TRANSCRIPT: Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay Week 8 game recap October 29 press conference – Turf Show Times


Los Angeles Rams HC Sean McVay

(Opening remarks)

”Fortunately, yesterday, unbelievable competitive game back and forth. I thought the (Green Bay) Packers did a great job. Really, it was a great demonstration. I thought it was just a high caliber game. (Packers Head) Coach (Mike) McCarthy definitely had his guys ready to go. They played well in all three phases. Our guys just kind of stayed the course. You talk about the ultimate team win where defensively, I thought they played outstanding early on. Enabled the offense to get going. That safety by (LB) Mark Barron, as a result of (S) Sam Shields downing the punt inside the 1-yard line, ended up being a big play that kind of got the momentum a little bit in our favor when they controlled the majority of the first half. Came out of it clean injury-wise. But, just guys finding different ways to win games. It was a great team win and something that really, I thought our coaches did an excellent job and ultimately the players did the great job by being able to deliver in crunch time.”

(On if the Rams are in the market with the trade deadline approaching)

”Yeah, there’s a lot of dialogue that goes on at this time of year. I’ve had a couple different discussions with (General Manager) Les (Snead) with regards to some things that we feel like might be able to upgrade our team. If anything ends up going through or not, not really sure. But, there are some discussions and there’s a possibility that some things could occur. There’s always discussions that go on and we’re always looking to see if we feel like it’s something that’s going to make our football team better and ultimately help us. As the season progresses, it’s something that, I think those guys have done an excellent job being able to make moves and if we feel like it’s going to help our team. There’s been a couple different things that have been discussed, but whether it ends up coming to fruition or not, I’ll probably have a better idea when I get with Les a little bit later on, based on how that dialogue has gone today.”

(On if an edge rusher is a position they’re interested in looking to add to)

”Yeah, that could be something that we definitely would look into based on the availability of some of the players that we’ve looked into. That would be, yes, a possibility.”

(On if there are any other positions they’re looking at)

”That’s the main one that we’re kind of in dialogue about. But again, there’s always things based on what a team is looking for and how that might affect us or alter and ultimately, give us the ability to improve. I think Les and his staff do an excellent job at keeping a pulse around the league. Having that open dialogue that exists between the other 31 teams. If it’s something that fits, then that’s something that we’ll do.”

(On if he has gotten a better look at OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and if he thinks he could fit in at some point in the season)

”Yeah, I think he could. I think, again, the opportunities to show up are so limited just based on the way that we’re practicing of late. I think he has shown good movement coming off that edge. Thursday was really the only chance that you could kind of get a chance to truly evaluate him. In a lot of ways, we’re asking him to mimic and emulate what the Green Bay Packers are doing as opposed to create some competitve atmospheres and environments. That’s something that I’ve got to do a good job of giving him a true opportunity to compete as well. Then, we’ll see how that thing plays out. I thought he did a nice job just getting back in the flow and you can see some of the things that got us excited about taking him.”

(On the deadline being on Monday to make a decision with adding Okoronwo to the active roster and if he has made any conclusions yet)

”It’s hard to say. I think we’ve got to sit down with our defensive staff and figure out if that’s going to be a move that’s best for our team. There’s a lot of different things that come into that. Ultimately, there’s things that change kind of exactly how it all plays out and how that affects his situation, but I think he’s done a nice job just controlling what he can right now. We’ll figure that out when that time does come.”

(On if he’s aware of Quarterbacks Coach Zac Taylor and Pass Game Coordinator Shane Waldron’s names floating as potential candidates for vacant coaching positions with the Cleveland Browns)

”Yeah, I’m aware. I’m sitting there watching and when they made the change. The first two guys’ names they mentioned, I’m thinking, ‘Man, I love these guys. I don’t want to lose them though (laughs).’ They’re great coaches. But I think, the one thing that you look back on is just getting an opportunity to work with these guys. What great coaches they really are. They’re great communicators, great teachers, great leaders – that’s pretty consistent throughout our staff. I’ve gotten a chance to work with (Pass Game Coordinator) Shane (Waldron) back in Washington (Redskins) and just seeing him grow as he commands a room. His knowledge, the things I’ve learned from him because he’s had some great experiences learning under (Patriots Head) Coach (Bill) Belichick. Being under some great mentors, where he’s got such a great way about being able to give advice, just based on kind of having a different background of experiences, that I’ve been able to learn a lot from Shane. Similar with (Quarterbacks Coach) Zac (Taylor). Zac’s got a great even-keel demeanor. I think he’s done an outstanding job with our quarterbacks this year. He’s called plays in this league – he was a coordinator at (University of) Cincinnati. I think being a former Big-12 Player of the Year where you’ve got that credibility where he’s really good player. But, he’s also got that demeanor that you can see why he was probably a great leader. Players probably love playing with him as his teammates – different things like that. Then, his transition into a guy that’s a really good coach. I think he’s a very, very good communicator, makes things simple. But, he also has a great way about being able to kind of paint a picture for the quarterbacks to kind of simplify the thought process when a lot of the things we’re asking them to do is complex. Both those guys are very, very good coaches. If you said, ‘Would I be upset if we lost them? Would I be very stressed out?’ The answer’s yes, I would because they’re really good.”

(On how he handles the chatter in the media about coaches being pursued by other teams)

”I don’t think you let that be a distraction at all. These guys have the right mindset. I think it’d be silly for me to think that, ultimately where I’ve been so fortunate to be able to grow and get opportunities as a result of being around some good people and I think they’ve been instrumental in some of the success we’ve had up to this point. But, what those guys will do is they’ll continue to work exactly like they have, doing an excellent job coaching and being the best Rams coaches they can be. Down the line, I think they know that if you want to continue to be in those conversations, if that’s something that they have goals to be able to try to achieve, then we’ve got to continue to have success as a team. There’s nothing more exciting than to see people get a chance to grow if that’s something that they feel like is best for them and their families. But, in the meantime, I feel really fortunate to work with guys like that. I know that I’ve gotten to be a better coach from working with them and what I’ve been able to learn from them.”

(On if he has an early take on if WR Cooper Kupp will be able to play this week)

”Yeah, he’s looking good. I think there’s a very good chance that he’s going to be ready to go this week. He’s attacked his rehab just like I know we all anticipated he would, made a good recovery. I think if we really wanted to press it, he probably could’ve played last week. But, (Senior Director of Sports Medicine and Performance) Reggie (Scott) and his staff have been great as far as just putting in a plan. He’s attacked it the right way and I think he’s putting himself in a position to be ready to go this week.”

(On anything he wants to say about his name popping up in head coaching rumors following the Cleveland Browns coaching changes)

”I couldn’t be happier to be here with our players, with this organization, working for a great owner in (Owner/Chairman) Mr. (E. Stanley) Kroenke. Unless they decide they want to make a change, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

(On if QB Jared Goff is okay physically following Sunday’s game)

”Yeah, he’s okay. He got kind of whip lashed on one of the sacks that they had and had a little bit of swelling. But, I think he’s going to be good. Nothing showed up on that. He’s going to be a full participant in practice this week. He’s a tough guy. He took some good shots. I thought they did a great job defensively. Got a couple hits on him and he stayed in there, stayed tough and nothing showed up. So, he’s feeling good and we anticipate him being ready to go for New Orleans.”

(On if there is any common theme in everything they do right on special teams)

”I think it starts with what you just mentioned, I think it’s (Special Teams Coordinator) John’s (Fassel) leadership. I think John Fassel does a great job. I think in terms of, you watch the way they’ve consistently – those guys on special teams, they play hard for John because he does such a great job of being committed to trying to help the players. Anybody that’s been around him, you can’t help but just love the guy. So, the way that he is so authentic, so genuine, so energetic, but then also doing a great job. He and (Assistant Special Teams Coach) Matt Daniels both, putting in game plans that put our players in good spots and then those guys are delivering. Really, you look at Sam Shields’ contribution, (P) Johnny Hekker’s ability to be able to make that throw to Sam, Sam being able to down the punt inside the one (-yard line) that leads to the safety. Then at the end, really, right before those guys go out on to the field, ‘Bones’ says, ‘Hey, we force a fumble and get it back, we’ve got a chance to end the game right now.’ That’s exactly what happens. He puts a little switch on the back side of our coverage unit. (CB) Dom Hatfield does an excellent job being able to beat it and that was kind of what forced (Packers RB Ty) Montgomery to be able to kind of move, the ball comes away from his body and then at that same time (LB) Ramik Wilson comes in there, makes an excellent tackle, ball comes out and he recovers it. Man, that was exciting. But they’ve done an excellent job. Starts with ‘Bones’ leadership and then obviously the players are getting it done. But really, I’ve learned a lot just watching him coach in terms of the buy-in he gets from his players because of the way that he treats them, respects them and works as hard as he possibly can to put them in good spots.”

(On if it makes it easier for players to buy in when they’re having success on special teams because they’re getting recognized, making plays and contributions)

”Absolutely. I think one of the things that’s great about what our team has done is I think there’s a mutual respect and appreciation for all three phases and how they all contribute to the outcome that we’re trying to collectively obtain together. They appreciate that. The ‘We not me’ thing that we talk about where the power of the team, the power of all the units, one being able to pick up another phase if it’s down. Defense kept the offense in the game when we weren’t really doing some things. Special teams makes a big play. It’s been great having (K) Greg Zuerlein back. Football is the greatest team sport there is and when all three phases are able to play together or have key plays that end up effecting the outcome in a positive way for us, that’s what’s exciting. I think these guys enjoy each other – that’s the one thing, too. You guys hear us say it over and over again, but when you watch the team, you can’t help but notice they like each other. They enjoy playing together and they play for each other. That’s something that’s really powerful. It’s special. And it’s because of the ownership that these players have, but I also think our coaches have done an excellent job of demonstrating the consistent approach that’s geared towards us collaborating, working together to ultimately all try to have success and doing it in a way that creates kind of a horizontal leadership structure to where everybody’s got an ownership in what we’re trying to get done and we’re all going in the same direction.”

(On if upon reviewing the game and looking ahead to the second half of the season, in what areas does he feel like they can make the most improvements in)

“I think really that boils down to situations. Some of the things obviously with the red zone or some of the starts. For me, yesterday just looking at it strictly from an offensive standpoint, I think (Defensive Coordinator) Coach (Mike) Pettine and his staff and the Green Bay defense did a nice job, gave some different looks. But, I thought the first down efficiency is what made it difficult for us to get some drives going. When you’re not efficient on first down, then you’re in second-and-long and third-and-longs and that ends up being difficult. I think that’s something that we’ve done extremely well up to this point. To answer your question, I think really each game presents a new thing that we’ve got to make sure we don’t lose sight of. It’s about playing efficient in all three phases and doing whatever we can to win a football game. I think that’s where sometimes the numbers can get skewed. But what consistently has impressed us as a coaching staff is when you go back and you look at it people are going to see two out of four in the red zone. But really one of those red zone attempts is as a result of Todd Gurley demonstrating an incredibly unselfish approach. When you look at the production he’s had specific to scoring touchdowns, understanding how can we win a football game as a team? When some of your guys like Todd are demonstrating that, that’s powerful. It’s about us just getting better in everything that we can do. We kind of emphasize those things as we put in our game plan and the week progresses. It’s first and second down early in the week, that leads into the third down, the two-minute type situations and then it kind of wraps up with the red zone. So I think it’s just being as efficient as we can, finding a way to play complementary football based on the opponent that we’re playing and what we feel like is the best way to try to be able to win a game. That changes week-to-week but it’s going to go back to the same things –situations, taking care of the football, getting it back on defense, being able to create explosives, limit the explosives and then demonstrating that effort. That all-world effort that we want to see with our burst speed and finish in all three phases.”

(On what goes through his mind when he saw Gurley ice the ball against the Packers instead of running for a touchdown)

“What goes through your mind is he did a great job handling that situation. That’s something that I think our coaches up top did a great job being able to kind of remind us all of, ‘Hey let’s remember this is a situation where the time is more important than the points.’ We get the first down, let’s go down, we can take a knee and run the clock out. When he’s doing those kind of things like I said, it’s powerful. It’s special and he did a great job. It demonstrates that it’s about winning football games, I think he said it, and that’s the most important thing. When you’ve got your players like that, that are having such great production, in terms of just some of the statistical numbers to this point. But it’s about us collaborating and winning a football game together. When he does that, that says a lot more then what you can sit up here and say as a coach and fortunate to have guys in leadership positions like Todd.”

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