Culver City Observer -

Thousands Watch Rams Begin Practice


August 11, 2016

Fred Altieri

Head Coach Jeff Fisher observes drills as wide-receiver Brian Quick (83) moves into position

The Los Angeles Rams 2016 training camp opening was well worth the wait for the thousands of fans sporting blue and gold. Enthusiastic crowds engulfed the training field located on the campus of the University of California, Irvine hoping to get a glance and perhaps even an autograph from their favorite players.

The Rams will be training at UCI through the month of August until the last day of camp, Tuesday, August 30. According to Rams Head Coach Jeff Fisher "their facilities are top-notch." 16 of the training days will be open to the public while this year's camp also features the filming of the 11th season of HBO's sports-based reality show "Hard Knocks."

The players, coaches, staff, film crews, a local sports radio booth, various sponsors tents, writers, photographers, security, interns and team personnel created a festive-like atmosphere despite the hot weather and repeated temptations by the fans to leave the stands to crowd the fences surrounding the field.

The latest music grooved over the P.A. system as the coaches put the players through their first official day of camp. Support staff kept moving equipment and essential props from one drill stage to another as every single minute was planned and accounted for.

"I think a lot of credit goes to the players, to their focus, to be able to put everything behind them and get focused in and preparing themselves for camp," said Fisher addressing the media afterwards.

"We had a good first day. I can't... we can't, thank our hosts enough. UC Irvine has done a phenomenal job to have things up and rolling and ready for the players. It's convenient. It's an ideal spot to have training camp."

Fisher on preparing for the first day of practice: "I was excited. I've been here since Sunday. We got here early, got things set-up, had many staff meetings, not only with coaching staff, but with administrative staff, just to make sure things were good.

"I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of the rookies. The rookies got here and we had two really good days with them. Our philosophy there is to get them on the field for a couple days, get their legs under them, get caught up before the vets come in because their reps kind of diminish at that point."

"But personally, I'm excited to get back. It was 1991 since I was on this campus. Trees are much taller, things look much different, but it's certainly great to be back."

The obvious media focus was on rookie quarterback Jared Goff. Fisher offered: "Jared was good today. We had some

quarterback-center exchanges, and I'm not going to put it on (center Eric) Kush. But a couple of the snaps... it's hard to catch a ball at your ankles and get up and throw it when you have rushers in your face."

"He was good, he's really comfortable. He's spent a lot of time, as you would expect from him, in the book this summer. Throwing to the receivers, he has a much better feel now than he did when he left. This is the first day, first day of installation."

"We just put some simple concepts in. Today, the ball wasn't designed to go down the field. It was underneath, short passing game and those kind of things. But I thought he was good, he was much more comfortable now than he was when we left."

Goff on how the first day of practice went: "It was okay. There's stuff that you always want to work on. I felt good about a lot of plays. There's some plays you want back. I think that will be the way it is kind of for a long time, probably for the majority of everyone's career."

"You go into practice, it's not always the way you want it. In college, I'd go into college and try to be 100 percent every day. You'll probably never do it, but you're always striving to be really good. I'm always trying to improve, but at the same time there's stuff today I'd like to have back, but you'll get it back tomorrow, and the next day, and hopefully for the next 10-12 years."

Fred Altieri

Thousands of Rams fans filled the stands

Fisher was asked about if it sank in that the team is in Los Angeles. "Yeah, it really did. Again, the set-up and all the preparation for today was a lot of hard work and we were involved in it. But it was great to come out of the locker room and see the fans and see the stands full. That's real exciting."

"We've got a lot of work to do. We've got a long way to go with this football team. The atmosphere is certainly going to help us, it's going to help them focus, help them to prepare and it's exciting for them."

"Again, when I told them what we were anticipating and what I'm being told regarding next Saturday at the Coliseum, it's different, and it's very good for them."

The team will hold a scrimmage open to the public at 3:00 p.m. this Saturday, August 6, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Rams announced that their inaugural Family Day is a free event but fans must register for a ticket in order to attend.


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