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Los Angeles Rams, Sean McVay send ‘thoughts and prayers’ to victims of Thousand Oaks shooting


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — The Los Angeles Rams and coach Sean McVay offered their condolences and support to the victims, families and community affected by the mass shooting Wednesday night at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks that killed 12 people.

The shooting took place just over 4 miles from the Rams’ practice facility, which is on the campus of California Lutheran University, and 7 miles from the team’s corporate headquarters in Agoura Hills.

“Our organization’s thoughts and prayers are with the families and the victims that were affected by this terrible act that took place in our area,” McVay said.

Many Rams players, coaches and staff members settled in the Thousand Oaks area after the team returned to Southern California from St. Louis in 2016.

“Our thoughts and prayers are obviously with the people that it happened to,” defensive coordinator Wade Phillips said. “It affects everybody, our team was talking about it, our players, our staff, everybody here. It’s a sad, sad deal. And we feel for the people involved, that it happened to.”

The Rams held a team meeting to discuss the tragedy. McVay said that left tackle Andrew Whitworth and several players were proactively seeking a way to use their platform to offer support to the local community.

One of the 12 victims of the shooting was identified as Ventura County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Helus, who arrived at the scene of the shooting at 11:20 p.m. in response to several 911 calls, heard gunfire, went inside and immediately was shot repeatedly.

The Rams plan to honor the victims with a moment of silence on Sunday before kickoff against the Seattle Seahawks at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.



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Jon Gruden offers quip on Martavis Bryant, thoughts on Khalil Mack as Raiders camp nears end


NAPA, Calif. — Jon Gruden ended his final media conference of his first training camp with the Oakland Raiders since 2001 with a wink and a smile Wednesday, and an obscure reference. He also spoke on Khalil Mack, Marshawn Lynch and Donald Penn.

Asked about receiver Martavis Bryant practicing after missing the previous two days with migraine headaches, Gruden pounced.

“We’re calling Martavis ‘The White Tiger,'” Gruden said. “I used to go to Busch Gardens in Tampa. … You know, you go to Busch Gardens, and they got a white tiger? You go 12 times, 13 times I went to Busch Gardens and the white tiger was always in his cage. Well, the white tiger came out today. Bryant came out. I don’t know if you get that analogy but, sometimes he comes out to play, and sometimes he doesn’t. And it’s good to see him because he’s really special, like the white tiger.”

Gruden laughed. Early in camp, he lamented Bryant missing practice and not being “versatile” enough as a receiver.

Earlier Wednesday, though, Gruden was more somber when asked whether Mack’s holdout, which reached 20 days, was a distraction.

“I don’t think it’s been a distraction,” Gruden said. “It’s obviously, for me, been disappointing. You want to have your best player here. This guy is really a great guy, too. I’m disappointed we don’t have him here. Going to try to get him here as soon as we can. In the time being, you’ve got to move on. You’ve got to get up and go to work. That’s one thing I’m very proud of what we’ve done here.”

Mack, who is due $13.846 million in this, the fifth-year option of his contract, is holding out for a contract extension.

Gruden also was asked about Lynch working out with resistance bands on his upper thighs.

“I don’t think he’s worn it for perhaps the entire practice,” Gruden said. “He’s had a really good camp. … He has his own, I think, needs in terms of what he feels like he has to do to get ready. He’s played long and hard and good enough in this league to earn that right. The problem is, we’re going to have 14 more guys wearing the bands tomorrow. That’s the way it usually goes.”

And when Gruden was asked what went into the decision to move Penn from left tackle to the right side upon coming off the physically unable to perform list Tuesday while keeping first-round draft pick Kolton Miller at left tackle, Gruden acknowledged the progress made by the rookie.

“By no means are we done,” Gruden said. “We haven’t settled on any starting lineups yet. We really didn’t want to disrupt Kolton’s status right now without being sure where Donald, exactly, was physically. This is an opportunity to get Penn back on the field with us. Not only test the ankle, test his conditioning. Get his timing down. Get back in the channel of our offense. Then we’ll address this later next week.”

Then there was the hold-your-breath moment of Wednesday’s practice when cornerback Gareon Conley, in just his third practice back from a hip strain, broke up a pass to Bryant and both players went down in a heap, before both got up and ran back to their respective huddles.

“You just have to hope for the best,” Gruden said. “Our guys did a great job today and throughout camp maintaining a really good edict — taking care of each other, trying to avoid piles of bodies being on the ground.

“Now that I think of it, I’m glad both of them got up.”

The Raiders break camp Thursday with a short morning practice.



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