first_img• How the Rams endured a 70-minute lightning delay at a crucial point in the game (Los Angeles Times)The storm clouds gathered above Raymond James Stadium late in the fourth quarter Sunday, and fans, players and officials were ordered by the stadium public address announcer to run for cover, a two-minute “warning” if there ever was one.• Rams use defensive line depth in win over Tampa Bay (Los Angeles Daily News)The Rams used their defensive linemen in Sunday’s victory over Tampa Bay. All of them, over and over. Eight linemen dressed, and seven played at least 19 snaps. The other, Eugene Sims, reached only nine snaps because he got ejected in the second quarter. In this case, though, quantity equaled quality.• LA Rams receivers very involved in victory (Los Angeles Daily News)For the first time this season, the Rams’ offense had multiple dimensions.There was Brian Quick, maligned in preseason for his questionable hands, pulling in a 44-yard touchdown Sunday. There was Tavon Austin, blanketed by defenders in the first two games, with a team-high 82 receiving yards and a big touchdown. There was even Bradley Marquez with a nice 12-yard catch.• Jeff Fisher on Rams’ issues with penalties: ‘It doesn’t look good’ (ESPNLA.com) With the weapons the Cardinals have on offense, this is great news for the Rams.• Rams’ Robert Quinn has returned to form as one of the NFL’s top pass rushers (Los Angeles Times)After struggling through a back injury that ruined his 2015 season and required surgery, Quinn appears to have returned to his Pro Bowl form.He helped key the Rams’ victory over the Seattle Seahawks two weeks ago by harassing and sacking quarterback Russell Wilson.Last week against Tampa Bay, he sacked Jameis Winston, forced a fumble that led to a touchdown, and then secured the victory by running down Winston at the five-yard line as time expired.• Rams finding defensive linemen in small places (Los Angeles Daily News)Eugene Sims can’t believe the number is so low.“Nineteen?!” said the Rams’ defensive lineman. “No!”He had just been notified that he is in a club of less than two dozen individuals, all of whom have carved a difficult path to their current profession. On the active rosters of the 32 teams across the NFL, there are currently just 19 defensive linemen who did not come out of an FBS program.The Rams, by the way, have four of them.Thursday, September 29• Jared Goff awaits a chance as Rams offense starts to click (Los Angeles Times) • Rams’ Robert Quinn, Alec Ogletree have fumble-forcing habits (Los Angeles Daily News)For anyone still wondering about Robert Quinn’s health, it might be safe to exhale.After missing half of last season due to a back injury, the Rams’ defensive end has started to resemble his former All-Pro self, inducing nightmares for opposing quarterbacks. Need to quantify his performance? Quinn has forced 17 fumbles since 2013, including two this season. No other player is really within striking distance.• Rams WR Pharoh Cooper could be nearing NFL regular-season debut (Los Angeles Daily News)Heading into October, this is the statistical impact of the Rams’ 2016 draft class: One catch, two receiving yards.Top-drafted quarterback Jared Goff has yet to make his NFL regular-season debut, and wasn’t even dressed for the season-opening loss against the 49ers. Receiver Mike Thomas, tight end Temarrick Hemingway, and linebacker Josh Forrest — all picked in the sixth round — have played sparingly. Tight end Tyler Higbee is responsible for that lone reception, but does not appear close to fulfilling the potential he showed in the preseason.• Pharoh Cooper, Nelson Spruce ready to return for Rams (ESPN.com) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires This week, L.A. travels east to Arizona to face a reeling Cardinals team coming off a disappointing and confounding loss to the Buffalo Bills last Sunday.All week, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the Rams’ preparation for Sunday’s division affair in Glendale.It’s Behind Enemy Lines…Saturday, October 1• Todd Gurley still looking for a breakout performance as Rams head to Arizona (Los Angeles Times)It was an unprecedented streak that began against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.Rams running back Todd Gurley rushed for 146 yards in his first start last season, the first of an NFL rookie-record four consecutive games in which he ran for 125 yards or more.On Sunday, Gurley returns to Arizona looking for his season’s first breakout performance.• He keeps the Rams loose at practice (Los Angeles Times)Jamon Brown felt the beat.The Rams’ offensive lineman danced between reps as music blared and the bass thumped across the practice field at the team’s’ temporary facility in Thousand Oaks.“The D.J. has to be next to the nutritionist, which has to fall after Jeff Fisher,” Brown said after the workout, ranking the importance of each position on the Rams’ staff. “You think about music, it gets you pumped up, it gets you going, it gets you ready. Music is essential to a successful practice.” Los Angeles Rams coach Jeff Fisher was asked what Pharoh Cooper can bring to the offense when he’s finally able to suit up.“Hopefully some first downs,” Fisher said. “That’s the big thing.”Cooper and fellow rookie receiver Nelson Spruce finally appear set to debut in Sunday’s divisional matchup against the Arizona Cardinals from University of Phoenix Stadium.• Rams RB Todd Gurley soaking up the L.A. experience (ESPN.com)Todd Gurley was walking into a concert around these parts a couple of weeks ago, when suddenly he heard someone yell out his jersey number from behind him:Thirty!It was Snoop Dogg, giving him love, making small talk and telling him to meet up later so they can snap a picture together. If that doesn’t say L.A., then nothing will.“He was a cool dude,” Gurley said, cracking a smile. “Uncle Snoop.”Friday, September 30• Rams CB E.J. Gaines ready to help neutralize Cardinals WRs (ESPN.com)E.J. Gaines will return for the Rams Sunday. The cornerback starts on the opposite side of Trumaine Johnson.Los Angeles’ passing defense has been in the middle of the road this season, ranking 17th among all teams in passing yards allowed. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Los Angeles Rams’ offense is in no way great, but it is improving. The unit has gone from 185 yards from scrimmage in Week 1 to 283 yards in Week 2 to 320 yards in Week 3. On Sunday, in a 37-32 win against Tampa Bay that made them 2-1 for the first time in 10 years, the Rams not only became the last team to score a touchdown; they scored four on offense.• Rams Claim S Marqui Christian (TheRams.com)Christian was previously on the Arizona Cardinals 53-man roster. The 2016 fifth-round pick out of Midwestern State earned the Cliff Harris Award (Small College Defensive Player of the Year) in 2015 and was named the Lone Star Conference (NCAA Division II) Top Male Athlete in 2016.• Practice Report 9/27: Defense Making Big Plays, Has Much Room to Improve (TheRams.com)Over the last two games, Los Angeles’ defense has shown a penchant for getting big plays when they most need them.Linebackers Alec Ogletree and Mark Barron combined to force Seattle running back Christine Michael to fumble in the fourth quarter of Week 2, and Ogletree was able to fall on the ball to secure the victory over the Seahawks.Then in Week 3, defensive end Robert Quinn recorded a strip/sack of quarterback Jameis Winston that defensive end Ethan Westbrooks picked up and returned 77 yards to pay dirt. Plus, Quinn made the final tackle inside the 10-yard line after time had expired to end the contest. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments   Share   Wednesday, September 28• The Los Angeles Rams are looking forward to the return of cornerback E.J. Gaines (Los Angeles Times)The Rams have been eagerly awaiting Gaines’ return since cornerback Janoris Jenkins signed with the New York Giants in March.Gaines sat out last season because of a foot injury but the Rams were anticipating that a player who started 15 games as a rookie in 2014 would return and start opposite franchise-tagged cornerback Trumaine Johnson.• Rams’ DB Lamarcus Joyner is hanging tough (Los Angeles Daily News)Joyner is hanging in there, still playing through a broken toe he suffered in the season opener. Not only is Joyner surviving, he’s thriving as the Rams’ nickelback against some teams that aren’t shy about throwing the ball, and the Rams face another one Sunday at Arizona.• Penalties are still a concern for Rams (Los Angeles Daily News)Through three games, the Rams are one of the most penalized teams in the NFL. They rank fourth in most penalties (27, with Oakland atop at the list at 31), and third in most penalty yards (249, with Detroit “leading” at 294). The numbers are trending better for the Rams, but not quickly enough.• Rams’ revamped defense showing knack for game-changing plays (Associated Press) For the first time since 1994, the NFL is back in Los Angeles.After 21 seasons in St. Louis, the Rams moved back to Los Angeles. And after an embarrassing offensive display in a 28-0 loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football to open the season, Jeff Fisher’s team has been much better.In Week 2, the Rams continued their mastery of the Seattle Seahawks, winning 9-3. In Week 3, Los Angeles finally got on-track on offense and scored a 37-32 road win at Tampa Bay. Todd Gurley ran for 85 yards and two touchdowns and Case Keenum threw for two more as the Rams grabbed a share of first place in the weird and wacky NFC West. Goff has not played a snap. He was inactive for the season opener and has been the backup for veteran Case Keenum, who has helped lead the Rams to a 2-1 record that puts them at the top of the NFC West heading into Sunday’s division game at Arizona.• Other teams’ rookie quarterback performances are not affecting the Rams’ plans for Jared Goff (Los Angeles Times)“The quarterbacks are having success because of injuries,” Fisher said. “As I mentioned last week, had we not had the injuries that we did in the league, probably all four of those quarterbacks either would be inactive or backups.”• Have the Rams found the secret to big play at the right time? (Los Angeles Daily News)If you watch sports long enough you realize pretty quickly one trait separates the good teams from the bad: The ability to make the big play when the big play absolutely needs to be made.And in a finite league like the NFL, where parity runs rampant and the fine line between winning and losing is as thin as ever, it’s not unusual for a 60-minute game consisting of 130 or so plays to essentially boil down to a handful or less of really big ones.• Rams’ offense takes ‘a step,’ still has work to do (ESPN.com) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories A deeper issue for Fisher is the amount of times his team continues to be penalized. It was a major point of emphasis during training camp, with his Rams among the eight most-penalized teams in the NFL in each of Fisher’s previous four seasons as coach.• Perhaps the real Todd Gurley has finally arrived (ESPN.com)Todd Gurley took his right hand and slammed it against the turf at Raymond James Stadium.It was second-and-11, early in the second half of the Los Angeles Rams’ 37-32 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, and Gurley still couldn’t find any holes through which to run free. The star running back tried cutting his way to the outside, but was stuffed for no gain by the Bucs’ safety — yes, their safety — Bradley McDougald. By then, Gurley had managed a mere 34 yards on the ground, putting his average for the season at 2.5 yards per carry. The Rams have the NFL’s least productive offense through three games after finishing last season at the bottom of the league. They’ve also hurt themselves repeatedly with penalties, ranking among the league’s most frequent offenders with 27 flags for 249 yards.• Practice Report 9/27: Defense Making Big Plays, Has Much Room to Improve (TheRams.com)“There’s a lot of plays that are made during the course of the games, you end up focusing on the one at the end,” head coach Jeff Fisher said Tuesday. “‘Tree’s’ play was huge against Seattle, Rob’s effort was tremendous — we needed that.”Tuesday, September 27• First year QB progress report: Jared Goff sits as Carson Wentz, Trevor Siemian shine (ESPN.com)In a year marked by atypical success from unseasoned quarterbacks, and in an era when players take over the position sooner than ever, Goff is a spectator.• Rams tape review: Defensive ups-and-downs in a victory over the Buccaneers (Los Angles Times)Each week we take a look at the tape to review what worked, what didn’t and what you might have missed. Today, we’ll focus on some coverage breakdowns from both teams as well as some defensive highlights.last_img