Practice Report 12/30: Last Session of 2016
By Myles Simmons
Another season of practice has come and gone, with interim head coach John Fassel lamenting its ending.
“I guess the only thing on my mind now is I’m going to miss football practice,” Fassel said. “It’s great to always be able to come out here on the grass, huddle the guys up, and pick some dirt and grass up, and said this is pretty sacred stuff – this green grass and dirt that’s between the lines. Just never take it for granted. Practice is fun, man, and it’s a long time before we get to do it again. I’m going to miss it.”
The Rams will take on the Cardinals in the season finale for both teams. Los Angeles won the first divisional matchup with Arizona in Week 4, coming away with a 17-13 victory in a game that seems like it was played a very long time ago.
Though both the Cardinals and Rams are constituted differently than they were during the first quarter of the season, going against a fellow member of the NFC West can aid either team from a gameplan standpoint.
“It helps because you’re not going against somebody you don’t know, or you haven’t gone against them for the first time,” defensive tackle Michael Brockers said. “So, just going back looking at our old game, trying to see what we did good versus them the first time and kind of repeat it the second time, so we can leave the Coliseum with a victory.”
“it’s the same gameplan and a little more,” middle linebacker Alec Ogletree said. “You can’t base [your plan] on what you did last game [because it] is not going to happen the same way in this game. Each game is different.”
One element that’s unique to a Week 17 matchup is how teams will deal with players approaching milestones. Fassel cited running back Todd Gurley and Ogletree as two Rams who will likely be monitored for that reason in this game.
“‘Tree’ needs, I think, five more tackles to get his career best, or something like that,” Fassel said. “That would be a factor. Week 17, at this point in the season, you try to get guys to achieve their goals — whether if you have to manufacture a play-call, or something like that.”
There’s the incentives aspect of motivation, but then there’s also pride. That’s what Ogletree brought up when addressing how he’s staying in it for this final game.
“Just the fact that you get to suit up one more time with guys that you trained with all summer and it’s the last game of the season,” Ogletree said. “And it sucks that we don’t have one after this, but we have to put all our effort into this one game and go try to win.”
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