NEWPORT BEACH — Rams coach Sean McVay briefly joked about his Super Bowl ring being too nice to wear before uttering a quick transition to officially start training camp for the 2022 season.
“Let’s turn the page,” McVay said.
Two days after receiving their Super Bowl rings, the Rams reported to training camp Saturday morning to begin their quest for back-to-back championships, something no team has done since the 2004-2005 New England Patriots.
Ending that drought is one of many reasons why the Rams aren’t concerned about a Super Bowl hangover. Motivation isn’t an issue, players said as they trickled into the team hotel in Newport Beach.
“You get to that point where you’ve celebrated enough,” Rams center Brian Allen said. “I know we just had the ring ceremony the other night, but we’re ready to keep building. … We want to win a Super Bowl this year. I think that’s the standard here and that’s the goal.”
What makes turning the page difficult for the Rams is the short turnaround from defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13 to needing to be mentally and physically prepared for training camp 160 days later.
Defensive end A’Shawn Robinson, who entered his seventh NFL season, flashed a smile when asked if he noticed a difference in his body after a Super Bowl run compared to shorter seasons.
“You feel a little bit of wear and tear,” Robinson said. “That’s fine.”
Many notable players are still dealing with the aches and pains from reaching the mountaintop six months ago. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey (shoulder), inside linebacker Travin Howard (groin), running back Kyren Williams (foot) and safety Quentin Lake (undisclosed injury) were placed on the physically unable to perform list Friday.
Howard is scheduled to have surgery this upcoming week, and Ramsey had his procedure last month. McVay wasn’t sure whether Ramsey will be available for the season opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 8.
“I think it’s going to be a long process, but a lot of it is the feedback from him and then when he has to really use that shoulder, just some of the different things where it’s stressed,” McVay said. “It’s hard to really simulate some of those things because you don’t ever really go live in practice settings, but I think a lot of it will depend on how he is feeling and then obviously the doctors giving him a full clearance.”
Quarterback Matthew Stafford, who didn’t throw a pass during the offseason program, is expected to be ready for the first training camp practice Sunday at UC Irvine. Stafford received an injection in his right elbow after the Super Bowl.
“He is going to be ready to go, but we will be smart with what that workload looks like within our four- and three-day work week increments,” McVay said.
Stafford doesn’t need many reps as a 14-year veteran, but his presence would help the offensive line find early chemistry with Joe Noteboom taking over at left tackle after Andrew Whitworth’s retirement and with the opening at right guard.
The Rams don’t have many starting positions to fill with plenty of depth and star power across the roster, making them Super Bowl contenders again. But McVay understands plenty needs to go right, including health, to repeat as champions, and the organization is making sure McVay is around to deliver more than two Super Bowls.
McVay revealed that he and general manager Les Snead are close on agreeing to contract extensions with the team and added that it’s likely both deals get done before the regular season.
“I wouldn’t want to put a timetable on it, but I’d say more than likely,” McVay said. “But again, these things can kind of drag on as we all know, but I do feel really good about the direction and all the conversations that have been had as it relates to myself and Les.”
Money and motivation aren’t issues, as the Rams turn the page to 2022.