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 by Neil039
3 months ago
 Total posts:   2170  
 Joined:  Feb 02 2016
United States of America   LA Coliseum
Pro Bowl

They have to win week 3. Even though it’s only a preseason game it will make my football season more enjoyable!

 by /zn/
3 months ago
 Total posts:   4176  
 Joined:  Jun 28 2015
United States of America   Maine
Superstar

Lindsey [email protected]
The Rams have announced their preseason schedule: Week 1 @ Raiders (Aug. 8-10), Week 2 vs. Cowboys in Hawaii (Aug. 17), Week 3 vs. Broncos (Aug 22-24), Week 4 @ Texans (Aug. 29-31). Sean McVay said at NFL Owner’s Meetings that he does not intend to play starters in preseason, but will hold joint practices with opponents. This schedule appears to lend itself to those combined workouts.

 by Elvis
3 months ago
 Total posts:   21393  
 Joined:  Mar 28 2015
United States of America   Los Angeles
Administrator

https://theathletic.com/914929/2019/04/ ... this-year/

Rams’ preseason schedule is set, and (most) starters should play this year

By Vincent Bonsignore

One​ minute,​ the​ Rams​ are solemnly​ walking off​ the field​ at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz​ Stadium,​ licking​ their wounds after a devastating loss to​​ the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII. The next, they are learning who they’ll play in the 2019 preseason.

In a few days, they’ll kick off their offseason training program. The draft awaits two weeks later.

If everything seems to be unfolding at warp speed, that’s what happens when your season extends a month longer than usual, by virtue of reaching the Super Bowl. But if playing into February always means having to play catch-up in March and April, that’s a trade-off the Rams will gladly accept.

And that includes formulating a plan for how to divvy up playing time for their four preseason games. We now know the opponents: the Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos and Houston Texans. The question now is, who will actually take the field for the Rams in those games?

And for how long?

Keep in mind, the Rams went the entire 2018 preseason without their starting offense taking one snap together. And while that exposed coach Sean McVay to plenty of raised eyebrows, criticism and real-time second-guessing, he was viewed as a genius after the Rams stormed to an 11-1 record to start the regular season.

Before you knew it, all that criticism was replaced by pundits wondering if McVay and the Rams had reinvented the manner in which teams should handle the preseason.

After all, if the Rams’ starting offense could roll into the regular season as in sync and prepared as it did in 2018, without playing together during the four exhibition games, is it really necessary for anyone to expose their starters to the needless harm of meaningless football games?

But at the risk of raining on the coronation of McVay as a trendsetter, I’d pump the brakes on the whole notion that his 2018 plan will automatically be the one he rolls out in 2019. There’s many reasons, not the least of which is, he never really planned to sit his starters the entire preseason last year.

What we saw in 2018 had much more to do with McVay being flexible and adaptable enough to shrewdly play the cards he was dealt, and less to do with him drawing up some master plan.

The Rams practiced against the Baltimore Ravens ahead of their Week 1 preseason game last August. The intense work they got during those two days in Maryland negated the need for the Rams’ starters to play even one series in the actual game.

Under normal circumstances, the starters would have played in Week 2 against the Raiders. But that plan was sabotaged months earlier by NFL regular-season schedule-makers, when they slotted the Rams and Raiders as season-opening opponents. As a result, both clubs prudently sat their starters.

McVay’s plan was to get most of his offensive starters considerable run together in Week 3 against the Houston Texans. But when starting right tackle Rob Havenstein was ruled out with an ankle injury — and with veteran left tackle Andrew Whitworth already slated to sit out the entire preseason — McVay was uneasy about letting quarterback Jared Goff line up behind two backup tackles against Jadeveon Clowney and the Texans’ starting defense. One of those backups — veteran Darrell Williams — was cut two weeks later.

Then, with Goff not playing, it was pointless to play any of the other offensive starters.

So, 2018 wasn’t so much an actual plan as it was the Rams dealing with unusual circumstances. And while it would be understandable to think McVay will use the success of the 2018 regular season as justification to repeat what he did in the preseason, he’s dealing with an entirely different set of dynamics this time.

That means there are some compelling reasons why we’ll see a majority of the Rams’ starting offense get playing time together in the 2019 preseason.

First and foremost, the Rams’ offensive line just went from being one of the most collectively experienced groups in the NFL to one of the least.

With left guard Rodger Saffold and center John Sullivan no longer on the team, the Rams will be breaking in new starters — likely Joseph Noteboom at guard and Brian Allen at center. They are both entering their second years, and neither played extensively last season.

Teams can attempt to replicate situations in practice — even against another team — but nothing compares to actual game action, especially with a group as new to each other as the Rams’ offensive linemen. It seems unlikely McVay will let an entire preseason pass without that unit working together, and with Goff and the rest of the starting offense.

Looking at the schedule, that likely means the starters will play one or two series against the Raiders in Week 1, then maybe one half in Week 3 against the Broncos.

The Rams might feel compelled to get Goff and the starting offense on the field against the Cowboys in Hawaii in Week 2, to give the potential new fan base they are cultivating a chance to see the stars, but that will be determined later this month by NFL schedule-makers. The Rams play the Cowboys during the regular season, so depending on where that matchup falls on the schedule, the starters may or may not make an appearance.

The regular-season matchup also negates the possibility of the Rams and Cowboys practicing together ahead of their preseason game. That’s disappointing, because McVay highly values the joint-practice experience. But he told The Athletic during the NFL owners’ meetings in Arizona that he’s hoping to line up practices with the Raiders or Chargers during training camp.

All that said, there are two players I wouldn’t expect to see at all during the preseason.

With all the uncertainty surrounding Todd Gurley’s left knee and how it betrayed him down the stretch last season, it behooves the Rams to handle him with extreme care during the preseason. That is fine, as it will open up plenty of chances for youngsters such as John Kelly and Justin Davis to forge bigger roles with strong showings.

Meanwhile, given all the money tied up in Aaron Donald, and how he earned the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in 2017 and 2018 without taking one training-camp practice rep — let alone a preseason snap — there is no reason for Donald to see the field in a game that doesn’t count in the standings.

Like, ever again.

As for the Rams’ other starters, don’t expect to see a repeat of last year, no matter how strong the inclination is to assume they drew up some new master plan last year.

The dynamics this year could not be more different.

 by aeneas1
3 months ago
 Total posts:   10005  
 Joined:  Sep 13 2015
United States of America   Norcal
Hall of Fame

35 years of rams preseason and regular season results, postseason years in red:

VirtualBox_2019-04-09_23-47-08.png

 by Elvis
2 months ago
 Total posts:   21393  
 Joined:  Mar 28 2015
United States of America   Los Angeles
Administrator

With the Rams playing one of their home preseason games in Hawaii and probably practicing there with the Cowboys, then the Rams practicing up north with the Raiders, seems like we'll be having less than the usual amount of training camp days in Irvine this year...


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11 posts Jul 19 2019