Rams, Bengals to hold joint training camp workouts in pseudo Super Bowl rematch ahead of final preseason game
While joint summer practices don’t typically get much hype, this summer’s joint practices between the Rams and Bengals will likely be an exception. Last year’s Super Bowl participants will hold two practices together in Cincinnati before their preseason game on Aug. 27. This will be the last pre-season game for both teams.
This will be the Bengals’ first joint practice under head coach Zac Taylor, who was assistant to Sean McVay’s coaching staff at Los Angles before coming to Cincinnati in 2019.
“They were open to coming here. They probably wouldn’t have done the other way around,” Taylor said of the joint practice, via the Bengals website. “He’s a coach I trust and I think two teams will work well together. A lot of these teams get paired up at the end of the season. We were two teams with no dance partner. We just jumped on the occasion. … We know how they practice, they know how we practice. There are a lot of similarities.”
Ironically, the joint practices will likely be more entertaining than the actual pre-season game between the two teams. Although his starters may have time in the preseason game, Taylor said they “will definitely have some work to do” during joint practices. It will be interesting to see how the rebuilt Bengals offensive line – which includes free agent signers Alex Cappa, Ted Karras and La’el Collins – fare against Aaron Donald and a Rams pass rush that sacked Joe. Burrow seven times in February Super Bowl.
“They’ve been great so far. They really take ownership of what they need to do to figure out the offense,” Burrow said recently of his new teammates on the offensive line. “To come here and give their all during the OTAs that we have. They’ve been great in the weight room, in the locker room. They’ve been everything we wanted.”
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The Bengals and Rams put on a show at Super Bowl LVI. The game was a back-and-forth affair that included several big plays on both sides of the ball. This also included controversy; Tee Higgins appeared to get away with illegal contact on his 75-yard touchdown catch to start the second half, while teammate Logan Wilson was the victim of a dodgy call late in the game as the Bengals shielded a 20-16 lead. The Rams scored several plays later when quarterback Matthew Stafford hit MVP Cooper Kupp for the game-winning touchdown.
By all accounts, the Rams and Bengals have strengthened their squads this offseason. Along with the offensive line, the Bengals bolstered their secondary with the acquisitions of rookies Daxton Hill, Cam Taylor-Britt and Tycen Anderson. The Rams added some youth to their offensive line with the selection of former Wisconsin star Logan Bruss. Los Angeles’ offseason rookies also included former Pro Bowl wide receiver Allen Robinson, former Pro Bowl Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner and defensive back Troy Hill, who returns to the team after a season in Cleveland. .
The Rams will be looking to become the first team since the 2003-04 Patriots to successfully defend their title. The Bengals are looking to avoid joining the list of Super Bowl finalists who don’t make the playoffs the following season. But before they begin their journeys in Week 1, the two teams will first take part in two joint workouts that promise to be anything but the norm.
“It’s crazy. It’s going to be a good time. I’m excited about it,” Bengals defensive lineman DJ Reader said. “I’m sure some guys will still have things to do. It’ll be a good part about that. Settle those things…I’m sure the guys will have some juices flowing.
“I just like joint training. You get a chance to go there and it’s the first time you really do a test against someone else who’s not on your team. Everyone everyone has different opinions about them. I like them. You need your guys to be toughened up and they can take on someone they’ll probably take on over the course of the year.”