As the Rams emerge from their bye on a two-game losing streak and with a trip to Lambeau Field up next, their preparations were impacted by the combination of: (1) high winds; and (2) the lingering absence of an indoor practice facility.
On Thursday, the Rams were forced to limit their on-field work due to wind.
“It kind of forced us to be in a walk-through, ‘above the neck’ setting only,” coach Sean McVay told reporters on Friday. “Our guys handled it really well. I think that’s a credit to the maturity of the team. It was really windy out here and so it kind of ran counterintuitive to really be able to get the work in that we wanted, but we were able to get a lot of reps. We’re able to still get all the meetings and the information that we wanted to get communicated to the guys. And on a positive note, you got them out a little bit earlier, so they were able to spend Thanksgiving with their family and their loved ones. And then today, we’ll just get a couple more physical reps than what we’re typically accustomed to on a Friday. But it actually works out just fine because we’re coming off the bye. Guys have had a good bounce in their step all week. And so that’s kind of how we’ve handled that.”
He was asked whether he is concerned about the ability to prepare the team for a critical showdown against the Packers, who have lost two of their last three games and surely feel equal urgency to turn things around.
“I just try to concern myself with the things that I can control,” McVay said. “That’s really where I kind of try to spend my time and energy. Would you have liked to have a normal practice? Yeah sure, but I think you try to just deal with the hand that you’re dealt. And I was really pleased with our guys, and you say, ‘Okay, well what’s the positive in this?’ We’re going to be fresher. We’re able to adjust coming off the bye today. So those are things that I don’t really think too much about other than how can we maximize the situation and the circumstances that we are dealt with to put ourselves in a position to play at our best on Sunday.”
That’s called making chicken salad, especially since the Rams (frankly) still share one key trait with the so-called chicken shit operation. They still don’t have an indoor practice facility.
“Well, it gives you more flexibility but on a positive like you mentioned, this isn’t anything that we’re not accustomed to dealing with now being the fifth year here,” McVay said. “In some instances you can definitely pull some positives, but those are those are things that again, it is kind of out of my control. We’ve gotten comfortable dealing with those circumstances. And the nice thing too is, you guys saw us do this last year, in a lot of instances we’d say, ‘OK, let’s go somewhere else’ or maybe ‘let’s go to SoFi,’ but because it was Thanksgiving all the things that we really value and that are important in making sure that you’re considerate of these guys with their family and their loved ones, all those things. That was why we took that approach. If this was another week maybe you explore going down to SoFi – if it’s available – or going to another venue to really get the totality of a of a full Thursday in-season practice. . . . And if it wasn’t Thanksgiving that might’ve been something that we would have explored.”
McVay was simply saying what he had to say, because there really wasn’t anything else he could have said. Football coaches love their routines, and they hate when those routines are disrupted. They probably also aren’t thrilled with having to act publicly like everything is fine, when obviously it’s not.
The Rams have been overpowered for two straight games. They last won four weeks ago, against the Texans. They need to get ready for the Packers. McVay’s plan for preparing became undermined by the weather and the wind and the absence of a way to easily avoid them. Complaining about that to reporters won’t make it any better, especially since he probably would have liked to say something like, “You know, that $790 million that Stan Kroenke is going to give to St. Louis could have built one hell of an indoor practice facility.”