NAPA (AP) — Jared Goff hoped the Los Angeles Rams would be much crisper in their first joint practice with the Oakland Raiders than they were last week against the Chargers.
A broken play capped by Goff’s scramble and touchdown throw to tight end Gerald Everett in heavy traffic was all the evidence the Rams’ fourth-year quarterback needed.
“Today was a good day,” Goff said Wednesday following the two-hour practice at the Raiders’ training camp facility. “We raised our intensity. Kind of sharpened some things up and just raised that intensity level, that standard, and I think it showed today.”
Goff made several strong throws against the Raiders defense, including a long touchdown to Robert Woods that was called back when Woods was flagged for offensive interference after pushing off against Gareon Conley.
Rams coach Sean McVay argued with a referee, claiming that Conley was sitting on the route and not in position to make a play.
“I knew that route,” Conley said.
“You didn’t know that route,” McVay shot back. “He would have diced your (butt).”
That was about as chippy as things got between the two teams in their first of two joint practices. During one punting drill, Oakland’s Nevin Lawson was blocked to the ground then got up and slapped the facemask of the Rams’ Ramon Richards. The two exchanged words but nothing else happened.
“That falls solely on the head coaches and their leadership and how they teach,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “There was maybe one time where someone got shoved a little too late. We’ll live with that, if it’s not what happened in my rookie year in Dallas where fans are trying to fight Cowboys players.”
Former Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch and former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski were on hand for the dual practices.
One player not in attendance was Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown, who has not yet taken part in a full practice because of a foot ailment.
ESPN reported Wednesday that Brown has been dealing with a case of frostbite suffered while getting cryotherapy treatment in France last month.
Raiders coach Jon Gruden did not talk to reporters after the joint practice with the Rams and has said he will not talk about Brown’s situation until it changes.
Carr, who joined Brown for multiple private workouts in the offseason, doesn’t sound too concerned.
“We know that when he’s healthy and when we get him back we’ll be rolling,” Carr said.
McVay sounded disappointed that the Rams cornerbacks missed a chance to practice against Brown.
“I would have loved to have gotten some work in against him,” McVay said. “That’s a bummer for all of us.”
The two teams practiced separately during individual position drills before coming together for joint scrimmages on both fields. Carr opened a 7-on-7 drill with a long pass for Tyrell Williams that was intercepted by Aqib Talib. Later during a full scrimmage, Carr audibled to a deep throw that Williams dropped after beating Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman.
Still, Carr was pleased to go against an opponent after spending the previous nine practices facing Oakland’s own defense.
“These days are better than a preseason game because we get to get blitz work, we get to get third-down work, second-and-long work, and we get to see a different defense,” Carr said. “When the scheme is different, that right there is so valuable. Now you can go to the film and coach off of it and teach and correct. I’d rather do this any day. This stuff is good work.”
Note: Rams running back Todd Gurley will likely be held out Thursday as he continues to work his way back from a left knee injury. “He’s feeling good, he’s making steady progressions and it’s been a progressive build,” McVay said. “It’s still geared toward that opener against the Panthers. He hasn’t had any soreness setbacks.”