Matthew Stafford expresses displeasure with his play in first joint practice with Raiders

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With the Los Angeles Rams not deploying many starters in the preseason, Sean McVay has grown fond of holding joint practices with other teams in recent years. Giving his team opportunities to compete against players with a different helmet — without risking injury in a preseason game — has worked well for the bright offensive-minded coach. But during Wednesday’s joint practice with the Las Vegas Raiders, the Rams didn’t play up to expectations.

Even though Matthew Stafford is expected to take the offense of the Rams to new heights in 2021, he wasn’t pleased with how he performed against the Raiders.

“They did a nice job getting the ball back from us a couple of times. I made a couple poor decisions that wish I had back. That’s practice. There is some of the new stuff that we’re putting in and I want to make sure I get reps at it,” Stafford said. “I got to do a better job of making sure that we end up with the ball after every play. It’s everybody included, so I got to do a better job at that.”

While stats aren’t accumulative in training camp practices, The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue reported that she saw three interceptions thrown by Stafford. One of them was by Cory Littleton, which is certain to make fans of the Rams feel a certain way.

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Stafford did iterate that the Rams were installing new aspects to the offense, so he was getting his first reps for the new plays. Also, it’s a practice, meaning he is going to make riskier throws that he may not attempt in a meaningful game.

There shouldn’t be many concerns about Stafford’s turnovers in Wednesday’s practice, even though you’d prefer to hear positive remarks about his performance since he won’t suit up in the preseason. The veteran gunslinger hasn’t thrown more than 11 interceptions in any of the past five seasons, and that was while he was playing on a Detroit Lions team that doesn’t have the offensive firepower the Rams have.

Following Wednesday’s joint session with the Raiders, McVay made it clear that he was not satisfied with how his team looked, pointing out how sloppy it felt. Despite the interceptions not affecting his stats for the upcoming season, expect a more efficient version of Stafford in the rest of the practices against Las Vegas this week.