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 by Elvis
1 month ago
 Total posts:   24806  
 Joined:  Mar 28 2015
United States of America   Los Angeles
Administrator

https://www.therams.com/news/mcvay-conf ... nefit-rams

McVay confident Combine will benefit Rams

Stu Jackson
STAFF WRITER

INDIANAPOLIS – Rams head coach Sean McVay confirmed his stay at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine will be brief. He departs Indianapolis tonight and he's scheduled to be back in Los Angeles by Wednesday.

However, he believes spending more time around the team's Thousand Oaks, California facility and less time in Indianapolis will benefit L.A. the most during a crucial stretch of its offseason. He also believes the team can still accomplish what it needs to when it comes to its draft preparation without him being present at the combine.

"I think it's an interesting situation that presented itself this year," McVay told reporters during his podium session Tuesday morning. "We've got great continuity in a lot of spots on our coaching staff, and we have three new coordinators on offense, defense and special teams. So I'm not going to be here the whole week."

Part of McVay's reasoning is that he trusts the evaluations of general manager Les Snead and the rest of the Rams front office, as well as the new and returning assistant coaches – most of whom will be in Indianapolis this week. He also wants to spend more time working with new offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell and defensive coordinator Brandon Staley on implementing schemes.

"Les and his group do a great job in the vetting process and then our position coaches have a great feel of, 'okay what do we want to do, what are the things that we want to get out of the combine,'" McVay said. "So being able to empower them and then feeling like, let's get back to L.A., still be able to study the film which is the most important part of the evaluation, trusting some of the vetting on the backgrounds with these guys and then being able to kind of continue to get a jump on the schemes that we'll implement specific to the offense and defense, that's really what went into it."

Los Angeles does not have a first round pick in this year's draft barring an unforeseen trade, which will inherently impact how they approach the combine this year. While McVay won't be doing any in-person evaluations at the combine, he'll still be able to watch film back at the team's facility.

"It's really thinking through, 'Okay, what is the intent of the week, what do we get out of that," McVay said. "There's a lot of really good things to gain and I still think we can get all the things that this week entails out of it and (without) necessarily me having to be there present for all of it. And then you say, okay, what can we gain being back there with Kevin and Brandon and being able to go through some of the things that we're looking for as far as continuing to evaluate and do our due diligence with the draft process but then also start to have a vision for – okay – this is what we want to be able to do but how do our players fit into that, because it's always about adjusting and adapting to your players and as we're getting through just kind of the natural cycle of the offseason."

While the Rams also hired a new special teams coordinator in John Bonamego and a new running backs coach in Thomas Brown, they still return 16 assistant coaches from last year's staff. They also promoted from within via their scouting department by making Tory Woodbury their new assistant special teams coach.

That continuity is enough for McVay to feel comfortable letting his assistants take the reins in Indianapolis this week.

"If it was a bunch of turnover, then I'd think you say, 'okay we can get a lot of stuff done out here,' but because of the continuity of the position coaches, we felt like that was the best approach and the most efficient way to utilize the week," McVay said.

 by Elvis
1 month ago
 Total posts:   24806  
 Joined:  Mar 28 2015
United States of America   Los Angeles
Administrator

https://www.therams.com/news/snead-talk ... fl-combine

Snead talks Rams franchise tag candidates, free agents at NFL Combine

Stu Jackson
STAFF WRITER

INDIANAPOLIS –A pair of important deadlines loom for the Rams and their key free agents.

General manager Les Snead is aiming to get those situations resolved sooner rather than later, but the organization will take its time with those decisions.

Speaking to a group of reporters at the NFL Combine Tuesday afternoon, Snead provided updates on where things stand with inside linebacker Cory Littleton, outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr and left tackle Andrew Whitworth, as well as players who are entering the final year of their contract in 2020.

Littleton and Fowler

The most immediate decision the Rams face is whether they want to use the franchise tag, and if so, who they want to use it on. L.A. last used the franchise tag in 2018 on former safety Lamarcus Joyner, but it has two candidates in Littleton and Fowler.

Both linebackers are pending free agents – Littleton for the first time and and Fowler for the second time in as many years – and in position to command lucrative deals this offseason based on their play in 2019. Littleton expressed a desire to return to the Rams toward the end of the season.

Snead's preference is to find a long-term solution rather than the short-term fix afforded by a franchise tag.

"We would always love to get things done before, try not to use the tag because that can become more of a short-term type decision, but it doesn't mean that you do," Snead said. "Technically, I think you try to work to the deadline to get something done with the players you want to get done, and then from there, as it gets closer, decide is it best to utilize that or not. I don't think it would be, 'alright, day one, we're putting the tag on someone.' This free agency, the puzzle is a little more complicated but definitely manageable. And then adding the fact that new coordinators are in, some tweaks to scheme, really taking our time to work through which positions and which players playing those positions are the most important to help us moving forward."

Whether the Rams can keep one or both may depend on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported last week that the NFL and NFLPA agreed to push back the franchise tag window from Feb. 25 to Feb. 27, with the deadline to apply the tag now set for March 12. However, if players approve the current proposed CBA – which has already been approved by owners – Pelissero reported in a follow-up tweet that teams would go back to being able to use only one tag, instead of both the franchise and transition tag this year. The league and NFLPA reps are meeting in Indianapolis this evening to discuss it after the NFLPA executive committee voted, 6-5, not to recommend the current CBA proposal, according to Pelissero.

"We have a franchise and a transition available right now, right," Snead said during his podium session. "There hasn't been a collective bargaining agreement so I think at that point we're still going through a lot of things, trying to determine the best strategy to get as many of our good football players who've helped us win a lot of games over the last three years back. That's always impossible but having those tools in the tool box definitely allows you to try to accomplish that."

Andrew Whitworth

Free agency officially opens March 18th at 1 p.m. pacific time, but Snead is aiming to have a contract done beforehand.

"He would go in the same boat, in that the goal would be to do something before the bell rings for free agency, with Whit and all the players that we want back," Snead said.

Timeline for Kupp, Johnson and Ramsey extensions?

Wide receiver Cooper Kupp, safety John Johnson III and cornerback Jalen Ramsey's contract are all set to expire after the coming season, but that doesn't mean new deals and extensions aren't on Snead's mind for them.

Snead said the organization has long preferred getting ahead of these details, but its focus will first be on the pending free agents whose contracts expired after the 2020 season, then shifting that urgency to players in situations like Kupp, Johnson and Ramsey.

"You have to take it in process, but strategically we've always enjoyed checking that box for not only us, but for the player so that we all know, OK, we're here together and we're working toward the same goals for a long time," Snead said.

As for Ramsey, Snead hopes he'll be in a Rams uniform for a long time.

"There's really no timeline on that, like when the deal gets done, at this point," Snead said. "But we'd definitely like to have Jalen helping the Rams for more than just the 2020 season."

 by Elvis
1 month ago
 Total posts:   24806  
 Joined:  Mar 28 2015
United States of America   Los Angeles
Administrator

https://www.latimes.com/sports/rams/sto ... fl-combine

Rams study draft prospects with little cap space left to sign free agents

By GARY KLEIN
FEB. 25, 2020 5:33 PM

INDIANAPOLIS — During the previous three years, when the Rams were NFL darlings on the rise, scouting combine news conferences for coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead drew large crowds of reporters.
The groups were noticeably smaller Tuesday.

Last season, the Rams finished 9-7 and missed the playoffs for the first time under McVay. That has made for little offseason buzz — and a quieter combine presence.

Unlike the last two years, the Rams’ contingent did not arrive here in the immediate aftermath of a blockbuster trade or major personnel announcement.

“I don’t necessarily say you love all the attention, but I do know this: If you’re more successful, you get more attention, so we want to be more successful,” McVay told beat reporters after he stepped down from the podium.

How the Rams move forward remains to be seen.

With quarterback Jared Goff, running back Todd Gurley, receiver Brandin Cooks and defensive lineman Aaron Donald playing under megacontracts, the Rams have only about $15 million in salary-cap space, according to overthecap.com.

Veteran offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, edge rusher Dante Fowler, defensive lineman Michael Brockers and linebacker Cory Littleton are among pending free agents. And the Rams gave up first-round draft picks in 2020 and 2021 as part of a midseason trade for star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who will earn about $13.7 million during the upcoming season and is expected to demand a record-breaking extension.

“There’s really no timeline on that, like when the deal gets done, at this point,” Snead said when asked if signing Ramsey before the season was a priority. “But we’d definitely like to have Jalen helping the Rams for more than just the 2020 season.”

After the Rams finished behind the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West, McVay remade his coaching staff, hiring new offensive, defensive and special-teams coordinators.

Now the Rams will attempt to use free agency, the draft and, possibly, trades to remake a team for the 2020 season and beyond. On Tuesday, neither McVay nor Snead would reveal if they were targeting a specific position group in a draft that is especially deep in receivers.

But turnover is expected.

“You’re probably in the phase of, ‘Hey can you find players that you can develop to maybe replace veterans on our roster?’ ” Snead said. “Now, can you actually find players that can fill specific roles.”

McVay said the Rams were “pretty confident” they would come to terms with the 38-year-old Whitworth for a 15th NFL season.

Fowler and Littleton are possible candidates for the franchise tag. Donald and Goff are regarded as untouchable, but Gurley’s and Cooks’ contracts could make them expendable.

Since the Rams returned to Los Angeles before the 2016 season, Snead has shown no fear of taking chances and making big deals. As the Rams prepare for their first season in new SoFi Stadium it would be out of character for them to stand pat.

“This time of year, it is interesting,” Snead said. “You get calls on a lot of players.

“There’s a new era, in that somebody may call and ask about your best player, which in the past, I don’t know that phone call would be made, right? But usually the answer is no.

“This time of the year, maybe younger general managers are more aggressive, but you get asked about a lot of different players which probably didn’t happen five to seven years ago.”

The Rams “always explore things — you always listen,’ McVay said.

“You’re always trying to upgrade,” he said, “but we’ve got a lot of players that you feel really good about, that you have visions for the future.”

McVay was expected to return to Southern California on Wednesday, leaving Snead, several assistant coaches and scouts to continue the evaluation and interview process with prospects.

Barring a trade back into the first round, the Rams will not choose a player until more than 50 are off the board.

“There will be some players that we, ultimately, will not really spend a lot more time vetting or evaluating because you’ve got a gut feeling they’re not getting to 50,” Snead said. “What you have to do then is the realistic players, really start spending your time vetting him.”

 by SpeedRacer
1 month ago
 Total posts:   310  
 Joined:  May 31 2016
United States of America   LA Coliseum
Starter

Unfortunately most discussion of the Rams free agents push Legatron out the door. I'd prefer he stay. While he wasn't as good last season, I think its a mistake to let him go.

That said, when do the kickers go at the Combine? Do they ever show it? I wouldn't mind checking that out. I tend to prefer kickers who hit a straight ball over a draw or fade. I like the makes to be down the middle. That's one thing I always didn't like about S. Janikowski with the Raiders. He didn't put it down the middle enough. Lots of makes but all over the place. Just a confidence thing for me.

Legatron has a bit of a draw but his makes were generally down the middle.

How about Goggles from GA? Maybe see if he's there in the 5th round?

Go Rams!

 by rams74
1 month ago
 Total posts:   841  
 Joined:  Nov 19 2015
Italy   Glendale, Arizona
Veteran

SpeedRacer wrote:Unfortunately most discussion of the Rams free agents push Legatron out the door. I'd prefer he stay. While he wasn't as good last season, I think its a mistake to let him go.

That said, when do the kickers go at the Combine? Do they ever show it? I wouldn't mind checking that out. I tend to prefer kickers who hit a straight ball over a draw or fade. I like the makes to be down the middle. That's one thing I always didn't like about S. Janikowski with the Raiders. He didn't put it down the middle enough. Lots of makes but all over the place. Just a confidence thing for me.

Legatron has a bit of a draw but his makes were generally down the middle.

How about Goggles from GA? Maybe see if he's there in the 5th round?

Go Rams!


Yeah, I'd prefer that we hold on to Z, too.

But if they let him go, then here's another idea: Dominic Eberle from Utah State. He may not have quite the distance that Greg has, but he's consistent. And honestly, how often do we even attempt 60+ yard FGs?

 by Dick84
1 month ago
 Total posts:   5339  
 Joined:  Oct 29 2015
Italy   LA Coliseum
Hall of Fame

rams74 wrote:Yeah, I'd prefer that we hold on to Z, too.

But if they let him go, then here's another idea: Dominic Eberle from Utah State. He may not have quite the distance that Greg has, but he's consistent. And honestly, how often do we even attempt 60+ yard FGs?


I think you guys are on the right track. If the salary to keep GZ is over 3 million, it's definitely worth using a mid-rounder to draft one.

 by JackPMiller
1 month ago
 Total posts:   1142  
 Joined:  Sep 22 2016
United States of America   LA Coliseum
Pro Bowl

I'm expecting Les Snead, and other scouts to be through out the combine though.

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25 posts Mar 31 2020