Preseason games aren’t just for gamers hoping to prove themselves or beginners trying to learn the ropes. They also need trainers.
In his first preseason game as the Rams’ defensive coordinator, Raheem Morris attempted to route game calls to rookie linebacker Ernest Jones, but his messages failed to reach the field. Meanwhile the Chargers were marching across the field.
Morris pressed the wrong button on his headset. He smiled as he shared the stressful start of his tenure as Rams on Monday.
The Rams ironed out some issues in their first preseason game on Saturday and are using the lessons learned from their 13-6 loss to the Chargers to prepare them for the upcoming joint training with the Raiders and their regular season opener against the Bears on September 12th.
“These are the games in which you establish your philosophy,” said Morris. “Some people like to come out and tell you what your philosophies are, it’s all about what this tape is. So let’s go out, it doesn’t matter who the bodies are, it doesn’t matter who the people are, you go out and anchor your philosophy in these types of games. “
The Rams plan to rely mostly on young players during the preseason games and use joint drills like the two against the Raiders this week to prepare the starter.
In the spotlight of an NFL game for the first time, Jones showed his meddling by using “absolute demeanor” with the microphone snafu, said Morris, giving the coaches a glimpse of a promising career for the South Carolina third-round selection.
“He was one of the guys you looked like he might be a future green point candidate,” said Morris of players destined to hear helmet messages from coaches. “So giving him those preseason reps is really invaluable.”
The defense rallied on the first drive to keep the Chargers on a field goal after they hit the Rams two-yard line. When the Rams got the ball, they were hoping to establish the run and evaluate their stable of young running backs, the Darrell Henderson Jr.
A music box that still showed 5:07 a.m. in the first quarter made this difficult.
“You take that as an insult,” said offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell of the Chargers’ long inaugural drive, “especially when you touch a table full of ‘Hey, we have to take so many snapshots of this guy and so many of this guy’.” ”
The Rams stormed for 73 yards on 24 carries, led by quarterback Bryce Perkins’ 23 yards. Xavier Jones led the running backs with 21 yards for seven carries. Running backs Raymond Calais and Jake Funk had 14 and 12 rushing yards, respectively. The effort left a lot to be desired for Sean McVay, who described the running game as “sloppy”.
“It takes all 11 in the running game,” said McVay. “There have been cases where individual guys did a good job, but there might have been a particular block or angle or the way we fit a block based on where the landmark of the back is was out of place Harmony. “
Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd hobbled off the field on Monday with an ankle injury and did not finish training. McVay said it “seems good” but the fifth year pro will get more testing to be sure. Justin Lawler stepped in for Floyd during the remaining team seasons to build a pre-season standout performance that included five tackles and two quarterback hits. It was his first live game action since 2019 when he broke his foot at training camp.
Morris could sense that Lawler was due for a breakout performance once the coach walked by during the warm-up.
“I walked past Lawler and said, ‘You know what, I’m going to leave him alone,'” said Morris. “I just had a feeling. I went into the coaches’ locker room and said, ‘Law Dog is going to be the player of the game.’ ”
Receiver Trishton Jackson did not train on Monday due to a knee injury. … Defensive lineman Eric Banks was held up because of pain that flared up after the passage and recipient Tutu Atwell was held up because of back pain as a precaution.