Rams given reminder that the pressure's on them to bring L.A. championship trifecta

Gary Klein
·4 min read
Arlington, Texas, Sunday, October 18, 2020. Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger.
Rams quarterback Jared Goff was surprised to get a text back from Cody Bellinger, celebrating during the playoffs above, after the Dodgers won the World Series on Tuesday night. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

After the Dodgers won their first World Series title since 1988, Rams quarterback Jared Goff sent outfielders Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson congratulatory text messages.

Bellinger responded.

“He said, ‘It’s your turn now,’ ” Goff said Wednesday during a videoconference with reporters. “And I said, ‘Absolutely.’ ”

With the Lakers winning the NBA title and the Dodgers following with a championship 16 days later, the pressure seemingly is on the Rams to pull off a trifecta and win the Super Bowl.

“It would be good to make that a little three-peat with us involved,” Goff said.

The Rams are 5-2 heading into Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins (3-3) in Miami. It is the Rams’ final game of the first half of the season, with week off to follow.

Goff pointed out that the Rams have “all the pieces” to make a Super Bowl run for the second time in three seasons. But he added it’s only the eighth week.

“We’ve been there once with a lot of the same people,” he said. “We know how to get there. We've just got to finish it off and hopefully this is the year.”

Rams coach Sean McVay grew up in Atlanta as an Atlanta Braves fan. But McVay said he was rooting for the Dodgers when they played the Braves in the National League Championship Series.

McVay led the Rams to the Super Bowl in the 2018 season, but he knows that only holds so much caché in a town that now boasts the NBA and World Series champions.

Rams head coach Sean McVay speaks to Jared Goff (16) on the sideline during the Super Bowl in 2019.
Coach Sean McVay and quarterback Jared Goff (16) led the Rams to the Super Bowl in 2019. (John Bazemore / AP)

“You’ve got to be great to be relevant here in this city,” McVay said.

New kicker Kai Forbath, who played at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame High and UCLA, said he grew up as a Dodgers season-ticket holder and Kobe Bryant fan.

“I had a lot of friends text last night joking around, saying “Well, it’s the Rams — you’ve got to hit the trifecta,’ ” he said. “So a little added pressure, but that would be amazing for the city too.”

The Rams last week signed Forbath, 33, off the Chicago Bears practice squad because rookie Samuel Sloman had been inconsistent. After Sloman had another kick blocked during Monday night’s 24-16 victory over the Bears, the Rams released him and elevated Forbath to the starting role.

They also signed kicker Austin MacGinnis to the practice squad.

Forbath, a ninth-year pro, is back in Southern California after playing for six NFL teams during his career. He lives in West Hollywood and has been working out at Agoura High.

“It’s nice to be home,” said Forbath, who has made 131 of 151 field-goal attempts, including one from 57 yards.

Forbath said he chose to play in college at UCLA because, “Why would you want to leave L.A.?”

He began his NFL career with Washington, where McVay was an assistant coach. He also spent time with the New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys.

But Forbath always came home to Los Angeles for the offseason.

“When I was younger it was kind of fun to live in new cities and experience new places,” he said. “Now in Year Nine, I’m very excited to be able to play at home and live at home.”

Last Monday, Forbath went through a pregame workout at SoFi Stadium, getting a feel for the environment and the playing surface.

On Sunday, he will kick in Miami.

If all goes well, he will kick for the first time at SoFi Stadium on Nov. 15 against the Seattle Seahawks.

“The dream has finally come true,” he said, “just to be home and be here.”

Etc.

The Rams had a walk-through Wednesday. They resume practice Thursday. … McVay said that tight end Tyler Higbee was nursing a hand bruise that kept him sidelined against the Bears. “It's not really in an isolated area, it's kind of all over,” McVay said. “Tyler Higbee is one of the toughest players I've ever been around, but you get a certain touch on the right spot and it just rings throughout your whole hand and it’s throbbing. ... I know it’s bothering him pretty good right now.”

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.