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After latest cuts, Rams’ roster has a youthful feeling

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay works with players.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay works with players as the team conducts practice at the Rams training facility in Thousand Oaks August 18, 2020 in preparation for the 2020 National Football League season.
(Al Seib/Los Angeles Times)

A young Rams coaching staff will direct a young team.

That came into clearer focus Saturday as the Rams moved closer to trimming their roster to the NFL-mandated 53-player maximum.

After cutting nine more players and adding one to an injured reserve list, coach Sean McVay will commence preparing for the Sept. 13 season opener against the Dallas Cowboys with a team that skews young.

McVay, the NFL’s youngest head coach at 34, oversees a staff that includes offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell, 35, and defensive coordinator Brandon Staley, 37, and many other assistants in their 30s.

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With one roster spot to fill, the average age for players is 25.1 years old. Running back Cam Akers and safety Terrell Burgess are the youngest at 21, offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth the oldest at 38.

“It’s a lot more youthful, and that’s kind of a good thing to me,” safety John Johnson, 24, told reporters during a videoconference. “You’ve got guys that are going to run, give you their all every play, every snap, for hopefully a whole season. That’s just the biggest difference I see. But you know, [we’ve] all been here. We’ve all been reppin’. We’ve all been getting these reps underneath our belts, so we’ll be ready to go. But I just say, you know, the age thing is like the biggest thing to me.”

Said McVay: “We’ve got some guys that are young players, but they are mature football players.”

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The roster includes some notably large and small position groups, including 10 offensive linemen and only three inside linebackers.

McVay indicated that the roster was fluid.

“It’s not like your roster is set and that’s what it is for the entire year,” McVay said. “You see a lot of flexibility toward the bottom half of the roster, especially with [special] teams, injuries and different things like that.”

After waiving 17 players Friday, the Rams on Saturday waived defensive linemen Marquise Copeland, Michael Hoecht and Jonah Williams, linebackers Clay Johnston, Natrez Patrick, Christian Rozeboom and Justin Lawler, defensive back Dont’e Deayon and quarterback Bryce Perkins. Defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson was placed on non-injury reserve, leaving the Rams with 52 players and one open spot.

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McVay said the Rams would peruse the waiver wire to potentially add a player. If there is no one of interest, the Rams would promote a player from the practice squad, which will be announced Sunday.

“We’re open-minded to all options,” McVay said, adding, “We always knew we’d have that spot to give with what we did with A’Shawn Robinson. We kind of had that in our back pocket to at least have one spot if there was someone we were interested in claiming.”

L.A. rapper and community activist Stix recently partnered with the Los Angeles Rams on a music video addressing racial inequality.

Running back Xavier Jones, receiver Trishton Jackson and defensive lineman Eric Banks are undrafted free agents who made the roster.

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On Friday, after an intense training camp kicking competition with Lirim Hajrullahu and Austin MacGinnis, rookie Samuel Sloman learned that he had won the job.

“I was definitely really, really happy with my last week,” Sloman, a seventh-round draft pick from Miami of Ohio, said Saturday. “I was hitting the ball really, really well, but I thought throughout most of camp I was pretty consistent.”

Etc.

McVay said rookie linebacker Terrell Lewis, who has been sidelined because of an unspecified knee issue, will not play against the Cowboys. ... The Rams are off Sunday.

Rams roster

Quarterbacks (2): Jared Goff, John Wolford

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Running backs (4): Malcolm Brown, Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, Xavier Jones

Receivers (6): Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, Van Jefferson, Nsimba Webster, Trishton Jackson

Tight ends (4): Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, Johnny Mundt, Bryce Hopkins

Offensive linemen (10): Andrew Whitworth, Joe Noteboom, Austin Blythe, Austin Corbett, Rob Havenstein, Bobby Evans, David Edwards, Brian Allen, Tremayne Anchrum, Coleman Shelton

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Defensive linemen (6): Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Greg Gaines, Morgan Fox, Eric Banks

Outside linebackers (5): Leonard Floyd, Samson Ebukam, Obo Okoronkwo, Terrell Lewis, Jachai Polite

Inside linebackers (3): Micah Kiser, Kenny Young, Troy Reeder

Cornerbacks (4): Jalen Ramsey, Troy Hill, Darious Williams, David Long

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Safeties (5): John Johnson, Taylor Rapp, Terrell Burgess, Jordan Fuller, Nick Scott

Kicker (1): Samuel Sloman

Punter (1): Johnny Hekker

Long snapper (1): Jake McQuaide


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