TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay Week 5 game recap October 8 press conference – Turf Show Times


Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(On the injury status of WRs Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp)

“They’ll be in the (concussion) protocol. They felt good today. They didn’t have any symptoms or anything like that. We’ll go through the standard operating procedure. If everything checks out with our guys and with the doctors that are part of that process, then we’re hopeful to get these guys this week, get them back for this game this week.”

(On plays that Cooks and Kupp were injured on)

“Really when you look at it, (WR) Brandin (Cooks) ended up getting injured, obviously on the one where he took the shot. He never came back from that one. Then (WR) Cooper (Kupp), he had a play where he caught a shallow-cross in the two-minute drive, split two defenders and his head actually hit the turf. We think that’s when it took place for him. To his credit, he was able to communicate to us that he wasn’t feeling quite normal. Both of those guys, they didn’t really have any symptoms a couple hours after the game. Brandin actually did a great job responding immediately, but you can never be too safe and too cautious with those kind of things. I know, the competitors, those were the first two guys waiting for us when we got back into the locker room. I think it’s a credit to how much they wanted to be out there. We’re hopeful that they’ll end up going through the right process and procedures to get the clearance and hopefully get these guys back for the Denver game.”

(On what he thought of WRs KhaDarel Hodge’s and Josh Reynold’s performances)

“I think they did a good job. Really, it’s tough because there was a lot of different things specifically that maybe we wanted to do. To (Wide Receivers) Coach (Eric) Yarber’s credit and, really to those players’ credit, they did an excellent job stepping in on short notice. Didn’t really get a whole lot of reps throughout the course of the week and when their number was dialed, they did a great job delivering. (WR) Josh (Reynolds), obviously, on the first sequence of the second half ended up making two big catches, has a ten-yard run on the jet sweep. Then on the ‘get back on track’ call, that was a big, big important drive for us, KhaDarel ends up running a nice route where he goes down, makes a big time catch. Those guys competed without the ball. I think also what needs to be recognized is what a great job (WR) Robert Woods does being able to transition into Cooper Kupp’s role, play that position. But then also the communication, the mastery that he has to be able to help those guys, along with (QB) Jared (Goff), and it was pretty seamless, where we were able to operate as normal. Those guys did an excellent job. I think it’s really a credit to those guys being able to deliver, the teammates being able to kind of help them and coaches having them ready to go in a situation that you never want deal with, losing two of your key players. But, that’s what gives you confidence in the depth that you have.”

(On if he considers Cooks’ hit a ‘football’ play and if it’s something he can address with the league now that he’s had a chance to review the film)

“Yes. We will talk to the league about that. Because really, ultimately, I don’t think there was any malicious intent on it, but there are things that are always geared towards the safety of the players. Any of those head-to-head contact collisions are things that we want to try to avoid, and that’s something that they’ve made a big point of. When we’ve talked to (NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating) ’Al’ (Alberto) Riveron he’s done an excellent job being able to communicate clearly to us as far as, ‘What are the expectations? How do we see this when we go back and get a chance to really look at it, a little bit of a more slowed down version?’ We use those things to try to coach moving forward, so that our players have that clarity, and those will be things that we’ll address moving forward.”

(On if Robert Woods’ ability to transition to another receiving role is unique for a wide receiver)

”Yeah, I think so, just because of the amount of different things and information that they have to process and things they have to understand being at those different spots. I think that’s a credit to the way that these guys approach the game. They don’t want to just know what their role is. They want to understand the entirety of, ‘What are we trying to get done here? What are the different route combinations? What are the different blocking schemes?’ That’s a credit to really just having smart, conscientious players. The variety of things – (WR) Robert (Woods) is back there fielding fair catches in the punt return role. So, what he did for us yesterday – delivered every opportunity that he had whether it was running the football, whether it was catching it. Then, you watch some of the key blocks that he had at the point of attack, some of our touchdown runs, he was a guy that was very well-deserving of a game ball yesterday.”

(On the status of WR JoJo Natson and if he would be worked into the receiver rotation if he is available)

”I think what it would be for him is he’ll be a returner that if he had to play receiver, clearly he’s showed that he could definitely do that. But, I think there would have to be some injuries to take place. He’s a guy we do have confidence in as a returner, done some great things. How he continues to recovery from that hand surgery will be things that we’ll monitor as the week progresses and then depending upon how that affects our 46 (man roster) on game day – if we feel like that’s the right decision and (Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel) ‘Bones’ feels like that’s what’s best for our team, those will be things that we’ll do.”

(On if Woods would continue to field punts if Kupp can’t play on Sunday)

”He would. You talk about some other guys that maybe you would cross-train, but Robert (Woods) is the guy – (WR) Brandin (Cooks) is also a guy that’s caught punts as well. So, when you end up losing Cooper and Brandin, fortunately all three of your starting receivers have the ability to field punts. Those will be things that we’ve got to have contingency plans in place and we’ll kind of address that as we move forward.”

(On if OLB Matt Longacre’s ability to field kicks was surprising to him)

”They changed their approach and (OLB) Matt (Longacre) did a great job – fielded two and had a 15-yard return average, great ball security. So, we’ll put him on the ball security, ‘What it looks like to do it right’ reel. He was proud of himself. But really, that kick return unit as a whole, I thought their production was instrumental in getting us good field position offensively, really throughout the course of the day. ‘Bones’ had a couple good returns set up. (DB) Blake (Countess) did a nice job hitting it and then the times that they ended up changing their approach a little bit, Matt fielded it clean and got vertical with good ball security and got us into some good spots as well.”

(On the status of K Greg Zuerlein)

”He’s going to be day-to-day still. As far as if he’s able to go this week or not, probably will be able to have a little bit more clear answer for you, probably on Wednesday or Thursday. He is making progress. Hasn’t had any setbacks and that’s kind of where we’re at with (K) Greg (Zuerlein).”

(On how concerned, if at all, he is about the run defense the past couple weeks)

”I wouldn’t say you’re concerned. I think we need to address some different things and there’s a reason why each one of those runs popped out. I thought there was also some great individual efforts by their running backs, (Seahawks RBs Mike) Davis and (Chris) Carson, both ran really hard. What we’re encouraged about as you watch it as a staff are they’re very fixable things. When you just look at whether it’s losing some gap integrity, playing around a block. Then, you’ve also got to give those guys some credit. But, there was the one third-down run that popped out where we were in a different front and those are things that are great for us as coaches to look at ourselves and say, ‘Alright, what can we do to potentially to avoid this in a situation where they’re checking to some of these runs based on a defensive structure.’ and you get a chance to learn from it. But, I think our players will respond the right way. Really, for us as coaches, that’s the beauty of this is being able to look at the film, correct and you move forward.”

(On what he saw from LB Mark Barron in his first game back)

”I thought you saw great energy. He did a great job getting involved in a lot of different plays. You can see his instincts show up. They ran a couple, some guard-pull plays where they’re running some power schemes and first available over the top and you see how quickly he’s able to diagnose and shoot his gun to be able to activate. You can really feel…to be able to just make those kind of plays. I think his ability to go sideline-to-sideline – some of the plays where he’s closing, you feel (LB) Mark (Barron). You mention that, we’ve talked about that before. But, just his overall athleticism when he arrives, you can really just feel the way he’s able to immediately get guys to the ground because of the explosion and the suddenness that he plays with. I thought he had great demeanor. He seemed like he felt good today and we’ll take a modified approach to it Wednesday at practice and see how he feels on Thursday. But, all things are pointing up in terms of him being able to go again this week.”

(On if CB Marcus Peters is 100 percent)

”Well, I think there’s, again, similar to the run defense, it depends on what do we want to talk about within the framework of the call. The one situation was a third down, they had a double move. They ended up showing a quick game concept, triggered on it and (Seahawks QB) Russell (Wilson) throws a great ball and (Seahawks WR David) Moore ends up making a nice play down the field. Then one of the other ones, we were basically in a zero structure and any time that you’re able to hold the ball that long, that’s tough in a zero coverage when you’ve got a guy like (Seahawks WR Tyler) Lockett that can run across the field. Those are things that – the thing you love about (CB) Marcus (Peters) and I think any great corner that I’ve ever been around, there’s going to be some plays that you have to be able to respond from, but this guy is mentally tough. He’s a playmaker. Really, if (LB) Cory Littleton doesn’t bat down that one second-down-and-23 play towards the end of the game, you could see (CB) Marcus (Peters) is ready to trigger and probably end up getting an interception that’ll go the other way. I think one of the things that you’re so refreshed about with Marcus is how receptive and how coachable he is to those different types of things and we have a lot of confidence in Marcus. We know that those are part of the deal when you’re playing at that corner spot and he’s going to respond and make a lot of plays for us.”

(On if Peters is healthy)

”I think he’s feeling good. That’s my understanding. I know that he would have to tell you if he’s truly 100 percent, but I think he’s feeling good. He certainly hopes in his presence is felt for us in a positive way more times than not.”

(On Littleton pressuring Wilson and deflecting a punt)

”He’s doing a great job. Really, (Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel) ‘Bones’ did a great job setting up a scheme where somebody was able to come free and it happened to be Cory. He had great get off on that one and was able to block that. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to turn that into points. But, he’s done a great job just flying around. You see Cory doing an excellent job with the communication, understanding exactly what we’re trying to get done, playing a variety of different roles. Obviously, he’s the signal caller now. But, I think just from a pure production standpoint, he’s really done a nice job through the first five weeks of the season. (Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers) Coach (Joe) Barry and (Assistant Linebackers) Coach (Chris) Shula are doing an excellent job putting him in situations and I think he’s understanding what we’re trying to get done. He’s only going to continue to get better. Really, he got a game ball for defense and for special teams for the way that he’s playing and I think that’s pretty rare.”

(On the possibility of playing in cold weather in Denver)

”Yeah, it’s going to be a little bit colder from my understanding, when you talk to (Head Equipment Manager) Jimmy Lake and those guys. Clearly, they’re a great defense. They’ve got great personnel. They’ve got excellent playmakers on offense. But until you really dive into it, you know that (Broncos OLB) Von Miller is a great football player. (Broncos CB) Chris Harris (Jr.) is excellent. But, they’ve got, really, guys on all three levels. It’s an outstanding scheme that they run. (Broncos Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Joe) Woods does a great job with those guys. Then, (Broncos Offensive Coordinator Bill) Coach Musgrave on offense is going to be able to present a variety of different things. I think you see (Broncos QB) Case (Keenum) is playing at a high level again. You know that he can beat you with his arm or his legs. Then, I think they’ve got two of the better receivers in the league that have consistently produced year in and year out, got a young back that’s making a lot of plays as well. So, it’s going to be a great challenge for us, but it probably wouldn’t be fair to go into the complexities of it yet, just not having totally gotten fully immersed in studying them and figuring out exactly kind of how we want to approach this game.”

(On getting multiple injuries within the same position and how he balances contingency plans if something else happens)

”Yeah, I think to our player’s credit, they did a great job adjusting and adapting. I think it’s about getting a feel for the flow of the game. All right, our coaches did a really good job. they had a specific thing – little bit different than what we had kind of seen the first four weeks with how they wanted to defend us. So, we did a couple different things, even different than what we had anticipated going in that we adjusted in the first half. Then, really, I think it’s the coaches being ready as far as, ‘All right, who’s going to have to step up? Who’s playing where?’ Then, making sure that we’re conscientious and cognizant of running plays that these guys have a comfort level with. I think to be able to still operate as we did, is a real credit to those guys, like we’ve mentioned. But then also, just the leadership that (QB) Jared Goff provides from the quarterback position and (WR) Robert Woods from that receiver position. To where, in the huddle or even if we’re at the line of scrimmage, where we sped it up a little bit, those guys are able to kind of continue to make sure to communicate with KhaDarel, with Josh – making sure that they felt comfortable with some of the things that maybe they hadn’t gotten reps with throughout the course of the week. That’s what great players do, is they bring people along with them. Then, to those guys credit, they stepped up when they were asked to make plays.”

(On if anyone else got injured during the game)

”Yeah, (CB) Sam (Shields) just banged his shoulder up a little bit, but, we anticipate him making a full recovery. We’ll monitor Greg and then, we’ll continue to be smart with Mark throughout this week. But, everybody else came out clean and we’re hopeful to get good, positive results with how Cooper and Brandin come back. If we get them back, we know that’ll be a big boost to our offense.”

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