TRANSCRIPT: Rams Head Coach Sean McVay


Rams Head Coach Sean McVay

(On what the best part was regarding how the team won last night)

“I think to be able to go through some adversity, I think says a lot about our football team. Really hadn't had anything like that occur, obviously, just with it being the first game. But, I think when you take into account the elements, the atmosphere, some of the unknown with what they presented offensively, even some different things defensively – the way that the half ended, they had a lot of momentum. I thought our guys just kind of really embodied that attitude of ‘never flinch and never blink’ and then they came out and they did an excellent job in the second half. I thought the coaches made some good adjustments as well.”

(On if the key word was ‘patience’)

“Yeah, patience and I think resilience. I think that mental toughness we talk about all the time, I thought our players demonstrated that and found a way to close out the game and be our best when our best was required.”

(On how CB Marcus Peters has adapted and fit into this culture and what he saw on his pick-six play on Monday night)

“Yeah, I think he's a guy that loves football. He's got a great personality. He has fun. He enjoys being around here. He's really a very smart, instinctual player. I think he's just naturally fit in by being himself. I think there's a lot of guys that would probably say one of the things that you try to hope that we have going here is that they can be themselves. They know that there's a mutual respect that exists between the players and the coaches. We're serious about our football, but we try to enjoy ourselves while we're doing it and make sure that we can provide a ‘why’. He's a special player. That was an excellent job where you don't even realize what a good play that was. It almost looked like it was an errant-type play just when I was watching it last night and then you realize what a great job he did jumping a shallow cross route, being able to make that play and finish. He's a guy that's kind of consistently been in those types of situations. That's a result of good preparation and then also a great player making a play.”

(On any injury updates)

“From an injury standpoint, (WR) Pharoh (Cooper), he got his ankle pretty good. It might require it to get fixed. He's getting a second opinion on that, so he's going to be out for some time right now. So, that's a big loss for us and then (WR) Mike Thomas, he tweaked his groin last night. He's going to see a specialist. Hopefully we'll get some good information, but he could be out for a little bit of time as well. We'll have a little bit better opinion on both of those guys, but with Pharoh's ankle, it's definitely going to be something that's going to limit him and keep him out for at least a few weeks. Mike will probably be the same.”

(On what happened to Cooper)

“He's just got some loose fragments in there. It's a pretty serious ankle sprain is basically the best way I can put it. But, when you end up spraining that ankle pretty bad, it can almost be sometimes – I remember when I was playing I ended up having a bad ankle sprain and they said you'd almost be better off breaking it just because of some of the ways that it can heal. It might require him to go in there and get that thing fixed, but he's going to get a second opinion. However you cut it, especially with just the type of player that he is and the specific position that he plays, it's going to limit him for at least a few weeks at a minimum. We'll find out a little bit more as far as kind of what the plan of attack is with regards to his recovery in the next day or so.”

(On who steps into the kick/punt returner role)

“(WR) Mike Thomas is the backup there, so that makes it really complicated. So, whether we handle that internally or we go outside for somebody else to figure that role out, those are things that we've kind of been discussing. In terms of making that final decision, that'll be something that we'll probably decide on in the next day or so.”

(On if it will be difficult to get back on a regular routine right now)

“Yeah, it is just because you typically…right now you're kind of putting the final touches on the first and second down game plan and getting ready for a good day tomorrow. But, because of the way that our players…it was a physical game last night. We're going to treat it where tomorrow we'll bring the players in a little bit later and then we're going to treat it kind of like we did at the end of last year where it'll be more of a walk-thru, above the neck emphasis. Then, we'll try to get a good day's worth of work – or really two good days of work on Thursday and Friday – the way that we would normally practice. But, tomorrowwill mostly be mental and we'll get a walk-thru-type setting and try to get a lot of reps, but take that physical toll of the players' bodies.”

(On if there were schedule or injury quirks that he would have to adjust to on the fly when he was an assistant coordinator)

“Those were things that when you look back at Washington I remember (Redskins Head Coach) Jay (Gruden) had to tweak the schedule a lot just based on whether it was injuries or just doing what he thought was best for the players and the recovery element. That's one of the things you just learn being in this role, just how important that is from a sports science approach that we've talked about a lot. We always try to do what’s best for the players. I think when you take into account what a physical game that was – that's a physical football team that we played last night. We feel like we've got the type of team that we're mature enough to be able to handle a mental day if we feel like that's going to be best for them getting their bodies, getting their legs back underneath them for a good Thursday and Friday and hopefully being ready to go on Sunday against the Cardinals."

(On how he would evaluate his own performance during the game in terms of play calling and game management)

“I thought for the most part, in terms of the game management, we were pretty sound. I thought the communication was good amongst ourselves as coaches and made some good decisions. The timeouts that we ended up using were by design in those situations, whether it be in the first or the second half. As far as the play calling, I think when you look at it from just the offensive play calling – in the first half, you get 20 plays off really. You stay balanced, you go three-and-out on the first series of the game, that third down play, I didn't really like versus man coverage. It was a contested type play, didn't really like that. Then I thought I really hurt our football team in the red zone. With just some of the play selections, putting us in some tough spots. I can't remember a time that I've ever been a part of a team where you end up having three first-and-goals from the nine (yard line). That ends up being a tough area, that first play and then that second play ends up being instrumental to try to avoid some of those tough situations where you're third-and-seven from the seven (yard line). But, I thought in terms of the play selection, especially in the red zone, third down as a whole, I got to be much better for our football team and those are things you have to look at yourself critically and be better for them."

(On DT Aaron Donald being hard on himself and if he thinks he had areas he needed to improve on or if Donald was just being hard on himself)

"Yeah, I think that's (DT) Aaron (Donald) being hard on himself. I think he made a great play – well, you never want to be able to put yourself in a situation where you're potentially hurting the quarterback. But, it's tough in those types of settings and that's where you want to try to get clarity as far as, 'All right, so he beats it. He's kind of going down and you want to always try to avoid staying in that lower half of those quarterbacks.' But, that would've ended up being a big play that ends up leading to giving them a first down on a drive that they ended up extending for a handful of more plays after that. I think just the caliber of player Aaron is, the expectations that he has for himself – he wants to influence and effect the game in a variety of ways. He did do that, but I think just for the expectations, the standards that he has and that we have for him, I think he would say that he could be better. You also have a lot of respect for that interior line. I think that's one of the better interior units in the league in terms of what they can present, the physicality – two good guards and a center that have been Pro Bowl caliber players."

(On communication being an issue on defense was a function of LB Cory Littleton or a function of not knowing what the Oakland Raiders were coming at them with)

"Yeah, I don't know if communication is the best word. I think it's just making sure that we're getting adjusted and lined up. Where they're lining up in a lot of different empty formations – kind of on the ball, at the line of scrimmage in a no huddle type setting. I think just more than anything what I was talking about is the urgency to get in line, making sure we understand, what are the adjustments within the framework of that call based on what they presented. When you go back and like we said last night, a lot of respect for the Raiders. I thought they did a good job with some of those different things. (Raiders QB Derek) Carr was spreading it around. You look at (Raiders TE Jared) Cook made a handful of great plays where he's running after the catch. I thought (Raiders RB Marshawn) Lynch made some really tough, hard runs. But in terms of that, I was really more just talking about the tempo and some of the things they did to spread us out. Those are things that you can't really prepare for. But to the defense's credit – and really, I think that says as much as anything about our players and then our coaching staff on defense, (their) ability to adjust. You kind of settle in, you say, 'All right, here's what they're trying to do. Here's the regulated calls that maybe we want to stick with, so that we can play confident, play fast and know exactly what to do.'"

(On if there was an emotional period he had to get over because of his relationship with Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden and what he said to him after the game)

"Yeah, I think, really, once the game kicks off, it's about our football team trying to do the best we can to win a game. So much respect and appreciation for Jon. Really, I just told him how much I appreciate him, wish him nothing but the best moving forward. You're kind of glad that one's over with. You guys know how close we are with his family and what he has meant to us and me, specifically. But it was just letting him know I appreciate him and he just said, 'Good luck and congrats on the win.'"

(On if there is any assessment on LB Mark Barron's chances of playing this week)

"It's tough to say. He's kind of day-to-day right now. It's such a tough thing as far as being able to really project and predict what he's going to be able to do. Whether he's going to be available or not right now, I think is definitely questionable. I'll probably have a little bit more information on that as we go forward. But, I thought (LB) Ramik (Wilson) did a nice job stepping up. You see (S) Marqui Christian get a lot of reps in some of those passing situations. I thought both those two players were good for us last night."

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