First, let me say that I don't attach too much importance to the preseason games in general.
There is a reason they don't count. Much of the time on the field is taken up by guys who either won't make the team or won't play much. Defenses are typically very "vanilla," offenses usually don't go too deep into the playbook. It's mostly about trying to see who can make the team, and not preserving the starters from injury. I have seen some positives and a couple of big negatives.
-The receivers as a group have looked good. Cooper Kupp may end up being one of the steals of the draft. Josh Reynolds looked good Saturday against the Chargers (I started to write San Diego). Sammy Watkins hasn't played a whole lot, but as long as he stays healthy, I'm not concerned about him. The tight ends, both Everett and Higbee, have looked good as well.
-Goff has looked better and more confident. He hasn't been perfect, but he doesn't have the “deer in the headlights" look we saw last season. Sean Mannion has played very well. I'm not one of those calling for him to start--Goff is the guy, at least for now--but Mannion has played about as well as we could hope for under the circumstances.
-Maybe the biggest plus of all has been defense, especially considering Aaron Donald has yet to see the field. I'm concerned about his absence, especially with a new defense that's in place. Still, the D has mostly been outstanding. Maybe Wade is a genius.
-The right side of the O-line is a huge concern. In my opinion, Brown and Havenstein have the talent to be at least adequate, maybe even good. Sadly, they haven't shown that so far, and the time is growing short.
As any coach from Junior High School to the NFL will tell you, turnovers are critical. If the Rams do a better job of taking care of the ball against the Chargers, they probably would be 3-0. Some of this may be preseason jitters and learning a new system, let's remain optimistic.
Overall, if I had to give the Rams a preseason grade, it would be a solid B, especially considering the fact of a new coaching staff. There are serious problems that still need to be fixed if the Rams are going to be even a .500 team in 2017.
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