NAPA – Raiders cornerback Lamarcus Joyner had Robert Woods covered like a wet blanket. Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw a pass to Woods anyway, trying to work one past his former teammate, who signed with Oakland this offseason.
Joyner was having none of it. He batted the pass away and then stared Woods down just a few feet away. The angry front didn't last long.
Joyner smiled. Woods tapped his buddy's helmet and said "Good [stuff]."
It was good "stuff," plays the Rams were used to during Joyner's five seasons with the team. Joyner was a secondary fixture both at safety and slot cornerback for the Rams. He was a beloved teammate, but the Raiders lured him away with a fat contract in free agency.
Player and old team were reunited Wednesday in Napa for the first of two joint practices preceding Saturday's preseason game at Oakland Coliseum.
"I have so much respect for him," Goff said. "Great dude. Great player, and it was fun competing against him."
The Rams' loss was the Raiders' gain. Joyner has become a leader in Oakland's secondary, a role model for the young players now populating the defensive backfield. He has been excellent in this training camp, and the Rams know the Silver and Black got a real asset.
"He's a playmaker in the secondary," Rams head coach Sean McVay said. "Watching the way that Lamarcus Joyner competes every single snap is what you love about him. He's got a contagious enthusiasm and a juice with just the way he goes about his business. When you've got some of your top-tier players that you just say, ‘This is what it looks like. Watch [No.] 29. Watch Lamarcus Joyner playing the nickel spot at a high level.'
"That can't help but become the new standard. I'm a big fan of Lamarcus. He was instrumental in a lot of the success we had over the last couple years and I wish him nothing but the best. They've got a good one here in him."