Phillips is tak­ing it all in stride

Los Angeles Times - - NFL - By Gary Klein gary.klein@la­

This is Wade Phillips’ 40th NFL train­ing camp, so there isn’t much the Rams’ de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor has not seen or ex­pe­ri­enced.

One of the NFL’s best de­fen­sive line­men hold­ing out?

Not, ap­par­ently, a ma­jor rea­son for con­cern.

An­other pro­jected start­ing de­fen­sive line­man lost for the sea­son be­cause of a knee in­jury?

There are other pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Phillips, 70, clearly is not fazed by those is­sues even as he works to in­stall a new hy­brid 3-4 scheme.

“I’m pleased with where we are right now,” he said Fri­day.

Phillips, coach Sean McVay and the rest of the staff will get a bet­ter read on where the Rams stand when they hold a joint prac­tice with the Charg­ers on Satur­day at the StubHub Cen­ter in Car­son.

The Charg­ers fea­ture vet­eran quar­ter­back Philip Rivers.

“They’ve got a great pass­ing at­tack — have for a long time,” Phillips said. “It will be great to see how we do against a team like that.”

Rivers won’t have to worry about evad­ing a rush from Rams line­man Aaron Don­ald.

Don­ald, seek­ing to be­come one of the league’s high­est-paid play­ers, has been ab­sent since the start of train­ing camp be­cause of a con­tract dis­pute. The fines are mount­ing — $40,000 per day — but there is no timetable for his ar­rival.

Phillips said he had not been in con­tact with the three-time Pro Bowl se­lec­tion.

“I don’t want to get into his busi­ness,” Phillips said. “He knows that we’d love to have him here.”

In the mean­time, Phillips said, it’s a good op­por­tu­nity for oth­ers.

“What they can do is cer­tainly dif­fer­ent than Aaron, and so we try to fit our de­fense into what our play­ers can do right now,” Phillips said. “When he gets back it’s a great ad­di­tion.”

Don­ald par­tic­i­pated in an April mini­camp but was ab­sent from or­ga­nized team ac­tiv­i­ties and did not par­tic­i­pate in prac­tice drills dur­ing a manda­tory June mini­camp.

Phillips is con­fi­dent that Don­ald will blend seam­lessly if, or when, he re­turns.

“He’s such a good player — and he did re­ally well in the min­camp and stuff,” Phillips said. “When­ever he comes back I think he’ll pick right up.” Phillips also said there were “pos­si­bil­i­ties” for re­plac­ing in­jured end Do­minique Easley, in­clud­ing play­ing tackle Michael Brock­ers in that spot. Go­ing home

For re­ceiver Robert Woods the home­com­ings keep get­ting, well, closer to home.

Woods, the for­mer Gar­dena Serra High and USC All-Amer­i­can, played four sea­sons with the Buf­falo Bills be­fore sign­ing a fiveyear, $34-mil­lion con­tract with the Rams that in­cluded $15 mil­lion guar­an­teed.

On Satur­day, the Car­son na­tive will play in his backyard.

The StubHub Cen­ter is lo­cated about five min­utes from his par­ents’ home.

“It will be fun and cool to be back in Car­son,” Woods said, “lit­er­ally right down the street.”

Woods played in the sta­dium eight years ago as a high school se­nior.

In 2009, he caught eight passes for 180 yards and two touch­downs to lead Serra to 24-20 vic­tory over Kent­field Marin Catholic in the state cham­pi­onship Di­vi­sion III bowl game.


Re­ceiver Tavon Austin re­mains side­lined be­cause of a ham­string in­jury. “Ham­strings are al­ways things that you want to be mind­ful of and be very care­ful with,” McVay said, “es­pe­cially when you’re bring­ing back an ath­lete like him that his game is so much pred­i­cated on ex­plo­sion.” … Rookie re­ceiver Josh Reynolds is not prac­tic­ing be­cause of a quadri­ceps in­jury…. A day af­ter sign­ing re­ceivers Justin Thomas of Ge­or­gia Tech and C.J. Ger­many of Notre Dame Col­lege, the Rams added K.D. Can­non from Bay­lor, who was cut last week by the New York Jets…. Cor­ner­back Nick­ell Robey-Cole­man made per­haps the play of the day when he broke up a long pass from Jared Goff to Robert Woods…. La­mar­cus Joyner in­ter­cepted a pass by Goff in dur­ing seven-on-seven drills…. Goff con­nected with Cooper Kupp for a touch­down….. Tight end Ger­ald Everett made a spec­tac­u­lar leap­ing catch in the back of the end zone on a pass from Sean Man­nion but was ruled out of bounds…. Line­backer Cory Littleton broke up a pass in the end zone…. Re­ceiver Shakeir Ryan made a tough catch for a touch­down on a pass from Dan Orlovsky.

Robert Gauthier Los An­ge­les Times

WADE PHILLIPS, in his 40th NFL train­ing camp, says Aaron Don­ald’s hold­out gives oth­ers an op­por­tu­nity. RAMS RE­PORT

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