Super Bowl champion Rams return with Robinson and Wagner

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FILE – Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, left, talks to quarterback Matthew Stafford, right, as wide receiver Lance McCutcheon stands by during an NFL football practice on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The Rams won the Super Play for the second time in franchise history, lifting the Lombardi Trophy for the first time since returning to Los Angeles in 2016. Coach Sean McVay’s superb first half-decade culminated with an immediate title after acquiring Matthew Stafford, who smoothly led an offense in which Cooper Kupp became the NFL’s most prolific receiver and Super Bowl MVP. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

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LOS ANGELES RAMS (16-5)

CAMPING: Irvine, California

LAST YEAR: The Rams won the Super Bowl for the second time in franchise history, lifting the Lombardi Trophy for the first time since returning to Los Angeles in 2016. The superb first half-decade Coach Sean McVay peaked with an immediate title after acquiring Matthew Stafford, who smoothly led an offense in which Cooper Kupp became the NFL’s most prolific receiver and Super Bowl MVP. Aaron Donald’s defense improved steadily and was boosted by the acquisition of Von Miller mid-season, leading to increasingly dominant performances until the Rams’ victory over Cincinnati at SoFi Stadium. The Rams have won nine of their last 10 games overall and the NFC West title before their parade.

IMPORTANT ADDITIONS: LB Bobby Wagner, WR Allen Robinson, CB Troy Hill, RG Logan Bruss, Offensive Coordinator Liam Coen, P Riley Dixon.

MAJOR LOSSES: LB Von Miller, LT Andrew Whitworth, WR Robert Woods, RB Sony Michel, RG Austin Corbett, P Johnny Hekker, CB Darious Williams, DT Sebastian Joseph-Day, LB Troy Reeder.

CAMP NEEDS: As usual, the Rams need to identify starters to replace veterans who stood out from a comeback. The secondary looks thinner for the second straight season after Williams’ departure, so new contributors need to be identified. Wagner needs to get used to leading the Rams defense as a signalman, and Robinson needs to cement his timing with Stafford.

KEY CAMP COMPETITIONS: Rookie Bruss will look to beat a few veterans to replace Corbett on the starting offensive line. Hill and Robert Rochell are prime candidates to join Jalen Ramsey in the starting secondary. Several running backs will be vying for roles behind Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson.

EXPECTATIONS: The Rams have enough key elements in place to become the NFL’s first repeat champions since the 2004 season. McVay, Stafford and Kupp are back with an offense that should be bolstered by a full season from Akers, while the defense should benefit greatly from Wagner’s consistent and hard-hitting presence in the middle. If an injured Odell Beckham Jr. re-signs for the stretch race, a sequel title seems entirely possible in Hollywood.

FANDUEL SUPER BOWL ODDS: +1100

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