So this is the ‘Fight for L.A.’

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Mike DiGio­vanna mike.digio­vanna@la­times.com Twit­ter: @MikeDiGio­vanna

The Rams and Charg­ers have three out­breaks dur­ing sec­ond joint prac­tice in five days.

The Charg­ers of­fi­cially launched their “Fight for L.A.” cam­paign Wed­nes­day with the re­lease of a slick two-minute video, fea­tur­ing play­ers ex­tolling the virtues of the team and their em­brace of a new city, that be­gan cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial me­dia and will soon air on tele­vi­sion.

If the Charg­ers wanted to punch up the com­mer­cial a bit, they could edit in some clips of Wed­nes­day’s joint prac­tice with the Rams, which fea­tured three fights, each re­sult­ing in shov­ing matches be­tween large groups of an­gry play­ers and one in which Rams cor­ner­back Tru­maine John­son slugged Charg­ers re­ceiver Don­trelle In­man in the head.

“Man, I don’t know,” In­man said at the Rams’ UC Irvine train­ing fa­cil­ity, when asked if his team was tak­ing the “Fight for L.A.” video lit­er­ally. “Some­times you put it out there, you be­lieve in it, and that’s how we’re rolling.”

The first scuf­fle broke out be­tween John­son and In­man in one of the first oneone-drills of the af­ter­noon. Both went up for a long pass from Philip Rivers and pulled each other to the ground as the ball fell.

The two got up. An­gry words were ex­changed. John­son ripped off his hel­met, slammed it to the ground and swung at In­man.

“He prob­a­bly landed a punch on my hel­met, which is kind of noth­ing,” In­man said. “I think that’s stupid. If you break your hand, then what?”

Rams cor­ner­back Nick­ell Robey-Cole­man snuck in from the side and shoved In­man to the ground. Charg­ers re­ceiver Keenan Allen tack­led Robey-Cole­man. Charg­ers de­fen­sive play­ers from the other field rushed over to join the fray.

“Your brother’s go­ing to war, you’ve got to be there to back him up,” Charg­ers run­ning back Melvin Gor­don said. “You can’t be afraid. You can’t be scared. Some­times, you’ve got to go in there, even if it’s not in your char­ac­ter.”

Or­der was re­stored … for about five min­utes. In an 11on-11 play, Rams cor­ner­back E.J. Gaines and Charg­ers re­ceiver Ja­maal Jones got tan­gled up away from the ball and came up fight­ing. The two were quickly sur­rounded by play­ers who be­gan shov­ing each other and throw­ing punches.

Later, on a spe­cial teams play, Charg­ers de­fen­sive end Chris McCain got into a fight with Robey-Cole­man and Gaines. Charg­ers coach An­thony Lynn had seen enough. He kicked McCain out of prac­tice.

“At some point, you have to make an ex­am­ple out of some­body,” Lynn said. “We weren’t gonna fight all day.”

Did Lynn come close to call­ing the prac­tice?

“You know, I don’t want to just get on the bus and go home,” he said. “I like to work through things, and that’s what we did. … We had a pro­duc­tive prac­tice af­ter all the fight­ing and ev­ery­one set­tled down.”

The Rams and Charg­ers don’t play each other in the reg­u­lar sea­son, but they will square off in an Aug. 26 pre­sea­son game in the Coli­seum.

“I think we’ve built a nice lit­tle ri­valry against the Rams,” Gor­don said. “That’s kind of what I got out of to­day.”

Gor­don said it’s im­por­tant to de­velop some feisti­ness, “but not to the point where we’re fight­ing,” he said. “We’ve got to play clean and smart foot­ball. On game day we’ve got to be a lot smarter, min­i­mize what we did to­day. But you want that grit. You want that kind of fire. You’ve got to know how to con­trol it.”

Etc.

Among the high­lights for the Charg­ers on Wed­nes­day were two touch­down passes from Rivers to Allen dur­ing red-zone drills, a knock­down of a Jared Goff pass by de­fen­sive tackle Corey Li­uget, a 49-yard field goal by Josh Lambo (Younghoe Koo was wide right from that dis­tance) and a nice roll-out pass from re­serve quar­ter­back Cardale Jones to Ar­tavis Scott. Jones also missed a read, and a short pass was picked off by Troy Hill, who had a clear shot to the end zone. Vet­eran tight end An­to­nio Gates also caught at least six passes. … Re­ceiver Tyrell Wil­liams sat out be­cause of what Lynn called “tired legs.” Cor­ner­back Casey Hay­ward’s day was cut short by what ap­peared to be a mi­nor ankle in­jury. Re­serve tight end Jeff Cum­ber­land was helped off the field af­ter suf­fer­ing what ap­peared to be a leg in­jury. … Cor­ner­back Jason Ver­rett, re­cov­er­ing from knee surgery, par­tic­i­pated in seven-on-seven drills.

Mark J. Ter­rill As­so­ci­ated Press

RAMS cor­ner­back E.J. Gaines is on top of Charg­ers re­ceiver Ja­maal Jones at UC Irvine.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.