‘No Fighting!’: Sean McVay Reveals Goals for Rams & Bengals Joint Practices

Emotions might run high after these two teams met in the Super Bowl, but McVay is clear on what won’t be tolerated.

The Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals will be meeting once again, though this time, it’ll be for joint practices ahead of the their final preseason game against one another Saturday. 

It might not be Super Bowl LVI, but Rams coach Sean McVay is still giving the preparation for this week his all as LA prepares for the Sept. 8 season-opener against the Buffalo Bills in about two weeks time. 

And prior to the Rams traveling to Cincinnati Tuesday for joint practices with the Bengals on Wednesday and Thursday, McVay was clear on what he wants to see and what doesn’t want to see. He says he knows Bengals coach Zac Taylor is on the same page. 

“We don’t want any sort of cheap stuff … we have no place for fighting,” McVay said. “We can’t afford to miss (these opportunities) for dumb (stuff) and we won’t have it. I don’t expect that. I know Zac and I are very much in aligned as well as Cincinnati’s coordinators and our guys.”

Fighting has been a theme for teams during joint practices in years past and this season is no exception. Numerous videos of opposing teams throwing punches at one another on the practice field have gone viral in the days between preseason games. 

But there’s no doubt about it. This joint practice is different. Starters from both teams will using the time to get valuable preparation reps ahead of the season. It’s many of these same starters that faced one other just six short months ago in a thrilling Super Bowl win for LA. 

Still, McVay, who has never played key starters in preseason since his arrival in 2017, is focused on what what his team can gain from the experience of facing a different opponent on the practice field. 

“I think when you really look at it, these joint practices offer an opportunity for your top guys to be able to simulate game-like situations while minimizing the risk for injury. That’s the goal that we’re really hunting up … That’ll be really beneficial to us and then we’ll be able to start our Buffalo prep after that.”

Los Angeles is 1-1 in preseason play headed into Saturday after exciting finishes in the first two games. The Rams beat the Los Angeles Chargers 29-22 in the first game before falling to the Houston Texans 24-20 on Friday. 

But as the preseason draws to a close, the end result is of little concern to McVay and company, who have sights set on the Bills for a season-opening matchup at SoFi Stadium. 

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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