IRVINE, Calif. -- Tyler Higbee has been one of the biggest surprises in camp and continues to impress and get better every day. It's not unusual for the 6-foot-6 rookie tight end from Western Kentucky to get reps with the first team, and it appears likely his combination of size, athletic ability, speed and hands will enable him to be a factor sooner rather than later.
"He's handled the installation well," Rams head coach Jeff RaFisher said. "We're putting him in some situations that he wasn't asked to do in college, and handling it very well. Every day is a learning experience, and he's going to see some things in the run game and protections that he's got to improve, but he's just a mentally tough kid that is determined to succeed."
--QB Jared Goff will get first-team reps Saturday when the Rams host the Kansas City Chiefs at the Coliseum. But three weeks into training camp, it's growing more and more clear that Goff is decidedly behind incumbent starter Case Keenum on the depth chart
"Case is still clearly ahead," Fisher said. "Jared's getting better."
Nevertheless, some teammates are seeing a growth spurt in Goff.
"He's getting more confident," said rookie receiver Pharoh Cooper. "You can tell just in the huddle, the play-calls. In his voice, you can just tell. He's growing up, starting to embrace the role of being the starting quarterback, of trying to be the starting quarterback, competing with Case."
--ILB Alec Ogletree isn't just making the transition from outside linebacker to inside, he's also assuming the role or relaying defensive play calling and aligning his teammates.
As far as the position switch, Ogletree is pleased with his first dip into the water in the Rams' 28-24 win over the Cowboys on Saturday.
"It's a work in progress," he said, "but I'm definitely happy with what I put on film this past weekend."
But with the Cowboys first-team offense marching 80 yards in 11 plays for a touchdown against Ogletree and the Rams first-string offense, Ogletree takes responsibility for the not getting the Rams straightened out schematically.
"It definitely falls on me," he said. "I talk to the guys, show them the pictures, show them what we're supposed to be doing.
NOTES: OL Isaiah Battle was carted off the field Wednesday with what Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said was a lingering "knee issue." ... DE Robert Quinn was excused from practice for two days of while traveling to Brazil to watch his sister -- Jasmine Camacho-Quinn -- compete for Puerto Rico in the Olympics in the 100-meter hurdles. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Rams head coach Fisher. "It's the right thing to do." Unfortunately, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn's Olympic didn't go so well. After beginning her race in good shape, she hit the eighth and ninth hurdles before tumbling into the 10th and being disqualified.