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The Rams: Players to Watch
By Amanda Scurlock, Sports Writer
Published August 10, 2016
Los Angeles Rams 2016 Family Day at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, Ca on August 6, 2016. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Full Image 360)

Los Angeles Rams 2016 Family Day at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, Ca on August 6, 2016. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Full Image 360)

This NFL season is nothing less than historic for Los Angeles. For the first time in over two decades, the Rams return to Los Angeles. The preseason kicks off on Saturday when they face the Dallas Cowboys in the Memorial Coliseum at 5:00 PM.

Last season, the Rams had an overall record of 7-9, finishing third in the NFC West and eighth in the National Conference. Among the players are great talent and interesting story lines. Here are a few players that you should know about.

Todd Gurley: After a rewarding rookie campaign, running back Gurley left the 2015 season with 1,106 rushing yards, the third rookie in Rams history to run 1000 yards in a season. He was also third in the league in yards and fifth in touchdowns with 10. Gurley’s efforts earned him a spot in the 2016 Pro-Bowl. A native of Baltimore, MD, Gurley rushed in 17 touchdowns during his rookie season at Georgia.

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“We were just excited being able to play at home for the first time,” Gurley said after the Rams Family Day on Saturday. “Everybody was a little amped up.”

Hometown Heroes: Both linebacker Akeem Ayers and head coach Jeff Fisher have returned to their birthplace. Ayers played football for Verbum Dei and UCLA; becoming a member of the All-Pac 10 first team in 2010. He is projected to be a starter this season after committing 68 tackles and three fumbles last season. Fisher, a native of Culver City, came on as coach in 2012. He improved the team quickly, the Rams was third in the NFL in sacks and second in the NFL in sacks per pass play in 2013. Fisher was a defensive back for Taft High School and USC.

Trumaine Johnson: A native of Stockton, CA, Johnson led the team last season with seven interceptions. After four years of contributing to the Rams’ defense, Johnson has executed 178 career tackles.

“The fans were special today,” Johnson said about Family Day. “Coming out the tunnel and [they’re] right over you calling your name. It’s a blessing.”

The Quarterbacks: Along with drafting former California quarterback Jared Goff, the Rams signed free agent Dylan Thompson. Case Keenum and Sean Mannion played for the Rams last season. Out of all the quarterbacks, Keenum has the most experience with three years of pro football under his belt. During his rookie season with the Houston Texans, Keenum made nine touchdown passes.

Keenum is destined to start this season however the fans at Family Day favored Goff, giving the 2016 overall first pick a sonorous roar in his entrance and after many of his completed passes during scrimmages.

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“Getting a cheer coming out the tunnel as everyone went through – it was nice,” Goff said. “I love the field here. It looks like they did something really nice with it.”

Categories: Football | Sports
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