Rams News: Sean McVay Says Matthew Stafford Has ‘A Look In His Eye’ As Training Camp Begins
Sean McVay, Matthew Stafford, Rams
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With training camp set to get started, the expectations surrounding the Los Angeles Rams are much different than where they were a year ago. Sean McVay’s team was decimated by injuries last year with those suffered by wide receiver Cooper Kupp and quarterback Matthew Stafford completely destroying the Rams’ offense as a whole.

But Stafford is coming into this training camp healthy and even more encouraging, was healthy throughout the offseason which hasn’t been the case for him in quite some time. This allowed Stafford to do things for himself and with his teammates that he’s been unable to do prior and he is ready to come back with a vengeance this year.

“I think he’s in a great place,” McVay said about his quarterback as training camp begins. “He’s been able to get a lot of work done in this offseason that he really hasn’t in a handful of previous offseasons, so he’s able to establish a rhythm and a rapport with the guys that he’s going to be playing with. He feels great. I think you guys would all agree, you see Matthew Stafford, one of the greatest traits of him is his competitiveness and his toughness. And this guy’s a great competitor. We want to do everything in our power to make sure that we’re protecting him. We left him, whether it was play call scheme, there’s a lot of different reasons. We want to do a much better job of keeping him upright and there’s a lot of things that go hand in hand with that. But I know that he’s got a look in his eye, you guys saw, he’s having fun out there competing and that’s when the best competitors are at their best. When they’re just in the moment, they’re totally present, they’re having fun, they’re enjoying the opportunities and the challenges that this game presents. And I think that’s where his mindset is.

“You guys will be able to talk to him, but there was a zest and there was a bounce in his step. And when he feels good, people feel good around him, because he has that type of impact and that magnetism in terms of elevating people around him. And so that was something that’s really important. I think he’s excited about playing really good football this year and that’s kind of where our conversations have been. And I know we’re both excited to get going and he’s feeling really good based on our dialogue and that’s good for us.”

The competitive spirit and toughness of Stafford has been on display from the moment he entered the NFL. Many will remember him running back on the field as a rookie to throw a game-winning touchdown as time expired, despite separating his shoulder on the previous play. Having to miss so much of last season because of injury undoubtedly ate at Stafford and he’s ready to get things back on track.

But as McVay noted, the Rams have to do a better job of keeping Stafford off the ground. The place where injuries hit the Rams the worst was the offensive line and the team has gone through a complete overhaul upfront in hopes of doing exactly that. No offense can thrive without a good offensive line and the franchise understands that.

Stafford was not himself last season even before the injuries ultimately ended his year early, but it has been proven that he can have great success under McVay with the Rams. At 35 years old, some may be ready to write Stafford off, but he’s coming into this season with a lot to prove.

That competitiveness has pushed him to have the NFL career he’s had thus far and with some better help throughout the entirety of the Rams roster, he plans on silencing a lot of doubters with another outstanding season.