LA Rams Begin Again in Quest for Repeat Crown

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams threw the last of their lavish off-season parties Thursday night so they could hand out their huge Super Bowl championship rings to their current and former players.


What you need to know

  • The Rams hold their first practice session at UC Irvine on Sunday
  • McVay and general manager Les Snead are finalizing contract extensions with the team and McVay is optimistic they will be announced before the season starts
  • After the Rams made their first Super Bowl under McVay three seasons ago, they went 9-7 the following year while missing the playoffs for the only time in McVay’s career.
  • The coach attributes the slight drop to those bad bounces, not a hangover or post-Super Bowl prep errors

Sean McVay sees the Friday morning after that soiree as the dividing line between last season’s success and the formidable task for the Rams this fall as they try to become the NFL’s first repeat champion in 18 years.

“It was good timing, because now it’s like, ‘Let’s turn the page,'” said McVay outside the headquarters of the Rams training camp in soft Orange County. “Let’s not downplay what a great year last year was, but that won’t have anything to do with this year.”

Most successful coaches repeat some version of this philosophy after a title, but McVay believes the Rams have the talent and lead to stay in the race for a second ring. Even if the Rams fall short, McVay is determined to make sure it doesn’t come out of complacency.

“So many things have to go right,” McVay said. “We could be a better team this year, and I think we have a chance to do that, and it may not mean we win a Super Bowl because a lot of things happen in the course of a game.” – bouncing a ball here – certain things you have no control over.”

The Rams got several of those bounces during their playoff run as they won consecutive thrillers over Tampa Bay, San Francisco and Cincinnati with late peaks in the game. Those interruptions meant the difference between a great season and a title-winning campaign, so McVay plans to make sure his team is prepared to get in position only to get another chance.

After making their first Super Bowl under McVay three seasons ago, the Rams went 9-7 the following year while missing the playoffs for the only time in McVay’s career. The coach attributes that slight drop to those bad bounces, not a hangover or post-Super Bowl preparation mistakes.

“A hangover, to me, what that means is guys think they’re better than they are,” McVay said. “They stop working properly, complacency sets in and the past success that you think will have something to do with your future success. We have the right kind of guys in our locker room, the right kind of coaches who are intrinsically motivated.”

The Rams have a few practical tasks to perform in the camp. They must find a replacement for departed starting cornerback Darious Williams and right-keeper Austin Corbett, and they must build teamwork and communication with new receiver Allen Robinson and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, both of whom must play key roles immediately.

The Rams will hold their first practice session at UC Irvine on Sunday. They’re getting an early jump at camp, in part because they have the first game of the new season as defending champions: They’ll host Von Miller’s Buffalo Bills on Thursday, September 8.

As for his own future, McVay admitted that he considered stepping out of the game before deciding to continue with the Rams. He has not yet finalized a contract extension with the team, but he said negotiations are “in a good place” and it is “more than likely” that they will finalize a deal in training camp.

General manager Les Snead is also expected to agree to a contract extension during training camp to continue their partnership with the Rams, who have won five consecutive winning seasons, four playoff berths, three NFC West titles, two Super Bowl appearances and one championship. during their half. – decade together.

“Myself and Les, as a couple, when we get that thing done, you’ll know,” McVay said. “But I have a really good feeling about the direction it’s going in.”

NOTES: The Rams placed All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, along with linebacker Travin Howard and rookies Quentin Lake and Kyren Williams. Ramsey underwent off-season shoulder surgery and McVay said the team will be considered with Ramsey’s rehabilitation. “When we did that surgery on him, it was important…to attack rehab in the right way, and most importantly, be ready by September 8, ready to go, so we’ll be smart about that progress for him,” McVay said.

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