Jared Goff, Rams offense more polished in second scrimmage

Still no clarity in kicking competition as all three struggle
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INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Now that’s more like it.

After getting shut out of the end zone last week, Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay had his offense running much more smoothly on Saturday in his team’s second scrimmage at SoFi Stadium, a dress rehearsal for the team’s season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 13.

Quarterback Jared Goff looked more in rhythm, finishing 19 of 26 for 183 yards, with three touchdowns. However, Goff did throw two interceptions during McVay’s Mamba tourney, a competitive drill created in honor of Kobe Bryant with the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense competing for points on situational third-downs.

Eight different players touched the ball when the first offense was on the field for the Rams.

“It was a sharp operation,” McVay said. “Jared had a lot of completions for a high percentage, moved the ball up and down the field and had a lot of touchdowns. So, for the offense they did a nice job today.”

McVay did have some issues with the game-day operations last week, including communication on the radio head sets and the fake crowd noise. But according to McVay, those things got cleaned up on Saturday.

“There were no issues,” McVay said. “I thought our guys did a great job, (equipment manager) Brendan Berger and (IT manager) Jeff Graves, they were excellent, being able to work through some things. And a lot of it was just user error by me last week, more than anything.

“So I think it was just getting comfortable with what the operations entails. They did an excellent job, and I thought it was a much smoother operation.”

The Rams will have an off day Sunday before returning to the practice field next week.

KICKER COMPETITION HEATS UP

The three-person kicking competition remains in flux as all three kickers struggled somewhat on Saturday.

Austin MacGinnis finished 6-of-8, while Lirim Hajrullahu and Samuel Sloman both finished 5-of-8.

Part of the reason for the kickers’ struggles is regular holder, punter Johnny Hekker was not in attendance due to the birth of his second child.

Backup holder Cooper Kupp held early on, but then had to leave the field for an undisclosed reason, with emergency holder back up quarterback John Wolford taking over.

“You take for granted the importance of the operation,” McVay said. “It’s not just the kicker, it’s the snapper, it’s the holder and it’s the kick.”

McVay said Kupp is fine, and the team was just being smart in getting the Eastern Washington product off the field after two drives.

“No injury there, he’s good,” McVay said.

ROLL CALL
Safety Taylor Rapp, who’s rehabbing from a knee issue, warmed up in full pads before the start of the scrimmage, but did not participate. McVay said the University of Washington product is on track to play Week 1.

McVay said LB Travin Howard has a knee issue, which is why he did not play in the scrimmage. Kenny Young started at inside linebacker in his place and played well. McVay likes Young's athleticism and pursuit of the football.

Safety John Johnson wore the green dot as the defensive play caller, which makes sense because safety Eric Weddle, now retired, wore the green dot for the Rams last year.

Inglewood mayor James Butts and the city council attended the scrimmage.

YOU DON'T SAY

“I can’t tell you that because we ain’t played a game yet. We’ve had some good defenses, but I can’t give you an answer until we play a live game, and see where we go from there.” – Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, when asked if this is the best defense he’s played in over the last, few years.