As if Cooper Kupp and his hamstring injury weren’t enough, the Los Angeles Rams have a new, added concern based off what head coach Sean McVay said about one rookie the team was high on following Tuesday, August 1 practice.
And it involves the conditioning aspect of the Rams’ first pick Steve Avila.
McVay Explained How Avila ‘Got Tired’
Avila is adjusting to the speed of the NFL in his first NFL training camp with the Rams at UC Irvine’s Crawford Field. While McVay says that the offensive guard out of TCU has shown flashes, there’s still a concern with his conditioning.
“I thought he’s done good. I thought he got tired today,” McVay said to reporters. “I thought we were tired overall, but I do like what Steve has – I’m a big believer in Steve Avila. I think he’s got a lot of ability. I like his mindset and mentality, but like all of these rookies, this is a different deal and we’ve got to really condition and callous ourselves physically and mentally to be able to sustain throughout the course of a regular season and we got to be able to push through on these types of days.”
Perhaps it’s an early lapse for Avila. As it was, the Horned Frogs played a fast paced style with a mix of Air Raid and RPO (Run Pass Option) plays with Max Duggan at quarterback and Sonny Dykes as head coach.
Still, it’s considered an early concern for his development. Avila was made the first pick for the Rams in the 2023 NFL Draft to bolster an offensive line decimated by injuries plus had inconsistency with creating running holes and protecting the passer. Avila is already considered by fans and analysts to make a push for a starting role as the Rams retool their offensive line.
While Avila may be used to a fast style at Fort Worth, the Rams and NFL speed is far different — so perhaps Avila is having a hard time adjusting to a new kind of speed. McVay, though, remains encouraged that Avila can pull through.
“I’m encouraged with Steve and I know he’s going to continue to learn from all of his reps, whether they be good or bad,” McVay said.
Tuesday Was Considered an ‘Off Day’
Overall, the Rams fans who took in the Tuesday practice watched one of the more sloppier days the team had by McVay and the Rams’ standards.
“Just with this team, we’ve got a real long way to go,” he said. “Today was not very good overall. I thought we were very sloppy, not sharp on both sides of the football and so if we want to continue to try to do the things that we’re doing and take steps in the right direction, we have to be better than we were today.”
The Rams will get a chance to bring a new focus and energy in front of the “Rams House” when they return on Thursday, August 3 for “Vamos Rams Day” at Crawford Field. Then, the Rams will practice in front of what’s expected to be a sold out Saturday, August 5 crowd on what’s being called “Rams Legends Day.”
Their Sunday, August 6 practice day is themed “Family Day.” Their final open practice is set for Tuesday, August 8 with the theme “Countdown to Kickoff.”