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Los Angeles Rams: What we learned from ‘Hard Knocks’ episode one


The first episode of ‘Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Los Angeles Rams’ is officially in the books. And it did not disappoint. The show was full of fun moments, solid football, and most importantly, an inside look at the Los Angeles Rams.

We got to see head coach Jeff Fisher relaxing in a cabin in Montana before camp. We got to see the phone call he made to Nick Foles to inform him of his release. Tavon Austin took a golf cart around the UC Irvine campus to catch some Pokemon. Center Eric Kush has a ton of tank tops and a ton of socks. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

All of those provided memorable moments, but they were not the only ones. There were some on the field moments that could hold some information that will matter when it comes to the 2016/2017 season. So enough chit chat, let’s get down to it.

Jeff Fisher doesn’t mess around

Jeff Fisher is all business, and he was one of the best parts of the show to open things up. Years ago Rex Ryan took the show by storm by dropping an F bomb with every other word. Well Fisher had no need for profanities in order to command the room.

Early on in the episode during the teams first meeting, Fisher laid down a few rules. One of those rules was the players were not permitted to have any guests in their rooms. Unfortunately for young wide receiver Deon Long, he did not quite understand how serious Fisher was in his statement, despite the fact that Fisher was pretty damn serious when he said it.

Long had a lady friend in his room, and Fisher found out about it. And as a result, Long was shown the door by Fisher. That’s right, Fisher cut a guy for bringing someone into his room. It was a great way to establish Fisher’s no nonsense personality.

Fisher’s personality also shown through in a meeting after Tavon Austin was carted off from practice due to cramps. Fisher called out Austin, and asked him what he had for lunch that day. Austin’s response, “two bananas”. And Fisher took that and ran with it. It was a serious conversation, but Fisher made it fun. But more importantly, he got his point across. I certainly look forward to seeing more of Fisher in the coming weeks.

Oh, and it is virtual lock one of my fantasy football team names will be “Two Bananas”.

Jared Goff is going to need some time

Jared Goff is a rookie quarterback, and rookie quarterbacks tend to struggle. And that is because there is so much for them to take in when they enter the pros. Goff it appears, will be no exception.

First there will be the adjustment to taking a snap as opposed to being in shotgun every play. Goff needed some extra time with his center Eric Kush to help get the right feel, It led to some entertaining banter between the two, but the main takeaway is Goff needs to get comfortable under center.

Then there will be the playbook. Those play calls can get long. and Goff is going to have to master them all. There were some off the field moments where Goff showed he is still a kid who needs to learn. This will be especially true when taking in the playbook.

Yes Goff has the physical skills, but he is going to have to master all of the little things. It was clear from this one episode, he still has a ways to go to get there. So do not expect to see Goff under center week one unless he starts to pick these things up as the weeks go on.

Kenny Britt may become Goff’s favorite option

One of the more impressive scenes that featured Goff took place after practice. Goff stayed on the field to get some extra snaps in. In particular, he wanted to work on throwing a fade pass into the corner of the endzone. The wide receiver who stayed to work with him was Kenny Britt.

Now it may just be that Britt was near Goff when he decided he needed a receiver after practice. Or maybe Britt has become Goff’s favorite target in his early days. But it is certainly worth noting the two worked with one another after practice. If this trend continues, look for Britt to become the teams top receiving option.

The team is not flush with many receivers. So whoever forms a bond with the teams quarterback will likely become the most popular man in the group. So this is certainly a relationship worth monitoring as the weeks roll on.

Aaron Donald is just as good at ping pong as he is football

I would not want to go up against Aaron Donald in a game of ping pong. The man can absolutely smash it, and his physical dominance shows. But it will not be ping pong tables he will be dominating in a few weeks, but rather football fields.

We got a glimpse of how special an athlete Donald truly is. He is agile. He has power. Heck he can even catch some passes if need be. It is this type of overall athlete that can absolutely reek havoc on opposing offenses. And it appears Donald will be doing just that this season.

He is the lead man on a talented defense. I expect to see more of Donald the next four weeks, but I am already sold on how dominant he will be. He was a monster last year, but given he plays for the Rams, not everyone knew his name. But now that the Rams have gone Hollywood, expect that to change when Donald is tearing up the league this season.

Todd Gurley is going to be doing a lot of trash talking this season

I believe one of his teammates said it best when they said “That man can run” (something to that effect). And he sure can. Todd Gurley can shift his body and move through traffic with the best of them. Likely because he is arguably the best running back in the league. And from the clips of him on the field that we saw, you can see why.

I cannot wait to see him in game action, as he is just fun to watch. He should be making plenty of defenders miss this year. The only thing that could hold him back would be if his supporting cast is simply so bad, defenses lock in on Gurley every play. But even if they do, Gurley will still have his big plays. And he is going to let opposing defenses know it.

When talking to the media, Gurley seems like a quiet guy. But on the field, it appears he can talk with the best of them. If he beats you on a play, you better believe he will let you know it. So defenses get ready, because Gurley will be gunning for you, and he will not be afraid to do some trash talk when he breaks off that long touchdown run.

The opening episode was loaded with plenty of good moments. I am still laughing over Jeff Fisher’s “two bananas” speech. The show will return for the next four Tuesdays, so be sure to check back again next week for more things we learned about the Los Angeles Rams.

What was your favorite part of this week’s episode? Tell us in the comments!


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]