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Video – Football Gameplan’s 2019 NFL Team Preview: Los Angeles Rams

Football Gameplan’s 2019 NFL Team Preview: Los Angeles Rams

00:49 – 4-Minute Offense

2:19 – Positional Breakdown

8:09 – Hunt’s Playbook

11:59 – Fantasy Focus

15:03 – Best Bets

15:35 – Training Camp Quick Takes

18:26 – Road to the Super Bowl

Rams Strength and Conditioning Coach Ted Rath Found Not Guilty of Sexual Battery

Rams strength and conditioning coach Ted Rath was found not guilty of three counts of sexual battery in a California courtroom Friday according to Megan Diskin of the Ventura County Star.

The jury deliberated for about an hour before returning the verdict according to the paper. The 35-year-old Rath was arrested January 15 for an alleged June 2018 incident involving a woman he knew. She accused Rath of touching her buttocks and genitalia while she slept in her Southern California residence.

Rath declined to speak with the paper after the verdict but has maintained he does not remember what happened that night, with only “snapshots” of memory,” according to the newspaper, and his defense attorneys pointed to medication he was taking after a stroke as a possible cause.

The Rams placed Rath on a leave of absence after the arrest. Team spokesmen gave the following statement to the paper Friday night: “We are aware of today’s verdict. Now that this trial is complete, we will revisit Ted Rath’s status. In addition, we will continue to assist the NFL as it completes its separate investigation.”

Three Questions About the Rams as Training Camp Gets Closer

Following a season in which the Rams went 13-3 and made it to the Super Bowl before losing to the Patriots, there’s a level of excitement about the team as 2019 approaches.

Now that the calendar has turned to July, the start of training camp is closing in and things are ramping up for the franchise to get ready for 2019.

Today we take a quick look at three questions about this team as they get set to embark on what they hope will be a season playing into early February.

1. Gurley’s Knee

There was a lot made out of the fact that Gurley was basically a non-factor in the NFC Title win over the Saints, and then the Super Bowl loss to the Pats.

His knee is a huge question mark as camp gets going, and the 24-year-old may be living on borrowed time as he may have to either sit or have some type of surgery.

Last season the Rams’ workhorse rushed for 1251 yards and 17 scores, but his body wore down in the playoffs.

All eyes will be on Gurley in camp, as people want to know if the knee will let him return to All-Pro form?

2. Super Bowl Hangover

The Rams 13-3 mark allowed them to host a playoff game then they pulled off the OT win over the Saints in New Orleans before the lackluster Super Bowl loss.

It’s very difficult for teams to get back to the Bowl a second straight time, and if you look back the Seahawks in 2014-15 were able to repeat as NFC Champs, but before that no NFC team had a repeat trip to the Bowl since the 1993-94 Dallas Cowboys.

It might be the biggest task of coach Sean McVay to get the team focused from day one and making sure they don’t realize that just putting your helmet on the field isn’t enough in the NFL to win games.

3. Who Fills in for Suh?

Last season the Rams got a solid season from Ndamukong Suh, who at the defensive tackle/nose tackle spot put up 4.5 sacks, and was a solid force on the line most of the year.

Suh is gone after one season with the Rams, inking a free agent deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The likely candidate to take the spot of Suh is Tanzel Smart, a 6th round pick of the Rams back in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Smart played in all 16 games last season, starting four for the Rams. He’ll get a long look at camp to be a starter for the team.

Rams Resereve OL Aaron Neary Slapped with Four-Game Suspension

Already short on proven depth up front, the Rams will be without one of their reserve offensive lineman for the first month of the 2019 season, Ryan Kartje of the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Aaron Neary, a reserve interior lineman and mainstay on the Rams practice squad, was suspended for four games without pay Friday for a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Neary, who was expected to be on the roster bubble during training camp, remains eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.

If the Rams elect to keep him on the team through his suspension, Neary will be eligible to return to the active roster following the team’s Sept. 29 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Chris Long Calls Aaron Donald the “Best Football Player in the World’

Chris Long said he knew in summer 2014, before Aaron Donald played one snap with the then-St. Louis Rams, that the former Pitt standout would be as good as he is, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

“I would like to credit myself with being the first person know he was going to be amazing,” Long said with a smile during Part 4 of this week’s “Huddle Up with Gus” podcast. “We used to joke his rookie camp that he was going to be in the Hall of Fame, but I kind of wasn’t joking.”

Long, son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long, played his first eight seasons with the Rams, including 2014 and ‘15 — Donald’s first two seasons in the NFL. Long was drafted second overall in the 2008 NFL Draft out of Virginia and retired in May with 70 career sacks and 15 forced fumbles.

He called Donald “the best football player in the world, in my opinion.”

“I’ve never seen anybody work so hard, who had so much talent and play so violent and play with such tenacity,” he said. “This guy would fight you on the field at the drop of a hat, and I respect that about him, and outworks everybody.

“I would be the last person in the film room usually at the end of camp, and I would go in there and watch tape once everybody was at home. I started going in there an opening the door and turning the lights on to find my pen or notebook, and he was in there every night.”

Todd Gurley’s Trainer Confirms Rams RB Has “Arthritic” Condition in Knee

The trainer for Todd Gurley has confirmed that the star Rams running back is dealing with an “arthritic component to his knee” according to Dave Richard of CBS Sports.

“Everybody knew when Todd came out of Georgia that there would be some kind of arthritic component to his knee,” trainer Travelle Gaines said.

“He’s now at the year-five mark, all we’re doing is managing that. If we can pound him less in the offseason while keeping his weight down, working on his strength, working on his agility in short areas, that’s going to give him a better chance to be healthy Weeks 14 through 17 when they really count.”

Gaines also said he has not been told the Rams plan to limit Gurley’s workload to keep him fresh, although their offseason moves paint a pretty clear picture.

The Rams moved up in the draft to select running back Darrell Henderson in the third round. Henderson flashed big-play ability at Memphis, delivering 2,204 yards from scrimmage (1,909 rushing, 295 receiving) with 25 total touchdowns as a junior in 2018.

Jared Goff Will Get His Extension – Sean McVay Says There’s No Chance He Won’t

Rams head coach Sean McVay says there is “zero percent chance” the team will not extend quarterback Jared Goff’s contract according to a tweet from Michael Silver of NFL.com.

McVay said he was “fed up” with talk that the Rams might pursue greener pastures at quarterback. “All the narratives out there are wrong,” McVay said. “Jared and I couldn’t be more connected, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of him as our leader. … That extension will get done. It’s a matter of if, not when.”

Questions have been surfacing about the Rams’ longterm commitment to Goff ever since the Philadelphia Eagles locked Carson Wentz down to a four-year, $128 million contract, with the theory being that McVay is such a genius that he could turn any QB into a Pro Bowl-caliber player and might prefer a player with more star power.

But Goff threw for over 4,600 yards in 2018, had a 32-12 touchdown-to-interception ratio, and led his team to the Super Bowl. The reality is that the Rams have two seasons before they have to extend Goff-but there seems little doubt they will eventually do so.

New Rams Tailback Darrell Henderson Excited About the System in Los Angeles

In the aftermath of Super Bowl LIII and Todd Gurley’s slowdown at the end of the 2018 season, the Rams opted not to find another backup running back to boost the ground game in free agency. Instead, L.A. waited until the draft, specifically the third round, to grab their next tailback, Darrell Henderson.

An undersized speedster out of Memphis, Henderson already feels at home with the Rams, Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com reports.

“If you go back and watch my college film and you watch the Rams film, it’s the same,” Henderson told the Los Angeles Times this week. “I thought that was the best system I could get in. So everything worked out great. When I was talking to them, everything was clicking and we developed a relationship. The coaches told me they knew they were going to get me so it was the perfect fit.”

What you see on Henderson’s college film is a lot of yards and a lot of house calls. The Memphis running back left college with 3,545 rushing yards on 431 carries and 36 rushing touchdowns (44 in total). Henderson averaged 8.2 yards per carry during his college career and 8.9 YPC during his final two seasons.

“Todd’s a great guy and he’s someone that every running back should want to learn from,” Henderson said. “Getting to be there with him and getting to work with him every day is an unbelievable opportunity. I’m just going to take the knowledge he gives me and watch how he works and learn from it and bring it to my game.”