Aaron Donald makes a joke during a break in practice , and Ndamukong Suh chuckle

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    Pretty soon, the entire Los Angeles Rams‘ defensive line is cracking up.This new defense is no laughing matter, though. Six months after the Rams assembled a remarkable collection of veteran talent, it’s finally all out on the practice field together.Michael Brockers, the other defensive lineman in the Rams’ fearsome https://www.ramsfanstore.com/Austin-Blythe-Jersey threesome up front, thinks the rest of the NFL should be wary.“Just backing out of the huddle and looking at all the talent we have is kind of surreal,” Brockers said. “I look back and I’m like, ‘Bro, we can be so crazy on this field.’ But it’s on paper first, so we have to go out there and prove why we’re so talented, why we’re so great.”Donald, Suh and Brockers have been together in practice for the first time over the past week while the Rams prepare for their opener in Oakland on Monday night. Cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib are eager to get on the field after barely playing in the preseason to see if this defense can live up to its enormous potential.The bulk of the defensive starters only got seven snaps together in the preseason. That’s still more than the offense, which didn’t play at all, and defensive coordinator Phillips doesn’t sound overly concerned.“I think they’re going to be really good,” Phillips said. “But it’s (about) meshing together and playing the right way. I have a lot of confidence in them. … We have a group that really likes football. Some teams or players I’ve been with, they played because they were good at it or whatever. But this group, they like football. They like playing football Jared Goff Color Rush Jersey , and some of them even like practicing, which is a little different.”Donald is the biggest key to the Rams’ aspirations, and the NFL’s defensive player of the year is going full-speed in practice after being away from the team for several months in a contract holdout. He won’t have any limit on his snaps in Oakland, coach Sean McVay confirmed Friday.“We’ve been missing that little puzzle piece, the final piece, so it’s been awesome,” Brockers said. “He’s been making some great jokes, and we’re just happy to have him back. … A.D. is a pro. He’s been studying the playbook. He’s been watching film. Literally, we plugged him in, and he knew everything he’s supposed to do. We haven’t had to slow down at all. We honestly picked up the tempo.”Donald missed the Rams’ 2017 season opener after ending his holdout one day earlier. This year, he signed his new contract last Friday and reported to the Rams in time to get ample work before the games begin.“You kind of know what to expect,” Donald said of his second straight late arrival. “But you’ve got the opportunity to come back and basically get six practices under my belt before the first game, so I think that’s going to be a big help for me, as far as getting adjusted out there.”Donald’s partnership with Suh has been hotly anticipated ever since the Rams outmaneuvered several suitors last March to sign Suh to a one-year deal.“He makes my job easier, you know?” Donald said. “When you’ve got guys out there like him and Brock next to you, you know the other guy is going to make plays, just like you make plays. You’re just a little bit more comfortable.”Any talk about the potential success of this defense comes with a giant caveat in the middle.While the defensive line and secondary are jam-packed with proven NFL talent Orlando Pace Jersey Black Friday , the Rams’ linebackers are mostly unproven at an elite level. What’s more, veteran inside linebacker Mark Barron seems increasingly unlikely to begin the season healthy after missing the first two days of practice this week with a flare-up of an Achilles tendon injury that has dogged him for months.Untested Cory Littleton is taking over for traded middle linebacker Alec Ogletree, the Rams’ leading tackler in four of the past five seasons. Samson Ebukam and Matt Longacre also are penciled into starting spots, and even defensive lineman Dominique Easley has taken practice reps as a pass-rushing outside linebacker.If Barron can’t play against the Raiders, Los Angeles is likely to put Ramik Wilson into the starting lineup for his Rams debut after three seasons in Kansas City.“He’s a smart player,” said Phillips, who played Wilson more extensively in the preseason than other probable regular-season contributors. “He’s started before in the league, and he’s played well when he’s been in there. He knows what to do.”___ TEMPE, Ariz. — In the first two games for Steve Wilks as an NFL head coach, his Arizona Cardinals have been outscored 58-6.In Sunday’s 34-0 drubbing by the Rams in Los Angeles, the Cardinals offense didn’t manage to cross midfield until the next-to-last play of the game.Arizona had five first downs and 137 total yards. That follows 213 yards the previous week against the Redskins.The Cardinals (0-2) are averaging 175 yards per game, dead last in the NFL and it’s not even close.“There’s a lot of self-inflicted stuff going on,” Wilks said Monday.The problems on offense are pretty much everywhere, he said. The offensive playbook will be scaled back and simplified for next Sunday’s home game against Chicago and the Cardinals must get David Johnson in open space to be his dynamic self.“Talking to (offensive coordinator) Mike (McCoy) this morning, talking to the staff, it’s some of the things that we’re going to try to do,” Wilks said https://www.ramsfanstore.com/Ethan-Westbrooks-Jersey , “Again, early on in the season, to me, guys are making mistakes, and this is throughout the league in the history because they’re overthinking. They’re trying to think too much and not execute, and I want the guys to go out there and play fast. So, we’re going to scale back, and we’re going to make sure we get these guys in the best position to be successful.”Sam Bradford remains the quarterback. Rookie Josh Rosen’s time has not yet come, Wilks said.“If I thought it was just that one position, I would be more than willing to say, `You know what? We need to make a change. We need a spark. We need something to happen,’” Wilks said. “But it’s just not Sam. There are numerous things, as I just mentioned, that collectively, we’ve got to get better and try to find a way to rectify these problems and be a little bit more productive on the offensive side of the ball and still try to get off the field on the defensive side of the ball to give these guys more opportunities.“So, it’s just not that one position.”Bradford, who is coming off another significant knee injury Deacon Jones Color Rush Jersey , completed 17 of 27 passes against Los Angeles but for only 90 yards. The team’s longest play was a 15-yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald. Arizona had just three plays of 10 yards or more. Bradford has 243 yards passing combined in two games.“Frustrating, to say the least,” Bradford said after the game. “I think to put so much work and so much effort into getting back on to the field and then to play the way we have in the past two weeks, I think it’s just really disappointing.”Wilks called Bradford’s play “inconsistent.”“Does he need to be a little more accurate? Yes,” Wilks said. “But that’s just not Sam. We need to get a little bit more protection. He needs to have a little bit more time to go through his progression.”Fitzgerald aggravated a sore hamstring in the Rams game and watched from the sidelines through much of the second half. He has missed just six games in his 15-year career.“Larry, we all know — you guys have been around here for a while — it’s going to be tough to keep Larry off the field,” Wilks said. “I’ve got to help Larry help himself, and that’s what I did yesterday. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure that he is ready to go on Sunday with the treatment and amount of reps that he gets in practice.”David Johnson, the talented running back who is supposed to be at the center of the offensive attack, has been limited mostly to runs up the middle. He carried 13 times for 48 yards against Los Angeles and caught one pass for three yards.“You look at some of his runs, and a lot of it is just David himself, just second effort kind of things,” Wilks said. “We’ve got to do a better job sustaining blocks, allowing David to get to that second level to where he’s so effective and making the guy miss. It starts upfront with the offensive line and again, with us just being more creative with the things that we’re doing with him.”Notes: Wilks was optimistic that the team would have DE Markus Golden (knee) and TE Jermaine Gresham (Achilles) back for the Bears game. Both are coming off surgery and neither has played this season.

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