Playing with an explosive style is nothing new for Tre Tomlinson. After all, he was labeled “one of the more explosive athletes” for the 2023 draft class by nfl.com before the Los Angeles Rams swooped him up in the sixth round.
But even athletes built on speed and explosiveness have to raise up their tempo — which Tomlinson shared in his exclusive one-on-one with Heavy following the Rams’ Saturday, August 5 practice at UC Irvine.
Tomlinson Admits to Needing to Crank up Speed Volume
Tomlinson managed to earn more reps at Crawford Field underneath a near 90 degree Orange County of California sky for Saturday’s session.
And even with Cooper Kupp nursing a tweaked hamstring, the likes of veterans Van Jefferson, Demarcus Robinson, Tutu Atwell, Van Jefferson and even fellow rookie Puka Nacua have gotten their chances to test the rookie out of TCU. He was additionally given increased work after Derion Kendrick went out briefly with his own hamstring ailment.
Tomlinson, though, is welcoming the reps and turning up his personal speed dial.
“It’s a great feeling, and a great team. There’s some good vets around here too. You just feel the energy within each other. You just come out and compete everyday with a great squad — from a great receiving core to a very experienced quarterback who just sees everything as it flows. I’m just learning the defense and playing at a fast tempo,” Tomlinson said.
And the offense he’s facing is filled with guys who have played more than two seasons in the league — further testing the rookie late rounder who fell to the sixth round.
“I feel like with this offense, I’m seeing every type of receiver that you can [think of]. Especially with them having guys with speed on the outside and has fast guys on the inside as well. And there’s also guys who can play with your leverage. I’m pretty seeing all the types of receivers you can see in camp. Whenever it is my time to go, whenever we’re having games, I’m ready,” Tomlinson said.
Facing a Future First Rounder Additionally Elevated Tomlinson’s Game
But even before facing the new gauntlet of wideouts inside the “Rams House,” Tomlinson got the chance to get his hands on one future first round wideout — his college teammate and the 21st overall pick Quentin Johnston during practices in Fort Worth, Texas.
“I feel like it was a lot of good on good. Both of us were learning from each other especially being among the top athletes in college. All together, it was just great practices between the two of us,” Tomlinson said.
Johnston is now emerging as a potential breakout first-year player with the neighboring Los Angeles Chargers, as Johnson is practicing less than 20 minutes southwest of Tomlinson in Costa Mesa. Multiple reports from Jack Hammett Sports Complex have indicated Johnston is making the early push for starter with the Bolts.
Tomlinson, though, loves the fact that Southern California has some additional TCU representation through him, Johnston and Chargers backup quarterback Max Duggan.
“It’s just good to have people you know still around you. So those relationships will last. Hopefully we’ll grow old with each other,” Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson Also Gaining Nuggets From Rising Rams
Tomlinson is new to the room. But he’s considered among a handful of young Rams talent in the secondary.
And he credits being around Kendrick and Decobie Durant for getting him to play at their fast pace as well.
“Just knowing that they’re young as well, but also knowing that they’ve played many games already,” Tomlinson said about what he likes about being with the now second-year Rams corners. “And the experience they have in just coming out and learning from them with the details and stuff I’m missing, then being able to pick it up.”
While he’s realizing the speed of the Rams is way different that his years on the TCU campus, this “explosive” newcomer is relishing the fact that he’s in a room with a good mix of young options like him, but veterans who have been through the NFL rigors.
“All together, it’s a great placement for me especially with this team being young but also having guys like Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, Kupp, Jordan Fuller, Van Jefferson — guys like that. Just seeing the older groups and knowing we’re still building,” Tomlinson said.