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Los Angeles Rams Could Change Quickly

Los Angeles Coliseum

The return of the Los Angeles Rams is a major storyline in the NFL, but the Rams’ latest evolution is still very much in its early phases.

Thus far, the Rams have been met with a welcomed with a rabid reception by the Los Angeles fan base. An August 13 preseason contest at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum drew 89,140 fans, setting a new league record. That support has carried into regular season, as Sunday’s opener at the Coliseum attracted a crowd of 91,046.

As a whole, the first game in Los Angeles was a success for the Rams. The crowd saw the Rams defeat their NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks 9-3, a victory that improved their record to 1-1.

However, the way the Rams look now could be very different from the way Rams look in 2019. The franchise posted stagnant on-field results over its final seasons in St. Louis, so it is something of a transition to begin with. Down the road, the team will move into a new stadium in Inglewood–which is set to open in 2019–and with the stadium expected to be a premier venue, the Rams want to build themselves into a team whose performance only enhances the new facility’s status. More from the Los Angeles Daily News:

 Everything about the current version of the Rams — from the uniforms to the ticket prices to the game-day experience to the quarterback and possibly the coach — figure to be different when from the Rams kick off in the new, supposedly permanent stadium.

Sunday’s starting quarterback at the Coliseum will be Case Keenum. But if things break the way the Rams hope it will, Jared Goff will be lining up behind center by 2019, if not the third quarter [on Sunday].

And while the Rams and Fisher have discussed a long-term contract extension, nothing is set yet. If the Rams play many games like Monday night’s nightmare loss to the San Francisco 49ers, who knows, maybe ex-49ers coach Jim Harbaugh will be on the sideline when the Rams reach Inglewood.

The Rams will play in the Coliseum until the Inglewood stadium opens. The Coliseum is a shared facility, as it is also home to the USC Trojans. That arrangement requires a somewhat different process than is seen in most NFL facilities, as crews have to work on a tight schedule to put the Coliseum in working order between games. More from the Washington Post:

People will walk in (and) like magic it’ll go from cardinal and gold of USC to blue and gold of the Rams,” said Joe Furin, general manger of the Coliseum, “and no one is the wiser.”

The week-long process to prepare for Sunday’s game against Seattle began with a hired crew taking down USC’s corporate signage and continued until the weekend as grounds crew workers hand painted blades of grass.

“It’s a labor of love to get it all done,” [Coliseum director of operations Brian] Grant said. “Our guys take a lot of pride in making sure things go smoothly but she is an old stadium. She needs a lot of TLC.”

Earlier this summer, our own Jesse Goldberg-Strassler discussed the long and distinguished history of the 93-year-old Coliseum.

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August Publications