The preseason for the most part is meaningless unless you are a player trying to make it to the final 53. However, if there are two important games in the preseason it is the second and third game.
It is in those games that the starters are going to get a good amount of playing time especially in the third game as that is considered the dress rehearsal.
While the Rams and Chiefs will no longer be playing for the Governor’s Cup, there will still be plenty of reasons to watch especially on the Rams’ side. Jared Goff will get some time with the first team offense and Todd Gurley will also get some action. Here are five players to watch in Saturday’s game:
5. Jared Goff
As mentioned above, Goff will get some time with the first team offense against the Kansas City Chiefs. After going just 4/9 for 38 yards and an interception in the first game, we’ll be looking for some improvement.
According to Goff and Fisher, the rookie quarterback is improving daily, and after having some live-game snaps under his belt, it will be interesting to see if he progresses in his second game. If Goff wants to start week one, it is key that he plays well with the first team on Saturday.
4. EJ Gaines
Gaines is certainly a player to keep an eye on. It will be the first live game action that he will have played in since hurting his foot in the first preseason game last year.
The Rams’ secondary did not play well last week, therefore they need a guy like Gaines to step up and play like he did two years ago in his rookie season. It will be interesting to see how Gaines plays in his first game back especially after dealing with some injuries in camp.
3. Pharoh Cooper
The Rams rookie receiver didnt show up on the stat sheet last week against the Cowboys aside from a two kick returns, a punt return, and a drop on offense as a receiver. Cooper has some high expectations going into this year as there is no questioning his playmaking ability.
However, his drop last week was inexcusable and was a play that he has to be able to make. Look for him to bounce back this week and make a few plays as a receiver. In the same ways that the Rams used Nelson Spruce against the Cowboys and how they use Tavon Austin on a week to week basis, they will need to try and use Cooper in a similar way.
2. Ian Seau
A sleeper to make the roster, Seau had a very good game last week against the Cowboys, and if he plays like that again, he could have a shot at making the final 53. He had one sack, and almost came away with a second late in the game.
The nephew of Junior Seau, the Hard Knocks crew got some coverage of the defensive end in the last episode. Talking to Jon Gruden, defensive line coach Mike Waffle said of Seau, “has a great get off like his uncle did. I think he can really do something in this league as a pass rusher.” He’s a stretch to make the roster, but another solid week and he might make it past the second half of the preseason.
1. Alec Ogletree
The Rams defense was not good in the first preseason game in any aspect, run or pass. It will only be the second preseason game, but the first unit has to be better. After the game Ogletree said,
“We just weren’t getting lined up like we were supposed to and we weren’t being physical enough for our style of defense. It’s definitely all correctable. We’re going to nip it in the bud quick. It definitely falls on me. I talk to the guys and show them the pictures, show them what we’re supposed to be doing. They definitely listen to what I say and they take pride in what they do, but we’ve definitely got to start off on the right foot, and that’s getting lined up.”
The Rams could have a new quarterback on offense with Goff, but something that is kind of flying under the radar is that they also have a new quarterback on defense. This is Ogletree’s first time playing the middle linebacker spot. Look for him to get more comfortable and confident as the weeks go on making calls at the line of scrimmage.