In February this year, the Los Angeles Rams were in the Super Bowl, at the Mercedes Benz Stadium, in Atlanta.
Eight months later they were in Watford, preparing for a regular season game at Wembley Stadium, in London.
Head Coach Sean McVay and his team arrived at Heathrow Airport in the morning on Friday (OCT 25) ahead of their practice session and press conference.
In the mid-afternoon they held their Friday practice and went through their penultimate preparations ahead of a Saturday walkthrough.
Star players such as Aaron Donald, Todd Gurley and the star-studded receiver corps of Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks were all over on British soil, but still trying to keep their preparation as close to the same as usual.
The weather for practice was typically British, with some light rain that will surely help prepare them for Sunday.
During the open portion of the practice, Donald – a consecutive Defensive Player of the Year winner over the past two seasons – worked with the defensive line, going through techniques, stunts and alignments.
The offensive line walked through blocking assignments, and the QB’s and wide receivers were speaking amongst themselves ad deliberating with coaches during the media period, with their head coach nearby.
After their session, Coach McVay, Jared Goff, Aaron Donald and Eric Weddle spoke at a press conference with a mix of American and British media.
McVay spoke on how he feels about traveling to London for their ‘home’ game: “I think the fans are great. It’s a fun atmosphere and environment. It’s an awesome opportunity.”
Although he said he was looking forward to getting some rest, he applauded his players for staying focused: “I’m looking forward to catching up on sleep. The guys are handling it really well. We’re just treating it like any other game.”
Quarterback Jared Goff agreed that it’s been good to come over to the UK: “It’s been good to see all of the different supporters. It’s been great.”
Safety Eric Weddle has some experience playing in London, doing so once with the San Diego Chargers and one for the Baltimore Ravens.
After practice he said that he’s looking forward to returning: “I’m excited! I’ve played in London twice but I want to get my first win. It’s exciting.”
He seemed satisfied with the preparation, and ready to go: “The walk through was great, there was plenty of energy. Sunday can’t come soon enough.”
Ahead of facing the Bengals, who are currently 0-7, Aaron Donald was clear that the defense wouldn’t get complacent: “Nobody’s looking at their record. Everybody’s fully focused.”
McVay echoed his superstar defensive lineman, saying: “If you watch the Bengals on tape, they’re actually a really competitive football team. We need to go out there and win.”
The Rams vs Bengals kicks off at 5PM, and will be available to watch in the UK on Sky Sports Action. Los Angeles are looking to regain their momentum after bouncing back last week for their first win since Week 3.
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