"Walking down the tunnel for some of these guys for the first time was a cool experience for them, thinking that this is going to be home for a while, so let's make the most of it, and let's make it our place to play," Los Angeles Rams coach Jeff Fisher said on Saturday.
Thousands of fans had come out to support the return of the NFL to LA, as the Los Angeles Rams returned to the LA Memorial Coliseum for the first time in decades.
"That was really fun," Fisher addressed the crowd after the practice, which also doubled as Family Day. "It wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for you guys, so we appreciate you coming out."
Saturday also marked one full week since the team convened, so the return to the Coliseum served as a symbolic end to the grueling start of training camp. The team has been conducting its practices at the University of California at Irvine, where the Rams will return for the remaining sessions.
"This will conclude that first difficult phase of training camp," Fisher said to a sea of cameras and reporters. "You couldn't think of a better way than to do it here, in front of the fans in this environment. It was really fun. Players had a blast."
Fisher, who attended the University of Southern California and played at the Coliseum as a collegiate athlete, appeared to be in tremendous spirits. The coach made it clear that Saturday's session improved the team, and the avoidance of injuries was a welcome bonus after what Fisher referred to as a "physical" practice.
"We most definitely got better today," Rams running back Todd Gurley II agreed with his coach's assessment. "Offense, defense, we definitely got better today."
Also, the no. 1 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, quarterback Jared Goff, looked particularly sharp. When Goff threw a touchdown to the corner of the end zone in a drill that pitted wide-receivers versus defensive backs, the crowd went wild.
"I can't believe I didn't bring up Jared to start with," Fisher said when the first question about the Rams' backup quarterback came in. "I don't know if you saw the two-minute drill, that stuff was real…I mean he was locked in, focused and he knew exactly where the play clock was, game clock, timeouts, everything."
Fisher added about Goff, "He had a good day today. That's good for him to finish up the week on a really good note, and now he can get his mind right for next weekend."
"I think every day I've been trying to improve, and slowly but surely, I feel like I'm been getting better every day," Goff said. "So, I would expect the next practice to be even better."
Goff added, "Sure, I'm starting to settle in a little bit and feel a little more comfortable. And I'm reiterating what I keep saying, but the more comfortable I feel, the more in control I feel, the more confident I'm going to be and the better I'm going to play."
A week from Saturday, the Rams host the Dallas Cowboys at the LA Coliseum in a preseason exhibition game. In effect, Saturday's family session served as a test run through of all the NFL equipment and going through all the protocols that will be in place when an opposing team turns up on Aug. 13.
"Come see us Saturday, a week from tonight," Fisher told the crowd over the loud speaker at the new yet familiar home of the Rams. "We go the Cowboys here."