The stadium is half-full three minutes before the scheduled kickoff, but cheers wail as if the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum were at capacity. The Rams expected 91,000 fans for their preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys at the Coliseum. Official attendance stood at 89,140, breaking the NFL’s all-time record for largest U.S. preseason attendance.
The Rams run out to a warm welcome — from the L.A. weather and from pillars spewing fire and popping fireworks at the edge of the tunnel. It is loud. Woo’s echo around the bowl of the stadium, but little clapping can be heard, as most of the fans hold phones to capture the Rams’ first steps onto a Los Angeles home field since 1994, and their first home game back in the Coliseum since 1979.
Johnson struggled at times last season, allowing an 83.7 passer rating in coverage, which ranked 61st in the NFL. His interceptions dropped from seven in 2015 to just one last season, while Johnson allowed eight touchdowns, tied for eighth most in the league.
Still, the arrival of Phillips made this something of a no-brainer for the Rams. The longtime defensive aide historically gets the best out of his cornerbacks and likely made it clear to the front office that losing Johnson would have been an ugly beginning for the new coaching staff.
Yes, Los Angeles boasts some star names. Aaron Donald is the best interior defender in the NFL. Your mother could see Todd Gurley has talent — despite a down season where he began to regress, displayed limited vision, struggled to break tackles and didn’t trust his line to open the proper holes. Johnny Hekker is one of the best punters in the game, so that’s a win. Where are the rest of the shoo-in Pro Bowl talents?
Jared Goff has innate talent, but you had to squint hard to see it this season. The rookie looked spooked in the pocket, missed multiple throws high or in the dirt each game, struggled to get through his progression consistently, and looked like a college quarterback tossed into an NFL fire with little help from coaches or surrounding players. Can the next coach salvage Goff?
A few hours after the Chargers officially declared their move to the City of Angels, the Rams followed that up Thursday by announcing Sean McVay as their new coach. McVay signed a five-year contract with the team, a source informed told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
The 30-year-old former Redskins offensive coordinator turns 31 on January 24, making him the youngest head coach in modern NFL history. He takes over the youthful title from Lane Kiffin, who was hired by the Raiders in 2007. Another fun fact: The Rams actually have one player on their roster older than McVay, defensive end and cheap nba jerseys and noted dinosaur non-believer William Hayes.
Demoff went on to say that the Rams losing eight of its last nine games ultimately “tipped” the decision to get rid of Fisher. In addition, when asked if general manager Les Snead could be in jeopardy, Demoff said “it would be a mistake to say anybody in the building would be back next year.”
The 58-year-old Fisher has been in charge of the club since 2012 and in that time compiled a 31-45-1 record with zero playoff appearances. He burned through a No. 1 overall pick at quarterback which he inherited (Sam Bradford) and selected Jared Goff with the top selection in this year’s draft.
There was a problem with those shells, though. While it was a clean lid, it paired poorly with the rest of the Rams’ road uniform, which still had a significant amount of gold trim throughout. Rams executives also have eyes and noticed the clash, adding to Wednesday’s announcement the introduction of a new pair of white pants with either one or two blue stripes, a decision left up to a fan vote. Fans were also able to vote on whether the team would wear blue or white facemasks with the helmet (this writer approves of the white facemask for a look that pops, which ended up winning with 64 percent of the fan vote).
When the Rams announced their move to Los Angeles in early 2016, fans following from afar came out in droves, donning royal blue and gold gear that had likely been collecting dust. The team appeased the fans’ desires to see the team’s old colors return by twice wearing throwbacks to their time in Los Angeles, but made it clear almost from the outset with a change to a blue and white logo that the organization would move toward that color scheme in the future.