Can you smell it? The lovely aroma of freshly cut grass and leather wafting through the air can only mean one thing: NFL training camp is here!
Los Angeles Rams rookies and quarterbacks reported for TC (in some of the nicest rides available) ready to kick off their second-straight playoff season Monday.
New season, new ride. Rams QB Jared Goff just reported to training camp. pic.twitter.com/lvmHNCizhh
— Lindsey Thiry (@LindseyThiry) July 23, 2018
The Rams, who led the NFL in scoring last season, are coming off their first trip to the postseason since 2004 and first NFC West title since 2003 with higher expectations than the team has faced since boasting The Greatest Show on Turf. With Jared Goff heading into his third year at the helm coming off an eye-catching 28 touchdown, 3,804 yards performance in 2017 surrounded by a formidable squad including reigning AP Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley and offseason acquisition Brandin Cooks, he assured fans he is ready to get to work.
“We’re back, can’t wait for year 3. See you guys at camp!”@JaredGoff16 has arrived at #RamsCamp! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/dwvO9hlyys
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) July 23, 2018
“I think you see every year there are teams that get that type of label and often fall short, and you wonder why,” Goff said in reference to the Rams’ hype upon his arrival.” I think that’s something we can’t really focus on. Take every day like we have the past year and build off of what we did in the spring. I was really happy with the way we progressed in the spring, and how much more comfortable, not just me, but everybody feels with the offense. It’s starting to come along.”
Aside from Cooks, who just inked a five-year, $80 million extension, this offense under the tutelage of head coach Sean McVay is largely the same from last year’s playoff team; the same cannot be said about the defensive side of the ball.
In what appears to be a win-now showing, the Rams went all out acquiring some of the league’s most elite talent at each level this offseason. Already boasting the AP Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, well sorta, the Rams bolstered the defensive line with five-time Pro Bowler Ndamukong Suh. In the secondary, the Rams fortified the NFC’s sixth-best passing defense with Pro Bowlers Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters.
However, no matter how many stars are on a team, it’s inevitable the pressure will fall on the quarterback’s shoulders. So with the organization’s aggressive pursuit to bring a title to Los Angeles, is it fair to say Goff has the most to prove out of any QB1?
“They loaded him up on both sides of the ball. Clearly, there’s a window… he’s going to have to deliver a Super Bowl in the next 3 years to make it worth it.”@heykayadams thinks @JaredGoff16 has a lot to live up to in LA as the @RamsNFL QB. pic.twitter.com/O8MhXuHiM7
— GMFB (@gmfb) July 23, 2018
While some pundits may think so, Goff doesn’t echo those sentiments:
“We’ve got all the pieces we need, we just need to put it together and continue to work hard every day and put all the pieces together. Like I said, every year there’s teams with talent, we have talent, but what are we going to do to separate ourselves from the other teams? Continue to prepare and be the best we can be throughout this training camp and this season.”
While lifting the Lombardi Trophy is the ultimate goal, there’s still 23 weeks until Super Bowl LIII. For now, we’ll settle with any action on the gridiron.
Rams training camp practices begin July 26 at The University of California, Irvine. Most practices are open to the public. Click here for a full schedule.