THOUSAND OAKS (CBSLA) – The Los Angeles Rams were undeterred by the wet weather Thursday as they gear up for Sunday’s NFC title tilt with the New Orleans Saints.
Despite a series of storms which have dumped several inches of rain across the Southland this week, the Rams held practice on an outdoor grass field at their Thousand Oaks practice facility, rather than under the giant tent they had constructed in their parking lot.
Their 32-year-old head coach Sean McVay, who won his first playoff game last Saturday with a dominant 30-22 showing over the Dallas Cowboys, said the team won’t let the rain serve as a distraction.
“I think it’s just having been in somewhat similar experiences and really atmospheres earlier in the year where we had to deal with some of the things that went on in the community, dealing with the fires, and our players seamlessly adjust and adapt to whatever circumstances we have to deal with,” McVay said.
The Rams practiced outdoors despite the fact they will be facing the Saints indoors in the Superdome.
“And, you know, we talked about it today, we’re not going to allow the weather to be any bit of an excuse,” McVay added. “Even though it’s not exactly like the environment that we’re playing in, being indoors, we’re not gonna allow it to be a distraction. We know we’ve got a great opportunity to play against the Saints for a conference championship.”
The Rams have the benefit of having already faced the Saints earlier this year at the Superdome in a week 9 shootout which the Saints took 45-35, handing the Rams their first loss of the season. In that game, the Rams gave up 391 yards to Saints QB Drew Brees, who turned 40 this week.
The Rams defense will be leaning heavily on the experience of veteran corner Aqib Talib, who won a Super Bowl with the Broncos in 2016.
“The less mistakes is gonna win the game, so we just gotta be sharp throughout the week, get all the mistakes out of the way throughout the week so our communication can be impeccable on Sunday,” Talib said.
The Rams will practice once more in Thousand Oaks Friday before flying out to New Orleans on Saturday. Kickoff is slated at 12:05 p.m. Sunday.