IRVINE — Turns out, the Rams’ receivers have been showing a lot of poise during training camp.
The Rams’ defensive backs have been loud and feisty throughout training camp. They celebrate plays on the sidelines and aren’t afraid to let receivers known when they get the better of the on-field action. Not surprisingly, things got more physical Wednesday when the Chargers visited UC Irvine.
Three fights broke out in less than a half-hour, early in Wednesday’s joint practice, and all three involved Rams cornerbacks. Somehow, they even managed to fight during a special-teams drill.
“I’m from Stockton, man,” Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson said. “Stockton came out of me. It really did. I’m not going to take mess from nobody. I don’t care who it is.”
In this case, it was Chargers receiver Dontrelle Inman who got into a shove fight with Johnson, then got taken down hard by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman (who in turn got leveled himself). Later, Robey-Coleman took another big hit after a play, and E.J. Gaines got involved in two of the fights.
Johnson said the first fight started when he and Inman jostled during a 1-on-1 drill and Inman kept his hands in Johnson’s facemask for an excessive period.
“I let it go, tried to play it off,” Johnson said, “but at the end of the play he got in my face. I’m not going to let anybody disrespect me.”
Welcome to the Rams’ secondary of 2017, which has taken on a new attitude. Players have described the system of new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips as being defensive back-friendly, and the cornerbacks in particular seem refreshed, motivated and perhaps a little too full of fight.
“We are the bus drivers,” Robey-Coleman said. “That’s what Coach AP (secondary coach Aubrey Pleasant) and Coach Sean McVay preach. They tell us to be the bus drivers, to go out there every day and set the tempo, and that’s why we were so close today.”
There’s also plenty of internal competition,…