Phillips is taking it all in stride
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.
WADE PHILLIPS, in his 40th NFL training camp, says Aaron Donald’s holdout gives others an opportunity. RAMS REPORT