Rookies get moving at the first day of Rams’ rookie minicamp
Identifying and then selecting specific pieces for new coach Sean McVay’s offense was the Rams’ clear goal in the recent NFL draft.
On Friday, McVay and his staff got their initial opportunity to work with tight end Gerald Everett and receivers Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds during the first day of a two-day rookie camp.
With quarterback Jared Goff looking on, about 50 players — including eight draft picks, undrafted free agents and tryout players — went through two workouts in Thousand Oaks.
McVay said he was not looking for perfect execution of plays by rookies who learned them a few hours before.
“You just want to see these guys move around and compete,” McVay said after the first workout.
Tight end Gerald Everett, a second-round pick from South Alabama, described it as a “change of pace” from college.
“But I feel like I handled it extremely well and cut it loose today,” he said. “I caught some deep balls, and I felt like I was moving pretty well.”
Kupp, a third-round pick from Eastern Washington, showed the skills that helped him become the all-time receiving leader in the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision.
“There’s still a lot of thinking going on, making sure that you get your assignment right, and alignment, and all the things that come with that,” Kupp said. “But it’s a lot of fun.”
At 6-foot-3, Reynolds is the tallest receiver on the roster. The fourth-round pick from Texas A&M used his size to make several impressive plays.
“He brings an element of not only a big, rangy target, but he did show some very good speed down the field,” offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur said.
Reynolds said that after he was drafted by the Rams he “googled the head coach. That’s the first thing you got to do.”
Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco, he said, were his favorite players while growing up.
“They were scrappy, man,” he said.
Asked if he would adopt their touchdown celebrations, he said, “I’ll try. I don’t know if I can get to where they were. But I’ll try.”
Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips liked the effort he saw from a group that included linebackers Samson Ebukam and Ejuan Price, defensive lineman Tanzel Smart and safety John Johnson.
“They’re running around like a chicken with their heads cut off, some of them,” he said. “But that’s a good thing.”
Ebukam experienced a memorable first impression of the 69-year-old Phillips, who has been coaching in the NFL since 1976.
“He’s an old dude, and I thought he was just going to be one of those hard-ass dudes that’s just like ‘Do this, do this do this,’ ” Ebukam said. “But he’s chill, man. Like, he’s just right there trying to get you better.”
Bryan Scott played quarterback at Division III Occidental, but it was his performance while throwing to receivers at USC’s pro day workout in March that helped him earn an opportunity as a tryout player with the Rams.
“That helped get me some exposure to NFL teams,” Scott said of USC’s pro day. “I wanted to show what I can do on a big stage and I’m just really lucky and fortunate the Rams gave me the opportunity.
“I’m humbled to be out here with these guys.”
But not intimidated.
Scott, who played at Palos Verdes High, passed for 9,073 yards at Occidental, breaking the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference record. He was known as the Aaron Rodgers of Division III.
“I’m confident with what I can do on the field,” he said. “When you get to this level I think everybody has a certain amount of respect for each other whether you’re drafted, or a free-agent who has signed or not signed.”
Quarterbacks Matt Davis, who played at Southern Methodist, and Dylan Thompson, who played at South Carolina and had a stint with the Rams, are also at camp.
On Thursday, the Rams released Aaron Murray, leaving Goff and back-up Sean Mannion as the only quarterbacks on the roster.
Scott is not getting ahead of himself.
“My goal right now is just to get better in the second practice,” he said, “and to be a great leader to my teammates and a great teammate.”
The rookies conclude the minicamp with a workout on Saturday…. Former UCLA cornerback Ishmael Adams and center Alex Kozan from Auburn, who had agreed to terms on free-agent contracts after the draft, were released before the start of camp.
Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein
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