The Los Angeles Rams were finally able to get their first taste of real NFL action in the preseason opener versus the Oakland Raiders after getting well-acquainted with them during the joint training camp practice sessions.
Rams head coach Sean McVay’s decision to sit the bulk of his starters in the preseason has allowed the coaching staff to get an ample look at their backups across the board. Although the lack of offense was hardly inspiring, the Rams can take solace in an overall solid outing from the defense.
The secondary played an integral role in limiting the Raiders to just 14 points after forcing two interceptions of quarterback Mike Glennon. McVay was pleased to see what his depth in this group had to offer.
According to Stu Jackson of the team’s official website, he shared high praise for Darious Williams following the loss to Oakland and added that there could be a battle brewing between Williams and Kevin Peterson for a spot on the roster.
– In addition to echoing praise for S Taylor Rapp's play, McVay said CB Darious Williams was another player who stood out on Saturday vs. Oakland.
– Play of Williams, Kevin Peterson and others has created a "positive problem" to have when it comes to competition sixth CB spot.
— Stu Jackson (@StuJRams) August 12, 2019
The Rams have put an emphasis on shoring up the star power in their secondary in recent years. It started with the tandem of Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters last year and their approach carried over into this offseason after they paired Eric Weddle with John Johnson III over the top.
Regardless, the importance of having quality depth in the secondary has been magnified by the pass-heavy nature of today’s NFL. Los Angeles experienced this firsthand while they dealt with injuries to both Talib and Peters throughout the 2018 campaign.
The onus is now on the Rams to make sure some of their homegrown players are up to the task in case their number is called during the regular season. While each of the aforementioned players managed to catch McVay’s eye during the preseason opener, they will need to prove they are capable of doing it on a consistent basis over the next three weeks.
Both Peterson and Steven Parker did themselves plenty of favors by picking off Glennon to top their strong overall performance. McVay’s comments indicate that he and Wade Phillips may have a tough time deciding which among these young faces they should keep around.
Williams is a promising young player that has been in the organization for almost a year, so if he continues to improve then he has a good chance of cracking the 53-man roster.