Stetson Bennett learns a hard lesson in losing

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ENGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 19: Los Angeles Rams quarterback Stetson Bennett.

Rams quarterback Stetson Bennett looks set to pass during the first half of a 34-17 preseason loss to the Las Vegas Raiders at Woolly Stadium on Saturday. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

the Las Vegas Raiders rams defeated, 34-17, in a pre-season game Saturday night at SoFi Stadium. Below are notes from rams‘ Loss:

Stetson Bennett Learning Curve

After a week of narrowly avoiding potentially costly mistakes against chargersAnd Stetson Bennett I learned the hard way against the Raiders.

Every part of the growing process, according to rookie quarterback W Coach Sean McVay.

“He’s a young player,” McVay said of Bennett. “He keeps learning.”

Bennett, supposed backup for Matthew StaffordHe completed 15 of 24 passes for 142 yards, rushing for a touchdown.

But he also had a pass that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown.

Read more: Rams’ Aaron Donald in first live action against Raiders: ‘I’m not where I want to be’

“I’ve had to deal with some more nasty moments than I have (against the Chargers),” Bennett said, adding, “It sucks, but you have to do it at some point….and whenever that happens—I hope it doesn’t happen too often— You know how to respond to the bad and move on to the good.”

Bennett took over on a pass that was picked up by Raiders safety Isaiah Paula Maw and returned 50 yards for a touchdown. Bennett said he expects the receiver to run a different lane.

“He turned the device that was recalled and I threw out the thing that wasn’t, and I paid for it,” Bennett said.

Other than a touchdown run, Bennett’s best play was a 25-yard kick to Xavier Smith reception on a timed road.

“I saw the release, checked the safety and put it there,” Bennett said. “And while it was in the air, I was, ‘Look, look,’ and he did, he was right there and made a play.”

Aaron Donald pulls a quick one

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald acknowledges the crowd at Sophie Stadium.

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald acknowledges the crowd during a preseason game between the Rams and Chargers at Mystic Stadium on Aug. 12. (Kyosung Jung / Associated Press)

In a sudden move, the Rams star defensive line Aaron Donald He wore the uniform for pre-match warm-ups.

Had Donald played, he would have marked the NFL’s three-time defensive tackle in his first preseason game since 2016. But Donald, who holds a salary figure as high as $26 million, was wearing a tank top, cap, and sweat pants when the Rams came out. From the dressing room to the game.

McVay said Donald’s warm-up appearance was a sort of “dress rehearsal” for the tenth-year pro because he will not be traveling with the team to Denver for combined practices and the final preseason game.

McVeigh said that Donald and his wife are expecting “any day.”

As Donald did on Saturday, starters who won’t play in preseason games will go through pre-game preparations and warm-ups in Denver, McVay said.

John Johnson III wakes up

Rams safety John Johnson III runs off the field

Rams safety John Johnson III (Kyosung Jung / Associated Press)

Towards the end of training camp The Rams signed veteran safety John Johnson III to a minimum veteran contract.

Johnson, who played for the Rams from 2017 to 2020, has spent most of the past two weeks getting in football shape.

He started against the Raiders and made four tackles.

“I feel like it was a lot harder to practice – I was thinking a lot,” he said. “I went there (in the game) and it just kind of came naturally, like my body did the right thing.”

Rams tight end Davis Allen, right, tackles Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Drake Thomas.

Rams tight end Davis Allen, right, was tackled by Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Drake Thomas (57) during the second half on Saturday. (Alex Gallardo/The Associated Press)

With veteran Tyler Higbee physically fit to start his eighth season in the NFL, and fourth-year pro Bryson Hopkins showing improved consistency, the Rams are deep at tight end.

Under McVay, however, the Rams have been at their best when they have three tight ends to count on. Think Higbee, Gerald Everett, and Johnny Mundt.

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Freshman Davis Allen, a Clemson fifth-round draft pick who sat out against the Chargers with a hamstring injury, showed Saturday that he can be in the equation.

The 6-foot-6, 245-pound Allen has been targeted eight times – and he caught eight passes for 53 yards.

“You can see he has a great catch radius, and good soft hands,” said McVay. “It was a great start for him.”

Rams linebacker Jake Hamill celebrates with Robert Rochelle after scoring on an interception return.
Rams linebacker Jake Hamill (35) celebrates with Robert Rochelle (8) after scoring on an interception return against the Raiders on Saturday. (Kyosung Jung / Associated Press)

The Rams don’t put much of a premium on paying inside linebackers, so there are plenty of opportunities for unoccupied free agents to make a mark.

Sophomore professional Jake Hamill did it during the 2022 preseason, and he did it again against the Raiders.

Hamill intercepted a pass in the second quarter by Brian Hoyer and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown.

McVay was on air with local telecasts when the play took place. “That’s the only good time—it was when I came with you guys,” said McVay.

Hummel made five tackles, tied for team best.

I’m still working to be special

A week after giving up an 81-yard touchdown on a punt return against the Chargers, the Rams nearly allowed DeAndre Carter of the Raiders to get another touchdown. Carter rode 31 yards up the sideline before going out of bounds.

Tanner Brown kicked a 25-yard field goal.

Punter Ethan Evans averaged 55.4 yards per punt, for a net average of 38.7 yards.

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This story originally appeared Los Angeles Times.

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