrious career. A fitting gesture since Jackson grew up a few miles down the road from his new workplace.
Stafford taking over the role as QB1 skyrockets his potential production. Stafford made a name for himself with his exceptional ability to air it downfield. Jackson ranks as one of the best deep ball catchers in recent history.
It is a perfect match.
Cooper Kupp received the loudest crowd reaction of the night, according to Rams.com. Kupp has been a fan favorite since being drafted in 2017. However, the addition of Stafford should elate fans and fantasy football managers. Few people throw the ball more than Jared Goff; Matthew Stafford is one of those QBs.
Fans from all different walks of life filled the new SoFi stadium for the first time. A few of those fans happened to be former players themselves.
Eric Dickerson made an appearance at the practice. He met and talked with Cam Akers throughout the night.
Akers impressed the league after his rookie campaign. He must do everything possible to avoid the sophomore slump. A conversation with a Hall of Fame running back may be the way to do so.
Isaac Bruce stopped by to check out the Rams’ new house. He seems to approve of it.
The Rams should be on everyone’s watch list heading into 2021. The acquiring of Matthew Stafford elevates the ceiling of this football team. Aaron Donald remains the most dominant player on defense; it’s time to develop someone to mimic Donald’s offensive dominance.
I cannot wait for training camp.