Rams to use guest speakers to help players stay engaged during virtual OTAs

As NFL teams begin virtual organized team activities, Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay has a few ideas to keep his players entertained and engaged during the at-home experience.

McVay said Monday that some of the Rams' sessions, which are held four days a week for about 90 minutes each, will include guest speakers.

LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers will speak with the team this week.

"He's a guy that I have a huge amount of respect for," McVay said. "I've always admired really just the way that he leads, I think he's got a great rapport with his players and it's been pretty cool getting to know people like him."

McVay hopes to invite Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, with whom he has built a relationship, to speak with the team.

"This offers a time when you can do that because it's convenient for guys to jump on," McVay said, referring to virtual meeting rooms.

As the offseason program begins behind computer screens and smart pads, McVay has emphasized the importance of keeping players engaged. He said Rivers and other NBA coaches have provided insight about conducting meetings online.

"They say 12 minutes is that ideal timespan," McVay said. "So, we don't want to have that sort of meeting block go more than 12 and 20 minutes at a time. Making sure that it's a mix of film, but also the conversation, always splicing in some TV clips is a good way, as long as they say nice things about the players from the commentary."

McVay said Monday's initial meeting with players went smoothly, with the exception of his own gaffe as he failed to enable audio for what receiver Josh Reynolds described as about 10 minutes.

"Provided some good comic relief for guys," McVay said. "I was feeling myself a little too much on this IT and got a dose of humble pie."

"The whole time, we were all trying to hear each other," Reynolds said, chuckling. "It was definitely interesting, but good to see everybody's face."

The Rams are looking to improve on last season's 9-7 finish that kept them from earning a third-consecutive playoff berth. They have undergone significant changes to both the coaching staff and roster this offseason. McVay hired three new coordinators and the Rams released star running back Todd Gurley and traded receiver Brandin Cooks.