Defensive Coordinator Raheem Morris Brings New Energy to Rams OTAs

L.A.'s new defensive coordinator offers hands-on approach
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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Something didn’t look right to Raheem Morris.

While helping to direct a footwork drills with linebackers coach Mike Shula, the Los Angeles Rams new defensive coordinator stopped Kenny Young, asking him to do the drill over.

“You got to keep one foot on the ground at all times!” Morris bellowed, demonstrating to Young what he wanted.

Young went through the drill again, apparently this time doing it the right way and getting a “Good job!” from Morris.

“He was telling me I’m not at UCLA anymore and to stop hopping in my shuffle,” Young said with a smile after practice. “He was just getting me right, telling me to keep my feet in the grass.”

While the Rams returned most of the players from the team’s No. 1-ranked defense, the lost an important piece when defensive coordinator Brandon Staley took the head coaching job with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Morris has big shoes to fill but brings a big personality to the practice field.

“They’re both energy guys, but Coach Morris likes to talk a tad bit more junk to you,” Rams edge rusher Leonard Floyd said, when asked to compare Staley and Morris. “And that gets you going a lot.”

Some other notes from minicamp this week:

Tutu Atwell looked good getting in and out of his breaks and catching the ball, particularly on out-breaking routes along the sideline. Atwell is a natural hands catcher and showed no problems creating separation during 7-on-7 drills. Interested to see how he plays in pads during training camp.

* Second-year pro Bryce Perkins looked more accurate throwing the ball, particularly outside the numbers. Perkins threw a handful of solid completions on out routes, doing a nice job of driving the football and hitting the receivers on time.

* Safety Jake Gervase is making the transition to linebacker. With a deep, talented group at safety, Gervase has a better shot of sticking around at linebacker if he can contribute on special teams.

* Defensive lineman Michael Hoecht, Eric Banks and rookie Bobby Brown III got some work with the first group with Aaron Donald not a minicamp and Sebastian Joseph-Day watching from the sidelines. Donald is not attending camp this week due to personal reasons, and head coach Sean McVay noted he had conversations with a few players about the potential of missing this week. Cornerback Darious Williams also did not attend minicamp.

Jalen Ramsey was at practice this week and switched from No. 5 to No. 20. Second-year pro Cam Akers had switched from No. 3 to No. 23 but was back wearing No. 23 this week. DeSean Jackson, wearing No. 1, was at camp but watched the first day. Tight end Tyler Higbee also watched from the sidelines.

* Linebacker Travin Howard had a pick six during 7-on-7 and cornerback Kareem Orr also had an nice interception. Receiver Jaremiah Haydel has flashed during 7-on-7 workouts.