With the Rams moving back to Los Angeles after a brief sojourn in St. Louis, the NFL is back in Southern California.
Training camp is underway in Irvine. Saturday night, the Rams play host to the Cowboys (ESPN) in the first NFL game at the Colisieum since the Raiders left and moved back to Oakland in 1995.
Although the Rams aren’t the most interesting team in the world on paper, HBO’s Hard Knocks has a knack for creating compelling story lines (see last year’s Houston Texans or the Bengals from a few years back) from the team it relentlessly covers each summer.
Starting Tuesday night, HBO brings us the new Los Angeles Rams — some would say they’re just the old St. Louis Rams — as the first of five episodes kicks off at 10 p.m.
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The Rams definitely have some good story lines already built in.
The move from Missouri to Los Angeles is obviously one that will be dealt with early, but one should also assume plenty of focus on quarterback Jared Goff. The Rams traded up to get the top pick in the 2016 draft and took Goff out of California.
Although Case Keenum was listed as the Rams’ starter for Saturday’s exhibition, Goff will definitely be in the spotlight.
Coach Jeff Fisher, who turned down the Dolphins to coach the Rams in 2012, will also find plenty of camera time. This is the second such franchise move for Fisher as he was coach of the Houston Oilers when they moved to Tennessee in 1997.
Like the Oilers, the Rams haven’t settled into their permanent home just yet although this move seems much easier than the Oilers’ departure from Texas.
The Rams will play in the Coliseum for the next three years before moving into their $2.6 billion complex being built on the old Hollywood Park site in Inglewood not far from LAX.
When the Oilers first left Texas they landed in Memphis before finally ending up in Nashville and rebranded the Tennessee Titans.
The Rams spent 36 years at the Coliseum before moving south to Anaheim.
In 1995, the Rams moved to St. Louis and spent 21 seasons there – winning their lone Super Bowl in 2000 coincidentally by beating Fisher’s Titans – before returning to California.
Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Los Angeles Rams will air each Tuesday night at 10 p.m. leading into the regular season. The final episode will air Sept. 6.