Rams adjusting in first practice with new head coach McVay
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) It was a day of adjustments for the Los Angeles Rams, familiarizing themselves with new coaches, schemes and positions as they held their first minicamp practice under Sean McVay on Tuesday.
Even the 31-year-old McVay wasn't immune to the changes, trying to figure out his place as a head coach after three seasons as offensive coordinator in Washington.
''He was actually over there with our group, the DB group, throwing balls and whatnot,'' cornerback Trumaine Johnson said. ''I told him I know he's the head coach, but he's on the offensive side. Can't be over here with the defense right now.''
McVay might have started practice with the secondary, but his mindset still rests with the offense for now.
''I was telling our secondary coaches on the back end I got to get used to being happy for the defense on a good play, too,'' McVay said.
There was plenty for McVay to be happy about on both sides of the ball, starting with quarterback Jared Goff. After struggling during his seven starts as a rookie last season, Goff looked confident and calm in executing all aspects of McVay's new system.
''It went a lot better than maybe a lot of us thought it would,'' Goff said. ''There weren't that many hiccups. You come out on the first day and you expect there to be some re-dos and some stuff you kind of have to do over and talk about and, for the most part, it went really smoothly. I was really happy with it.''
Developing Goff, who was selected with the top pick in the 2016 draft after the Rams gave up a haul that ended up including the No. 5 selection in Thursday's first round, is the main goal for McVay.
Accomplishing that means upgrading the supporting cast around Goff to give him every opportunity to succeed.
Goff already showed a strong rapport with new wide receiver Robert Woods, the former Southern California star who spent four seasons with the Buffalo Bills.
The Rams also added left tackle Andrew Whitworth and center John Sullivan in free agency, while former starting right tackle Rob Havenstein worked at right guard for the first time.
Havenstein is preparing to play any position on the offensive line except center, ''which is a good thing,'' he joked after last snapping a football in high school.
On defense, Robert Quinn downplayed his move from end to outside linebacker in coordinator Wade Phillips' preferred 3-4 alignment.
''Just go and make plays is what they say,'' Quinn said.
For Johnson, however, there will be no move. General manager Les Snead said earlier on Tuesday that the Rams are not interested in trading Johnson and the focus is on trying to negotiate a long-term contract after twice using the franchise tag on him.
Johnson signed his one-year, $16.7 million tender last month.
Johnson said he wants to remain with the Rams, citing his presence at the voluntary workouts as a sign of appreciation for the franchise.
''We got time right now,'' Johnson said. ''That's not my main focus. I'm going to let my agent handle that. In the meantime, get to know the new guys, be back with the old guys and get all these new defenses in our head with the coaches and whatnot.''
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