Rams players are picking up the intensity in practice as the defense is showing an edge early on in training camp.
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (KABC) -- The new normal of NFL training camps is still far from normal.
"All of us are just amped up to try and get football off (and running)," said Rams offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth, a 15-year veteran. "I think it just makes you appreciate it so much more."
What is normal is the intensity of practice. Men fighting for jobs creates a competitive edge that's not normally seen in a regular season workout.
But without a preseason, it will be a balancing act.
"I think that's one of the things that separates the pros from some of these younger guys - they understand how to practice full speed and not let their emotions get in the way," said Rams head coach Sean McVay.
"They know how to play the game the right way under the parameters that we're operating under," McVay added.
At the end of practice, the Rams went through a full 11-on-11 scrimmage. Their young rookie running back Cam Akers from Florida State busted a long run to the right. But then another former FSU alum, Jalen Ramsey, delivered a welcome-to-the-NFL hit.
"I think it was a good, physical, smart real play," McVay said. "We just don't want to take those shots from the side. That (Ramsey hit) was a frontal shot, and that's what makes Jalen a special corner."
The Rams new, and what they hope is an improved defense, has an edge to it early in camp. But their identity will evolve over time.
"You can be dominate one week, and not show up the next week, so you have to be consistent," said Rams Pro Bowl defensive lineman Aaron Donald.
The Rams moved practices to the morning to beat the heat, but the priority remains to beat their opponents.